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25/06/2024
Mining News

Wyloo Canada spearheads Canada’s low-carbon nickel processing facility, filling crucial gap in EV supply chain

A mining corporation, led by Australian tycoon Andrew Forrest, plans to establish Canada’s inaugural processing facility for low-carbon nickel, an essential component in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Wyloo Canada has inked a memorandum of understanding with Sudbury, Ont., and two First Nations to acquire land for the facility, aiming to address a crucial gap in the nation’s strategy to become a global EV manufacturing hub.

The envisioned plant, capable of meeting 50% of the nickel demand stemming from Canada’s burgeoning EV supply chain investments totaling $40 billion since 2020, underscores the country’s transition towards electrification. With major automakers like Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Honda committing to EV production in Canada, the urgency to bridge the gap in the North American EV supply chain, particularly in processing ore into battery chemicals, has become evident, according to Kristan Straub, CEO of Wyloo Canada.

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Wyloo’s Sudbury facility will specialize in producing low-carbon nickel sulfate and nickel-dominant precursor cathode active material (pCAM) crucial for EV batteries, addressing a critical void in Canada’s EV battery supply chain. The plant, estimated to cost up to $900 million, is expected to generate several hundred jobs, sourcing nickel from Wyloo’s proposed Eagle’s Nest mine in Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral belt, along with third-party suppliers and recycled battery materials.

The Ring of Fire, rich in cobalt, nickel, copper, and platinum, presents immense potential for supplying critical minerals to the EV industry. However, its development has sparked controversy, with Ontario First Nations calling for a moratorium on mining claims on their territories. Despite opposition, Ontario’s government is steadfast in its commitment to mining the Ring of Fire to fuel an integrated EV industry.

First Nations, including Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae, are actively partnering with Wyloo on the Sudbury project, marking a significant milestone in inclusive resource development. For the First Nations involved, this venture represents an opportunity to lead in sustainable development and set a precedent for future partnerships between Indigenous communities and private enterprises.

Wyloo is finalizing a scoping study for the project and anticipates commencing construction post the Eagle’s Nest mine’s launch in 2027. Straub has pledged to deliver responsibly-sourced, high-grade clean nickel, ensuring a stable and ethical supply chain for the burgeoning EV industry, reducing reliance on overseas nickel imports.

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