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BHP signs MOU for nickel supply with Ford

BHP’s Nickel West operation. (Image courtesy of BHP.)

The world’s biggest miner, BHP (NYSE: BHP) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for nickel supply with Ford Motor Company.

The targeted multi-year nickel supply agreement could start as early as 2025 and may involve additional commodities over time, the miner said, adding that it will explore options to supply Ford Motor Company with nickel from its Nickel West asset in Western Australia.

The companies are exploring ways to make battery supply chains more sustainable and efficient, including opportunities for further alignment on best practice and raising ESG performance transparency, BHP said.

“BHP produces some of the lowest carbon intensity nickel in the world, and we are working hard to reduce GHG emissions from our nickel operations even further,” BHP’s chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said in the media statement.

“Sustainable, reliable production of quality nickel will be essential to meeting demand from automakers like Ford Motor Company who are focused on producing their vehicles in an increasingly sustainable way,” Pant said.  

According to third-party analysis, BHP’s Nickel West asset has one of the world’s lowest operational carbon emissions intensities for nickel mining operations.

“Demand for nickel in batteries is estimated to grow four-fold over the next decade, in large part to support the world’s rising demand for electric vehicles,” Pant said.

“While what we produce is essential, never before has how we produce and manage our products through our supply chain been more important. Customers increasingly care about where products come from: their environmental and ethical footprints, as well as the efficiency and transparency of their supply chains.”

The announcement with Ford Motor Company follows the signing of supply and collaboration agreements with nickel product end-users including Tesla and PPES & Toyota Tsusho Corporation.