At over $20 billion dollars a year, nickel is already one of the world’s most important metal markets. However, with the rise in demand for electric vehicles, nickel is potentially on the cusp of a fundamental supply shift where quality over quantity comes crashing to the fore.

That’s because not all nickel is created equal.

Approximately 62.4 percent of today’s nickel supply is nickel laterites, which produce products such as nickel pig iron and ferronickel. While abundant, these low-grade metals are inadequate for battery manufacture. Instead, the growing demand for EV battery components must be met by higher-grade––but much rarer––nickel sulphides, which produce such products as nickel metal and nickel sulphate.

  • Only 15kt of nickel was sourced from finished (Class 1) nickel in 2017; a single Chevy Bolt features 23kg of nickel in its battery.
  • Future battery chemistries are expected to contain more nickel, not less­­––comprising up to 80% of the battery cathode mass used by companies like Chevy and Tesla by 2020
  • Source: Nickel: The Secret Driver of the Battery Revolution

Black Mountain Metals is focused on sourcing and producing Class 1 Nickel, specifically nickel sulphide which, with its high purity and dissolvability, is an integral component of EV battery cell manufacturing.

According to UBS Securities Australia Ltd., the manufacture of rechargeable electric vehicle batteries could drive 10 to 40 percent of nickel demand by EOY 2025.

“Our cells should be called Nickel-Graphite, because primarily the cathode is nickel and the anode side is graphite with silicon oxide… [there’s] a little bit of lithium in there, but it’s like the salt on the salad.”

– Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, June 2016