Vale, GM sign long-term Nickel supply agreement in Canada
The Canadian division of global metals giant Vale S.A., and General Motors have recently signed a term sheet for the long-term supply of battery grade nickel sulfate from Vale's proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec, Canada.
The agreement secures for GM a supply of nickel sulfate from a U.S. free-trade partner to support its fast-growing EV production needs in North America. Deliveries are expected to commence in the second half of 2026.
As per 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. The amount of contained nickel is sufficient to supply approximately 350,000 EVs annually, including the EVs from Chevrolet and GMC brands.
"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 Vale Executive Vice President of Base Metals, Deshnee 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."
Vale claims to boasts a uniquely strategic position in the region, 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.
Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain said, "GM's dedicated cross-functional organization — including experts from global purchasing and supply chain, corporate development, legal, finance and treasury — is strictly focused on building a secure, sustainable, scalable and cost-competitive EV supply chain".
"Their work has already allowed GM to sign multiple binding agreements to secure the battery raw material to support 1 million units of annual EV capacity in North America in 2025. This new agreement with Vale reinforces GM's leadership in building a secure and sustainable North America EV supply chain and will provide GM with significant supply of high-grade nickel sulfate from a low-carbon source."
"In addition, Canada continues to play an important role in GM's all-electric future and the material sourced from Vale will help support EV eligibility for consumer incentives under the new clean energy tax credits in the U.S.," said Parks.
Vale and GM have also agreed to study collaborative ways to partner on advanced technology development and commercialization pathways to harvest recycled metals.