Stellantis invests in sustainable copper
Stellantis has invested 155 million US dollars in a sustainable copper production project in Argentina. The project is called Los Azules, which will produce 100,000 tonnes of cathode-quality copper per year from 2027.
According to the car company, it is acquiring a 14.2 per cent stake in McEwen Copper for the equivalent of 146.2 million euros. This is a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company McEwen Mining, which owns projects Los Azules in Argentina and Elder Creek in the US state of Nevada. With the 14.2 per cent, Stellantis becomes McEwen Copper’s second-largest shareholder. Also involved is Nuton, a company specialised in copper leaching owned by mining giant Rio Tinto.
Los Azules plans to produce 100,000 tonnes of cathode copper annually with a purity of 99.9 per cent from 2027. Cathode copper is an important raw material for the production of batteries for electric cars. Although copper is also needed, for example, for wiring or the stator windings in electric motors, the project is specifically about cathode copper for battery production.
Thanks to the investment in the project to develop this raw material, Stellantis will be able to “meet part of the forecast copper demand from 2027 onwards”, according to the announcement. However, neither the forecast copper demand nor the share from Los Azules are precisely quantified.
“Stellantis and McEwen are ideal partners for a large project like Los Azules. Together, we share a collective vision to build a mine for the future based on regenerative principles and innovative technologies, that can achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2038,” says McEwen-Copper CEO Rob McEwen. “We are committed to delivering green copper to Argentina and the world, a product that will contribute to the electrification of transportation and the protection of our atmosphere.”
The importance of the copper project to the car company is also shown by the fact that group CEO Carlos Tavares is quoted in the memo – and not a representative of the purchasing department or the Argentina business. “Stellantis intends to lead the industry with the commitment to be carbon net zero by 2038 – a goal that requires innovation and a complete redefinition of the entire business,” says Tavares. “We are taking important steps in Argentina and Brazil, with the aim of decarbonizing mobility and ensuring strategic supplies of raw materials necessary for the success of the Company’s global electrification plans.”