In a joint opinion piece published yesterday, Vale's executive VP of base metals Mark Travers and MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton said new partnerships were needed to grow markets and drive investment in Canada, to develop a critical minerals and integrated EV supply chain.
"Make no mistake: the technical and financial hurdles to building a production and supply chain of this magnitude are immense," they said.
"But Canada's low-carbon resources, safely and sustainably mined and processed with Canadian knowhow, are a key differentiator."
They said research by London's environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) consultancy Skarn Associates showed Canadian nickel was eight to 15 times less carbon-intensive, on average, than nickel produced in competing jurisdictions.
They cited the low carbon footprint at Vale's Long Harbour processing plant in Newfoundland and Labrador, said to be a third the industry average for class 1 nickel which is integral for long-range EV batteries.
Demand for nickel was forecast to double by 2030, the pair said, spurred by government EV policy and production targets set by the world's largest automakers.
"Major automakers have committed more than US$300 billion to EVs globally, while battery-makers have earmarked US$130 billion," they said.
"Canada can't afford to miss this opportunity.
"There's no question the world needs mining for a greener future.
"Our industry can harness a rich endowment of green metals to help Canada reach its goals to emit less greenhouse gas by developing an EV supply chain and industry."