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Nickel miner Wyloo, owned by Australian mining magnet Andrew Forrest, has unveiled plans for a downstream battery materials processing facility in Sudbury, Ontario.

The new facility will fill a critical gap in Canada’s electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain by establishing the country’s first mine-to-precursor cathode active material (pCAM) integrated solution.

Wyloo CEO Canada Kristan Straub said on Wednesday the facility would provide the missing piece in Canada’s aspirations to develop a domestic EV battery supply chain, by producing low-carbon nickel sulphate and nickel-dominant pCAM, key ingredients for EV batteries.

“Recognising the global demand for EVs and other clean technologies, Canada has invested over $40-billion to date to establish the country as a global hub for the EV industry. While we commend this investment, it has exposed a significant gap in the North American EV supply chain, specifically, the conversion of ore to battery chemicals,” he said.

“The urgency to bolster North America’s capacity for processing metals – in particular, nickel – has never been more apparent. Our facility will be the missing piece that builds the capacity to process battery materials right here in Sudbury.”

Nickel for the facility will be supplied by Wyloo’s proposed Eagle’s Nest mine in the Ring of Fire region of northern Ontario, as well as other sources of third-party nickel-bearing feed and recycled battery materials.

“With Eagle’s Nest as our anchor, combined with third-party feed from other North American sources, we are building enough capacity to meet 50% of the nickel demand from the announced EV investments,” said Straub.

“Our commitment is to deliver a responsibly sourced supply of high-grade, clean nickel from extraction to processing. This commitment aims to enable Canada, known for its unparalleled environmental standards and sustainable practices, to be a leader in local investment in downstream processing, establishing a stable and ethical supply chain without relying on imports from overseas,” he added.

Ontario Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Minister Vic Fedeli congratulated Wyloo and the City of Greater Sudbury on the endeavour.

“Ontario’s critical mineral wealth sets us apart as a global destination for the production of EVs and EV batteries,” said Fedeli.

Wyloo is currently completing a scoping study for the project, with construction of the facility expected to commence following the construction of its proposed Eagle’s Nest mine. Mine construction is targeted to begin in 2027.