A proposed northern Minnesota nickel mine has signed a deal with Tesla.
Talon Metals announced Monday it's entered into an agreement with Tesla. The electronic vehicle company has committed to buying 75,000 metric tons (165 million pounds) of nickel concentrate over six years from the as-of-now unapproved mine in Tamarack, Minnesota.
Nickel is used in the production of electric vehicle batteries.
“This agreement is the start of an innovative partnership between Tesla and Talon for the responsible production of battery materials directly from the mine to the battery cathode," said Henri van Rooyen, CEO of Talon.
The deal calls for Talon to make "commercially responsible efforts" to open the mine, which is about 50 miles west of Duluth, by Jan. 1, 2026.
However, the mine has not yet undergone the State of Minnesota's environmental and mine permitting process. The mine is likely to face opposition from environmental groups.
The mine would be one of few nickel mines in the U.S. and is a joint venture between Rio Tinto and Talon Metals.
The Star Tribune reports that around 7% of nickel production is used for electric vehicle batteries, but that is expected to rise to around 22% by 2030 as the market grows.