Archive | Nickel Laterites

Tesla eyes nickel-rich Indonesia for next factory, hints officials – by Maria Merano ( – October 18, 2020)


Local reports are hinting that Tesla might be laying down plans to build a dedicated battery factory in Indonesia. The update was related by Indonesian officials who pointed to ongoing talks with the electric car maker.

CNBC Indonesia reported that the Indonesian government and Tesla are negotiating the possible construction of a battery factory in Batang, Central Java. The location is currently being developed by the country into an expansive industrial area.

In a statement to the media on Monday, Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang stated that discussions with Tesla are indeed underway for a potential battery factory in Batang. “On going discussion, arahnya ke sana Batang (the direction is Batang),” Gumiwang said. Continue Reading →

Battery Chat with Parri #1: Prof. Arumugam Manthiram (Nickel Institute – October 15, 2020)

Prof. Arumugam Manthiram, a renowned professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has contributed substantially to the field of energy storage with his research having great impact on the scientific community. In this chat, Prof. Manthiram shares his research path briefly, his perspective on current research performed on high-nickel cathodes, and a glimpse of his future research directions.

Prof. Arumugam Manthiram currently holds the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering #5 and is the Director of the Texas Materials Institute.

With over 800 publications and 69k citations, his recent papers in Nature Energy and Nature Communications have been accessed by almost 60,000 people. Working on a wide range of high-nickel cathode materials for Li-ion batteries (among other topics), Prof. Arumugam Manthiram’s group recently performed a very interesting comparative study on various high nickel-containing cathode compositions: NMA-89 (89 refers to 89% nickel content) to NMC-89, NCA-89, and Al-Mg co-doped NMC (NMCAM-89). Continue Reading →

South Korea seeks to exit Africa mining JV despite rising nickel demand – by Man-su Choe (Korean Investors – August 26, 2020)

State-run Korea Resources Corp. has embarked on a plan to sell its stake in a loss-making nickel mining joint venture in Madagascar, Africa, after the ruling Democratic Party put forward a motion to ban the cash-strapped institution’s direct investment in overseas projects.

The planned sale, announced early this month, would mean South Korea’s exit from one of the world’s three-largest nickel mines, at a time when demand for nickel, a core raw material for rechargeable batteries, is on the rise from the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry.

Korea Resources has pumped 2.2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) in the joint venture (JV), Ambatovy, since acquiring a 33% stake in the venture in 2006. Continue Reading →

Tesla Puts Nickel in Focus at Battery Day, but Details Still Needed – by Priscila Barrera (Nickel Investing News – October 8, 2020)


Nickel has been making headlines since Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk called for more mining of the metal over the summer, and the company’s Battery Day has reinforced interest.

Musk said at the recent event that the automaker is looking to process nickel in a more efficient way, eliminating steps and addressing the waste of water. He also reiterated his request for more nickel mining, and said the company is developing cathodes that will contain higher nickel and no cobalt.

At Battery Day, all plans unveiled by Tesla point to a reduction in battery costs, in line with the company’s goal of producing an affordable US$25,000 electric vehicle (EV) in the next three years. Tesla is also looking to ramp up battery production capacity to 100 GWh by 2022 and to 3 TWh by 2030. Continue Reading →

Top Battery Makers Discuss $20 Billion Indonesia EV Plans – by Eko Listiyorini and Harry Suhartono (Bloomberg News – October 14, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and LG Chem Ltd., two of the world’s top producers of batteries for electric vehicles, have signaled they may join projects that could see $20 billion more invested in supply chains in Indonesia, according to the country’s government.

The firms signed separate heads of agreement with Aneka Tambang Tbk last month aimed at manufacturing higher value products for batteries from the state-owned miner’s nickel output, said Septian Hario Seto, deputy for investment coordination and mining at the coordinating ministry for maritime affairs and investments.

It’s a strategy that would involve development of new capacity for metals processing to battery pack assembly, according to Seto. “This is a race on technology,” he said in an interview. “LG Chem and CATL are two front-runners in lithium battery technology.” Continue Reading →

Nickel supply to drop by 2025 – Macquarie – by Esmarie Iannucci ( – October 6, 2020)

PERTH ( – Global financial services provider Macquarie Group has called for investment into the nickel sector, despite an anticipated oversupply in the near-term.

Speaking at the Paydirt Nickel conference, in Perth, Macquarie consultant Jim Lennon said that immediate investment in the nickel sector would be required to meet the potential “explosive” demand post 2025.

“Covid-19 has obviously had a negative impact on the supply/demand fundamentals for nickel, with the market shifting from a deficit to a surplus, and these conditions could last for a few years,” Lennon said. Continue Reading →

Sherritt CEO pins future on demand for nickel for electric-car batteries – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – October 6, 2020)

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk pulled his latest stunt at an annual event called Battery Day in late September. He staged the gathering in a California parking lot and invited 200 Tesla shareholders to watch from their electric cars and honk if they liked what they heard.

There was a lot of honking. The sound was music to the ears of Sherritt International chief executive David Pathe, whose Toronto-based company mines the nickel and cobalt that make electric car batteries possible.

“Battery Day was a big event for us,” said Mr. Pathe, who spent the past eight years running a debt-heavy miner that had few big events to celebrate. “We expect to see significant growth as all the automakers roll out their electric strategies.” Continue Reading →

New Caledonia voters choose to stay part of France – by Charlotte Antoine-Perron (Associated Press/CTV News – October 4, 2020)

NOUMEA, NEW CALEDONIA — A majority of voters in New Caledonia, an archipelago in in the South Pacific, chose to remain part of France instead of backing independence Sunday, leading French President Emmanuel Macron to call for dialogue, as the referendum marked a crucial step in a three-decade long decolonization effort.

In a televised address from Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed “an expression of confidence in the Republic with a deep feeling of gratitude… and modesty.”

Macron promised pro-independence supporters “this is with you, all together, that we will build New Caledonia tomorrow.” He praised the “success” of the vote and called on New Caledonia residents to “look to the future.” Continue Reading →

China’s shadow looms as New Caledonia decides whether to leave France – by Joshua Mcdonald (South China Morning Post – September 2020)

The Pacific island of New Caledonia, home to 270,000 people, is slated to hold its second referendum on independence from France this weekend, amid bids for self-government in a region that has become a focus of geopolitical rivalry among the United States, China and Australia and has been late to the decolonisation process.

The former penal colony, which is reliant on Paris for about US$1.5 billion in funding annually, has an agreement with France for up to three referendums – each held two years apart – on the question of independence. In the first poll in 2018, close to 57 per cent of voters chose to stay with France.

New Caledonia gets most of the rest of its funding from the sale of nickel deposits to China, which is one of its strongest trading partners. In 2018, New Caledonia’s exports to China totalled US$1.06 billion, more than its combined exports to all other countries. Continue Reading →

Electric Vehicles: The Dirty Nickel Problem – by Cliff Rice (Clean Technica – September 27, 2020)

“Certainly, electric vehicle manufactures cannot live up to their
professed good intentions of using “environmentally friendly”
nickel if that nickel comes from laterite deposits.”

Electric vehicles are only a small part of the world vehicle market, but this is expected to change. While there are several competing battery chemistries which are likely to be used in this emerging market, many of them contain significant amounts of nickel.

This is a problem, and to understand why it is a problem, we need to understand the basics of where nickel comes from. It gets a bit complicated.

Nickel is mined from two types of deposits — sulphide and laterite. Sulphide nickel occurs in hard rock that has formed from crystallization of magma with the proper conditions and chemistry. Continue Reading →

Vale’s Divestment Collapse Underscores Nickel-Mining Challenges – by James Attwood and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – September 2020)

(Bloomberg) — In the clearest sign yet of the challenges to nickel mining in New Caledonia, a would-be buyer failed to put together a deal that would have seen it paid to acquire a major asset.

New Century Resources Ltd. said Tuesday it was unable to generate a funding package and equity structure that “adequately accommodates a suitable risk/reward scenario” to acquire the Goro operations from Vale SA.

Vale’s response was equally telling. The Rio de Janeiro-based said it would prepare to mothball Goro while exploring other options, all of which would “contemplate Vale’s exit.” Continue Reading →

No New Century for New Caledonia nickel – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – September 8, 2020)

New Century Resources has withdrawn its offer to buy the New Caledonian nickel assets of mining giant Vale, leaving one of the Pacific nation’s main industries in disarray and putting the spotlight on the curious role played by one of Australia’s biggest nickel producers, IGO Limited.

New Century confirmed on Tuesday it would not proceed with the deal announced in May, saying it was unable to secure appropriate funding.

But the proposed deal has also faced other pressures in recent weeks, with some politicians calling for it to be delayed until after the October 4 referendum that will determine whether New Caledonia achieves independence from France. Continue Reading →

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS MOUNT OVER USE OF NICKEL IN EVS – by Kieran Ahuja (Sunday Times Driving – September 7, 2020)


OF COURSE, as something that has been widely touted as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, the green credentials of pure-electric vehicles have often been called into question.

A large amount of the conversation around this has revolved around the use of cobalt, which is used to aid conductivity and structural stability in lithium-ion batteries, enabling them to last for as long as they do.

However, production of cobalt is sometimes conducted in territories where a blind eye is turned to ethical mining practices, in places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which produces around 60% of the world supply. Continue Reading →

Tesla’s nickel quest highlights metal’s environmental burden – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – September 1, 2020)

Waste linked to mining of key EV battery component threatens marine life

Elon Musk’s call for miners to dig more nickel for Tesla’s batteries faces its biggest test in Indonesia, where companies in the world’s top producing nation are planning to dump millions of tonnes of waste into the sea.

Mr Musk said on an earnings call last month that Tesla would give a “giant contract” to companies that could mine nickel “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” in response to a question about the biggest constraint on the electric car maker he runs.

The chief executive’s remarks reflect a growing anxiety in the electric car industry over supplies of the industrial metal, which is vital for boosting the range of electric car batteries. Demand for nickel, which is also used in stainless steel, is expected to increase six-fold by 2030. Continue Reading →

Can Indonesia provide Tesla with sustainable nickel? – by Steven Brown (July 25, 2020)

Elon Musk recently made headlines again by asking mining companies to produce more nickel and promising big contracts from Tesla. However, Musk’s promise has a big catch: he only wants nickel that is produced in a responsible manner.

Musk’s plea for more nickel comes at an interesting time. There’s certainly no shortage of nickel; not now and not in the foreseeable future. The world has Indonesia to thank for this. Indonesian nickel production has grown from around 100,000 tonnes of processed nickel in 2014, to over 600,000 tonnes in 2020.

It will likely to reach 1.1 million tonnes of nickel by 2022. This sort of growth in unheard of, and will see Indonesia producing half of the world’s nickel in the next two years. Continue Reading →