Tesla partners with Talon Metals Corp. or mines its own cobalt

As part of the six-year agreement negotiated with Talon Metals Corp., Tesla has agreed to purchase 75,000 tons of nickel from Talon Metals Corp.’s Minnesota mine. Talon Metals Corp. will provide it with cobalt and iron ore, too.

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In the last several years, Tesla has shown a growing interest in procuring raw materials from mining businesses in nations with stricter environmental rules. Deals with Canadian and Australian corporations to acquire metals are also included here. According to sources, a Canadian mining company known as Giga Metals is in negotiations with Tesla to provide low-carbon nickel for its electric cars. Tesla is searching for mining organizations that can provide substantial quantities of metals needed for its vehicles in an environmentally responsible manner, Elon Musk said in a second-quarter earnings call with investors. In 2021, Tesla expected to spend $1 billion on raw materials from Australian mining firms for its battery production facilities. It noted Australia’s more dependable and ecologically friendly mining techniques.  As part of Tesla’s agreements with mining businesses, the company works for ecologically sustainable mining techniques. This “carbon-neutral” approach was part of the arrangement with a Canadian mining corporation in 2020.

Nickel is an essential metal for Tesla’s electric vehicle batteries. Nickel-cobalt-aluminum composite battery cells are used in longer-range cars. Some of its batteries have lately been modified to lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry, perhaps to save costs during the production process. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has pushed nickel mining businesses to raise output in the face of supply chain bottlenecks. During a Q2 2020 results call with investors, he presented concerns about potential shortages of raw materials, particularly nickel. He warned that mining corporations would attempt to restrict supply to raise prices, and he was trying to persuade them to concentrate instead on more efficient, ecologically friendly mining operations.

Tesla has shown interest in controlling at least one mining near its Gigafactory in Nevada as part of its regular practice of seeking to maintain as much of the supply chain as possible. The company’s mining division acquired a lithium clay deposit in Nevada in September of 2020. There was a time when Elon Musk said that Nevada had enough lithium to power the country.

The approach also decreases the distance raw materials and components travel before being used in the finished product. The distance a cathode needs to travel to get to Tesla’s plants is cut in half thanks to the company producing its cathodes, for example. Due to the worldwide scarcity of semiconductor chips, Tesla has also proposed manufacturing its own.

Cars.com’s ranking of the most American-made vehicles has given two Tesla models the top spots.  Elon Musk asserted that Tesla recycles all of its batteries and may remove the need to obtain certain metals like cobalt at the Battery Day 2020 event. In Gigafactory Shanghai, batteries that have been returned are repaired and refilled with new cells.

Nonetheless, in April of that year, Germany punished Tesla for failing to publish public information concerning battery recycling compliance with regulations. Last year, Elon Musk’s Tesla may have been plagued by issues arising from Germany.  Elon Musk may secretly want to harvest the trillion-dollar asteroid, 16 Psyche if SpaceX’s Starship program truly gets going. At current metals prices, NASA predicts that 16 Psyche might be worth up to $10,000 quadrillion because of its metal content, which could total up to 30%.

Mining so much metal might alleviate the burden on the Earth (and, yes, crash metals prices). Until then, Elon Musk is limited to negotiating partnerships with mining businesses like Talon Metals Corp. and considering having Tesla mine its cobalt.

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