By Rhiannon Hoyle
SYDNEY--BHP Group Ltd. said it has signed a supply deal with Tesla Inc. for nickel, a commodity used in electric-vehicle batteries, from its Nickel West operations in western Australia.
The world's biggest miner by market value said it and Tesla have also agreed to collaborate on sustainability efforts in the battery industry supply chain, such as ways to trace raw materials from pit to product using blockchain.
BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said demand for nickel in batteries is expected to rise more than sixfold over the next decade in big part because of growing demand for electric vehicles. Batteries with a high nickel content are becoming more popular because of the metal's stability under high temperatures and its resistance to overcharging, analysts say.
The two companies will discuss opportunities to lower carbon emissions in their respective operations, as well, by using more renewable energy and battery storage, BHP said.
BHP's Nickel West operation has experienced a turn of fortune in recent times, having been slated for sale as recently as 2019. Now, nickel has become a priority for BHP because of its expectations of a boom in battery demand and widespread electrification. The company will soon begin production from one of the world's largest nickel-sulfate plants.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires