A term contract was signed between General Motors Co. and Vale Canada Limited for the long-term supply of battery-grade nickel sulfate from Vale’s planned factory in Bécancour, Québec, Canada. With the cooperation of this agreement, GM will have access to nickel sulfate from a US free-trade partner to meet its rapidly expanding EV production requirements in North America.
According to the terms of the contract, Vale will provide battery-grade nickel sulfate, which adds up to 25,000 metric tons of contained nickel annually, for use in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes. These cathodes will power a variety of electric vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Blazer EV, Equinox EV, the Cadillac LYRIQ, the GMC Sierra EV, and the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup About 350,000 electric vehicles (EVs) may be produced yearly using the nickel available. Delivery of the nickel is set to start in the second half of 2026.
With its low carbon footprint and market-leading position as the biggest producer of finished nickel in North America, Vale is in an excellent position to serve as the leading supplier to the EV industry, as demonstrated by this project. Pre-cathode active materials for nickel-based lithium-ion batteries are created using the chemical compound nickel sulfate.
“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,” said Vale Executive Vice President of Base Metals, Deshnee Naidoo. “The proposed nickel sulfate project would utilize 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.”
“GM’s dedicated cross-functional organization — including experts from global purchasing and supply chain, corporate development, legal, finance, and treasury — is strictly focused on building a secure, sustainable, scalable, and cost-competitive EV supply chain,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Their work has already allowed GM to sign multiple binding agreements to secure the battery raw material to support 1 million units of annual EV capacity in North America in 2025. This new agreement with Vale reinforces GM’s leadership in building a secure and sustainable North American EV supply chain and will provide GM with a significant supply of high-grade nickel sulfate from a low-carbon source.”
“In addition, Canada continues to play an important role in GM’s all-electric future and the material sourced from Vale will help support EV eligibility for consumer incentives under the new clean energy tax credits in the U.S.,” said Parks.
Additionally, Vale and GM have decided to investigate joint venture opportunities to collaborate on the development of cutting-edge technologies and commercialization strategies for recovering recycled metals.
“This announcement between Vale and GM builds on Canada’s world-leading EV battery industry,” said the Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and 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.”
“The signing of this agreement confirms that the biggest players in the industry want to invest here and enter our supply chain. We have the resources and the expertise to produce the cleanest battery in the world, and this news will certainly contribute to that,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec’s Minister of Economy, Innovation, and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region.
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