Prony Resources announced on Wednesday an agreement to supply Tesla with approximately 42,000 tonnes of nickel over several years. The New Caledonian metallurgical and mining group is becoming one of the main suppliers of metals to the American electric car giant.
Posted on October 14, 2021 at 3:18 am,
updated on October 14, 2021 at 3:35 a.m.
Prony Resources, which took over the activities of Brazilian giant Vale at the Goro site in southern New Caledonia earlier this year, said it was targeting 45,000 tonnes of nickel production in 2024.
Starting from nothing, it would already be 20,000 tonnes, at the end of 2021: “the mobilization and professionalism of New Caledonian miners and metallurgists enabled this result” firstly said Antonin Beurrier, Managing Director of Prony Resources.
This year, despite the difficulties related to the revival of activity and the Covid epidemic, the Usine du Sud has become profitable with a production cost of less than $ 14,000. Nickel is marketed for more than $ 20,000 per tonne by Trafigura.
Tesla-Prony is signed
“The agreement signed with Tesla will make the American automaker our main customer”, clarified Antonin Beurrier from Paris, during a press conference held simultaneously with Nouméa.
“The volume of 42,000 tonnes of nickel provided for in the agreement is indicative and may vary by more than 25% depending on our capacities”, he added.
Tesla was already a Prony partner on product quality, environmental responsibility and sustainability.
Mr. Beurrier said the deal was negotiated by Swiss trader Trafigura, a shareholder of Prony Resources.
Trafigura is also Terrafame’s partner in Finland in a joint venture (mine and nickel plant) with the country’s centrist and environmentalist government.
Prony Resources New Caledonia
Initially, battery grade nickel (class 1) from the South Plant (Prony Resources New Caledonia) will supply Tesla’s production activities in Asia. Without excluding, however, deliveries to European and French battery manufacturers, when production has reached its cruising speed.
The capital of Prony is 51% owned by the three Provinces of New Caledonia, the group’s employees and local customary players. Swiss trader Trafigura owns 19% and has contributed 75 million euros to the plant. The remainder is owned by a joint venture between the company’s executives and New Zealand investment fund Agio Global.
The company Prony Resources New Caledonia plans to borrow 220 million euros, guaranteed at the best rate by the French State, in addition to the public loan of 200 million from which it has already benefited, in order to finance investments in its production capacities. , maintenance and renovation of the industrial site – and optimizing the treatment of nickel extraction waste.
To these sums are added the benefit of the tax exemption system linked to investments in overseas territories, says Girardin.
In total, the sums invested or guaranteed by the State would amount to nearly 500 million euros (60 billion FCP).