Vale will supply battery-grade nickel sulphate from its proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec, Canada, containing the equivalent of 25,000 metric tons of nickel per annum, which will be used to power GM’s portfolio of electric vehicles


Vale signs supply agreement with GM. (Credit: A. Krebs from Pixabay)

Brazilian mining company Vale, through its subsidiary Vale Canada, has agreed to supply US-based automotive manufacturer General Motors (GM) with battery-grade nickel sulphate.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vale will supply battery-grade nickel sulphate, containing the equivalent of 25,000 metric tons of nickel per annum, starting from the second half of 2026.

Nickel sulphate is a chemical compound that is used in the production of pre-cathode active materials for nickel-based lithium-ion batteries.

GM will use the nickel sulphate, supplied from Vale’s proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec, Canada, for making Ultium battery cathodes, to power a portfolio of its electric vehicles.

The portfolio includes Chevrolet Silverado EV, Blazer EV and Equinox EV, the Cadillac LYRIQ, the GMC Sierra EV, and the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and SUV.

The contained nickel in the delivery will be adequate for making around 350,000 EVs a year and will support GM’s EV production needs in North America.

Vale base metals executive vice president Deshnee Naidoo said: “This is a momentous agreement for Vale Base Metals that brings a key partner in GM into this first-of-its-kind facility for Canada and North America.

“The proposed nickel sulphate project would utilise high purity, low-carbon nickel from our Canadian refineries and is a natural extension for the business, offering diversified sales and a fast entry and anchor point into the North American electric vehicle market.

“We look forward to continuing engagements with the governments of Canada and Quebec on this strategic critical mineral project.”

Earlier this year, Vale announced the completion of pre-feasibility studies for the proposed nickel sulphate plant.

Also, Vale and GM have teamed up to jointly study the potential for advancing technology development and commercialisation to harvest recycled metals.

Vale said that the initiative strengthens its position as a supplier in the EV industry, leveraging its low-carbon footprint.

Canada Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne said: “This announcement between Vale and GM builds on Canada’s world-leading EV battery industry.

“It’s become even more clear that Canada can be the supplier of choice for the electric cars of the future.

“By leveraging Canadian critical minerals, we will see more jobs for Canadians, a growing economy and a greener and cleaner future for everyone.”