Stellantis in talks with Vale to invest in Indonesian nickel smelter – by A. Anantha Lakshi and Harry Dempsey (Financial Times – May 13, 2024)

Deal would bring rare western investor to world’s biggest producer of commodity critical to electric cars

Stellantis is in talks with Vale and China’s Huayou Cobalt to invest in a nickel smelter in Indonesia and secure supplies of the battery metal critical to its electric vehicle expansion plans, in a deal that if finalised would bring a rare western investor into Indonesia’s nickel industry.

Stellantis, owner of the Peugeot, Fiat and Jeep brands, is in discussions with Vale Indonesia to invest in a high-pressure acid leaching plant that converts low-grade nickel ore to battery-grade metal, three people familiar with the matter said.

Huayou, one of the world’s top producers of nickel and cobalt, will hold a stake in the project alongside Stellantis and Vale, with the size of the companies’ investment yet to be determined, they said. The investment by Stellantis would be a crucial win for Indonesia, which has been trying to attract western carmakers to its nickel industry.

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