GM to Invest Up to $69 Million in Australian Miner QPM

General Motors (GM) announced on Tuesdat it will invest up to $69 million to take an equity stake in Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) to secure new supplies of cobalt and nickel to use in batteries of its electric vehicles (EVs). GM said the investment will help support its eligibility for consumer tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) signed into law by Biden in August. The automaker also said the nickel laterite ore is expected to be processed using a new, proprietary process that helps reduce waste.

Under the new U.S. IRA, automakers are required to source battery minerals domestically or from countries that have free trade agreements with Washington, in order to qualify for consumer tax credits.

The GM investment is to assist in the development of its proposed Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) Project in Northern Australia. High-grade nickel laterite ore will be imported from nearby New Caledonia, GM said.

GM, which aims for an annual capacity of 1 million units in North America by the end of 2025, already has binding agreements securing all battery raw material.

“New collaboration builds on those commitments as we look to secure supply through the end of the decade, while also helping continue to expand the EV market.” GM said.

“GM’s investment in our company and the associated offtake brings us one step closer towards construction of the TECH Project.” QPM CEO Grocott said.

Most recently, GM decided to prepay Philadelphia-based Livent $198 million for a guaranteed six year supply of lithium. The deal shows the automakers’ scramble to find additional sources of battery metals on the back of industry worry about a tightening market for the EV battery materials.

Prepaying cash for a guaranteed metal supply is unusual in the mining industry. Livent produces lithium in Argentina and has processing facilities in the United States.

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