Stellantis signs offtake agreement and invests in Alliance Nickel for battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulfate
Stellantis N.V. and exploration and development company Alliance Nickel (formerly GME Resources) signed a binding offtake agreement for the supply of 170,000 tons of nickel sulfate and 12,000 tons of cobalt sulfate in total over an initial five-year period.
This represents approximately 40% of forecast annual production of the NiWest Nickel-Cobalt Project in Western Australia. Pricing for the nickel and cobalt sulfate is linked to index prices.
In addition, Stellantis agreed to purchase €9.2 million (AUD15 million) in new equity in Alliance Nickel, giving it an 11.5% shareholding on completion and rights to nominate one director to the Alliance board.
The binding offtake and share purchase agreements solidify the partnership between Stellantis and Alliance Nickel inaugurated in October 2022 with a non-binding memorandum of understanding for the supply of electric-vehicle battery materials.
Funds from the equity purchase will be applied to the completion of the NiWest Project Definitive Feasibility Study and engineering design works, expected in the last quarter of 2023.
As part of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis announced plans of reaching 100% of the passenger car battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sales mix in Europe and 50% of passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030. Stellantis aims to slash CO2 in half by 2030, benchmarking 2021 metrics, and achieve carbon net zero by 2038 with single-digit percentage compensation of the remaining emissions.
Completion of the binding offtake and share subscription agreements are subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Stellantis is assembling a roster of key partnerships to ensure a stable supply of key materials for its electrified future. In addition to Alliance Nickel, Stellantis has partnerships with McEwen Copper, Terrafame, Vulcan Energy, Element 25 and Controlled Thermal Resources.
Alliance Nickel’s flagship 100%-owned NiWest Nickel Cobalt Project hosts one of the highest-grade undeveloped nickel laterite Mineral Resources in Australia, estimated to contain 85.2 million tonnes averaging 1.03% nickel and 0.06% cobalt.
More than 75% of the resource is contained within the Measured and Indicated JORC categories with potential to expand the currently delineated mineralisation with further drilling. The project has access to existing primary mining infrastructure such as an established network of roads, a railway and gas pipeline and is strategically situated adjacent to Glencore’s Murrin Murrin Operations, Australia’s largest nickel producer.
The company has completed a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) which has confirmed the technical and economic viability of a heap leach and direct solvent extraction operation to manufacture low-cost, high-quality Class 1 nickel and cobalt sulfate for battery manufacturers and automakers in the Electric Vehicle (EV) sector.
A Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) is underway and will be completed before the end of 2023.
Anne Oxley, Mark E. Smith, Omar Caceres (2016) “Why heap leach nickel laterites?” Minerals Engineering, Volume 88, Pages 53-60 doi: 10.1016/j.mineng.2015.09.018