Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries on which Tesla Inc. depends.
Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.
Currently, the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion dollars it takes to bring on a new mine. Continue Reading →