Vale to supply Northvolt with low-carbon nickel products for batteries

Vale Canada have announced an agreement in collaboration with Northvolt AB to supply the company with low-carbon nickel products for battery production.

Vale Canada and lithium-ion battery producer, Northvolt AB, have announced their multi-year agreement for Vale to supply low-carbon nickel products to Northvolt. This reinforces the companies’ shared commitment to sustainability in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain and electrification of the broader mining industry.

The agreement also reaffirms Vale’s position as a supplier of choice to the fast-growing EV industry, and aligns with Northvolt’s imperative to minimise carbon emissions, and other environmental impacts in the battery value chain.

Low-carbon nickel products

Vale is a leading global producer of low-carbon and high purity nickel products. Rounds from the company’s Long Harbour refinery in Newfoundland, Canada, have a verified carbon footprint of 4.4 tonnes. This is the CO2 equivalent per tonne of nickel and about one-third the Nickel Institute average for Class 1 nickel.

The company has pledged to invest between US$4 bn and US$6 bn to cut absolute carbon emissions 33% by 2030, as part of efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Vale will also reduce 15% of its value-chain emissions by 2035. Northvolt’s ambition is to raise the sustainability bar for battery producers with a plan to reduce carbon emissions by up to 90% compared to benchmark batteries today, primarily by leveraging clean energy in production and recycling.

Supply agreement

“This supply agreement is another strategic milestone as we pivot our business towards electric vehicle demand,” explained Deshnee Naidoo, Vale’s Executive Vice President of Base Metals. “We are excited to build a lasting relationship with Northvolt that raises the bar on sustainably sourced raw materials for this fast-growing sector.”

Maria Åstrand, Northvolt’s Vice President Active Materials, commented: “Northvolt was founded with the mission to build the world’s greenest battery to enable the transition to electrification. We want to build batteries with a minimal CO2 footprint using clean energy and smart technology.

“This partnership is perfect for us to be able to reach that ambition. We are further excited by the prospect of closing the loop with the electrification of the nickel mining industry through our mutual partners that provides electric mining equipment.”

This agreement is the product of over two years of negotiation and will be the launchpad for further cooperation in various areas.

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