Vale Canada Limited, Sudbury's largest nickel mining company revealed Thursday that it will be supplying "battery grade" nickel sulphate to General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on a scale big enough to supply batteries for roughly 350,000 electric vehicles a year.
According to a joint news release, both companies have agreed to the long-term supply of nickel sulphate from Vale’s proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec.
"This agreement secures for GM a supply of nickel sulphate from a U.S. free-trade partner to support its fast-growing EV production needs in North America," said the release. Nickel sulphate is the chemical compound used in the production of pre-cathode active materials for nickel-based lithium-ion batteries.
Under terms of the agreement, Vale will supply the equivalent of 25,000 tonnes 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," said the release. Deliveries are targeted to commence in the second half of 2026.
The announcement was said to highlight "Vale’s uniquely strategic position to be the supplier of choice to the EV industry".
The release further stated it allows Vale to leverage its low-carbon footprint and market-leading position as North America’s largest producer of finished nickel.
Deshnee Naidoo, Vale Executive Vice President of Base Metals, was pleased with the new deal.
“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 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.”
The news was also welcomed by federal Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.
“This announcement between Vale and GM builds on Canada’s world-leading EV battery industry,” said Champagne.
“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.”