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The availability of nickel and cobalt is critical for the electric vehicles market to continue developing.
The availability of nickel and cobalt is critical for the electric vehicles market to continue developing.

Finnish Nickel Producer Taps Electric Vehicle Boom

Finnish Nickel Producer Taps Electric Vehicle Boom

Finland’s Terrafame nickel mine is planning to start producing material for electric vehicle batteries by 2020, the company said on Friday, after securing $200 million more in funding from commodities trader Trafigura Group.
Trafigura, which will also increase its nickel and cobalt sulphides offtake agreement with Terraframe, is providing the funds with Galena Asset Management and Nordic fund Sampo Plc, Reuters reported.
“The new funding package ... is a significant factor enabling Terrafame to move from established industrial operations to investing in new business opportunities associated with the electric vehicle battery segment,” Trafigura said in a statement on Friday.
With the electric vehicle revolution gaining speed, miners and metals traders are racing to shore up supply deals with battery makers. This deal will help Trafigura compete on the trading side with rival mining and trading giant Glencore that already dominates cobalt supplies with its assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Terrafame said it plans to build a new chemical plant by 2020, which would convert nickel into a valuable form of sulphate, a powder-like substance particularly suited for use in batteries.
Most electric vehicles rely on lithium-ion batteries, with the main component comprised mostly of nickel.
Lithium batteries, which keep a charge over longer distances, are being installed in electric cars from Tesla’s top-of-the-line Model X to General Motors’ more modestly priced Chevy Bolt.
“The availability of nickel and cobalt is critical for the electric vehicles market to continue developing. As a producer of these metals, Terrafame is aiming to take a leading role in supplying battery manufacturers,” Terrafame CEO Joni Lukkaroinen said in a statement.
The new plant would have annual capacity of about 150,000 tons of nickel sulphate, which Terrafame said would make it one of the largest producers globally.

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