European auto major Stellantis has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Australia’s GME Resources for the future sale of quantities of battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate products from the NiWest Nickel-Cobalt Project in Western Australia (NiWest).
NiWest is an advanced nickel-cobalt development project and will produce approximately 90,000 tpa (tons per annum) of battery grade nickel and cobalt sulphate for the burgeoning electric vehicle market.
To date, more than AU$30 million (Rs 159 crore) has been invested into drilling, metallurgical test work and development studies. A definitive feasibility study for NiWest is due to commence this month. The company says the proposed location of the processing facility for NiWest is within approximately 30 kilometers of Glencore-owned Murrin Murrin operation, the largest nickel-cobalt operation in Australia.
Maxime Picat, Stellantis Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer said, “Every day, Stellantis is working to provide our customers clean, safe affordable, cutting-edge freedom of mobility. 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 decarbonisation target.”
As part of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis has announced plans of reaching 100% of passenger car battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales mix in Europe and 50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030. The OEM also aims to become carbon net zero by 2038, with a 50% reduction by 2030.
Paul Kopejtka, MD, GME said, “Stellantis is a partner of the highest caliber and GME is delighted to have signed this MoU in what we hope is the first step in a long-term partnership. We’re very pleased with how our discussions have progressed and we now look forward to progressing more detailed negotiations in parallel with the start of the Definitive Feasibility Study for the NiWest Nickel-Cobalt Project. A Definitive Agreement with Stellantis would be a critical step in being able to progress the NiWest Project through to commercial operations.”
Earlier this year, Stellantis strengthened its supply of low-carbon lithium hydroxide by signing agreements with Vulcan Energy and Controlled Thermal Resources for Europe and North America, respectively.