Canada Nickel has said it is looking to raise $1-billion to build a nickel-processing plant, as it seeks to position itself as an alternative supplier of the metal used in car and electric battery vehicles.
The processing plant in Ontario is expected to begin production in 2027 and process 80 000 tonnes of nickel annually. Nickel production is currently concentrated in Asia, and the company hopes that the new plant will help increase supplies from cleaner sources.
The company is in discussions with the Canadian government, the United States Department of Defense and other partners in the battery manufacturing sector to raise the funding, CEO Mark Selby told Reuters.
The miner, whichcounts Samsung SDI and Agnico Eagle Mines as shareholders, is also building a nickel mine in Ontario and hopes to integrate the battery supply chain with the proposed processing plant, according to Selby.
The company’s stock rose 3.6% to C$1.42. The Toronto Stock Exchange Venture-listed miner has a market value of C$194-million.
The announcement by NetZero Metals, a unit of Canada Nickel, comes as large global nickel producers cut costs and reduce production after prices dropped 40% in the last year.
But Selby expects demand for the metal to grow.
“The car companies and battery supply chain know that the amount of nickel needed in North America is going to double and triple over the next decade,” Selby said, adding that what these buyers want is responsibly produced, clean, green nickel in North America.