GM secures nickel & cobalt with Queensland Pacific Metals


General Motors is looking to secure a new source of low-cost nickel and cobalt for its Ultium battery cells with a strategic investment in Australian battery materials supplier Queensland Pacific Metals.

GM said it expects to invest up to $69 million in Queensland Pacific Metals for the development of the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) project in northern Australia, planned for 2023. Once the project is implemented, General Motors intends to source nickel and cobalt under a long-term supply commitment, whereby the exact duration of the contract has not been disclosed.

General Motors says the nickel laterite ore mined in New Caledonia and processed in Townsville will be processed using a new and proprietary process. This process, which is not described in detail, is intended to reduce waste to such an extent that no tailings dam is to be required at the plant.

Queensland Pacific Metals’ battery materials will be used in GM’s Ultium vehicles. The Ultium models announced to date are the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Blazer EV and Chevrolet Equinox EV.

“The collaboration with Queensland Pacific Metals will provide GM with a secure, cost-competitive and long-term supply of nickel and cobalt from a free-trade agreement partner to help support our fast-growing EV production needs,” said Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Importantly, the agreement demonstrates our commitment to building strong supplier relationships and is aligned with our approach to responsible sourcing and supply chain management.”

Last year, LG Energy Solution, General Motors’ partner in the Ultium Cells battery cell joint venture,  already invested in Queensland Pacific Metals.


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