Fourth-largest car maker signs memorandum of understanding with GME for nickel, cobalt from Western Australia development project
French-Italian car maker Stellantis said on Monday it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with GME Resources for the supply of nickel and cobalt sulphate products for use in electric vehicle batteries.
The critical materials are to be supplied by NiWest, an advanced nickel-cobalt development project in Western Australia that is expected to produce about 90,000 tonnes of battery-grade nickel and cobalt per year.
Amsterdam-headquartered Stellantis said AU$30 million (£17m) has been invested into drilling, metallurgical test work and development studies for NiWest, with a feasibility study expected to begin this month.
Stellantis chief supply chain officer Maxime Picat said securing the raw material sources and battery supply would “strengthen Stellantis’ value chain for electric vehicle battery production” while helping the firm reach its decarbonisation targets.
The company has said it wants to be carbon net zero by 2038, with a 50 percent reduction by 2030.
The maker of marques such as Jeep, Peugot, Fiat, Citroen, Maserati and Opel has said that by 2030 it wants all its sales in Europe and 50 percent of US sales to be made up of battery-powered vehicles.
GME said it hopes the MOU will be the “first step in a long-term partnership”.
“A Definitive Agreement with Stellantis would be a critical step in being able to progress the NiWest Project through to commercial operations,” said GME managing director Paul Kopejtka.
Earlier this year the fourth-largest car maker signed a lithium supply agreement with developer Vulcan Energy Resources and said it would buy an 8 percent stake in the company for 50m euros (£44m).
In addition to the Vulcan deal, which is intended to improve Stellantis’ supply for Europe, Stellantis signed an agreement with Controlled Thermal Resources for North American lithium supply.
In January Stellantis signed a deal with Amazon to supply the e-commerce firm with Ram ProMaster electric delivery vehicles.