Vale Canada Limited, a subsidiary of Vale S.A., and General Motors have signed a term sheet for the long-term supply of battery grade nickel sulphate from Vale’s proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec, Canada.
The companies said the agreement secures for GM a supply of nickel sulphate from a US free-trade partner to support its fast-growing EV production needs in North America.
Under terms of the agreement, Vale will supply battery grade nickel sulphate, equivalent to 25,000 metric tons per year of contained nickel, for use in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes. The cathodes will power a GM 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.
Nickel sulphate is the chemical compound used in the production of pre-cathode active materials for nickel-based lithium-ion batteries.
“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.
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“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.”
“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,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and 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.