09 Aug BHP to capitalise on EV demand by increasing focus on nickel
BHP (ASX:BHP) has revealed plans to transform itself into one of the world’s biggest suppliers of nickel sulphate, a crucial component in lithium-ion batteries which power electric vehicles (EVs).
Once viewed as a non-core asset, Eduard Haegel, president of BHP’s Nickel West division revealed how the mining giant is looking to capitalise on the electric revolution with its shift in focus towards nickel.
“We believe there is going to be a very large increase in nickel sulphate demand over the mid-term, in order to support this new energy revolution,” said Haegel at the Diggers & Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (WA).
The Australian mining giant will spend US$43 million on a new facility in WA which will produce 100,000 tonnes of sulphate per year. Production is scheduled to commence in April 2019 at the site.
BHP said that sales of the high-grade nickel it produces will shift from the low margin stainless steel market into the higher margin energy storage and EV market.
Within five years, the company expects to sell 90% of its nickel into the battery market, compared to 10% today.