Stellantis eyes GME Resources for nickel and cobalt
Stellantis has signed a non-binding agreement with GME Resources for the purchase of nickel and cobalt sulphate products from the NiWest project in Western Australia. The NiWest project is not yet in operation and a final decision has yet to be made.
NiWest is a development project that is expected to produce about 90,000 tonnes of battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate annually for the rapidly growing electric vehicle market – if it is ever implemented. To date, more than 30 million Australian dollars (about 19.5 million euros) have been invested in drilling, metallurgical test work and development studies. The carmaker has not yet revealed what proportion of these 90,000 tonnes it aims to make use of.
A final feasibility study for NiWest is to begin this month. Stellantis has not said when the results of this study will be published and when decisions on the implementation of the project will be taken, simply saying – as is customary in notices of this kind – that the conclusion of the non-binding letter of intent is subject to the usual closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
However, the area where NiWest is to be built is known for its raw material deposits. The site is just 30 kilometres from the Murrin-Murrin project, where Glencore is mining battery feedstock in one of Australia’s largest nickel-cobalt projects.
Stellantis had already expanded its supply of lithium hydroxide this year by signing agreements with Vulcan Energy for Europe and Controlled Thermal Resources for North America.
“Every day, Stellantis is working to provide our customers clean, safe affordable, cutting-edge freedom of mobility,” said Maxime Picat, Stellantis Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer. “Securing the raw material sources and battery supply will strengthen Stellantis’ value chain for electric vehicle battery production and equally important, help the Company achieve its aggressive decarbonization target.”
GME managing director Paul Kopejtka is very pleased with the progress of the talks so far and stresses that they will be conducting “further detailed negotiations” in parallel with the start of the final feasibility study. “A Definitive Agreement with Stellantis would be a critical step in being able to progress the NiWest Project through to commercial operations,” says Kopejtka.
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