Vale Canada Limited, a subsidiary of Vale S.A., and General Motors signed a term sheet for the long-term supply of battery grade nickel sulfate from Vale’s proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec, Canada. This agreement secures for GM a supply of nickel sulfate from a US free-trade partner to support GM’s fast-growing EV production needs in North America.
Under terms of the agreement, Vale will supply battery-grade nickel sulfate, equivalent to 25,000 metric tons per year of contained nickel, for use in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes, which will power a broad portfolio of electric vehicles including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Blazer EV and Equinox EV, the Cadillac LYRIQ, the GMC Sierra EV, and the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and SUV. The amount of contained nickel is sufficient to supply approximately 350,000 EVs annually. Deliveries are targeted to commence in the second half of 2026.
Based on feasibility work announced in June 2022, the Bécancour project would have annual capacity to process 25,000 tonnes of contained nickel into nickel sulfate. The project’s final investment decision and schedule is contingent on a range of factors including downstream battery supply chain integration and requirements, as well as board and regulatory approvals.
This initiative highlights Vale’s uniquely strategic position to be the supplier of choice to the EV industry, leveraging its low-carbon footprint and market-leading position as North America’s largest producer of finished nickel. Nickel sulfate is the chemical compound used in the production of pre-cathode active materials for nickel-based lithium-ion batteries.
Vale and GM have also agreed to study collaborative ways to partner on advanced technology development and commercialization pathways to harvest recycled metals.
Vale S.A.’s base metals business is one of the world’s largest producers of high-quality nickel and an important producer of copper and responsibly sourced cobalt.
The proposed project in Bécancour would be the first-of-its-kind fully domestic nickel sulphate facility for the North American market, leveraging current and future production of low carbon and high-grade nickel from Vale’s Canadian operations.
Vale’s Sudbury operation in Canada produces around 65,000 metric tons of nickel annually.