In a rapidly changing world, Tesla has become a leading innovator in the green technology movement. At the Battery Day event held yesterday, Elon Musk laid out a plan that could make Tesla the most efficient manufacturing company in the world while setting a benchmark for clean technology. The concept was to cut costs through eliminating inefficiencies while increasing the capabilities of their batteries and manufacturing by half per kilowatt hour. The company started by looking at every aspect of the battery making process from mining and processing to technology and manufacturing. Simply put, their vision is revolutionary and the impacts will reach several industries as their vision is truly disruptive. Tesla will change the way mining and manufacturing companies approach their business plans and in turn this will benefit everyday people looking to be a part of the shift to greener technology.
I wont get into the entire plan but rather let you see the shortened version of the Battery Day talk and then talk about how it pertains to the mining sector and in particular how northern Ontario stands to benefit from Teslas plans moving forward.
Now that you have seen Tesla’s plan, Let’s talk about what it means. It’s no secret that Nickel is in high demand and Elon Musk Highlighted that himself when he made the comment earlier this year that he would issue a very large contract to a nickel miner to produce more class one nickel in an environmentally friendly way. This made waves in the Nickel space and brought certain projects into the limelight during a time when Gold was reaching new highs and was favored by the investing community. One such project was Canada Nickel and their nickel sulphide deposit in Timmins, Ontario.
Canada Nickel (TSX.V: CNC) is already boasting the 12th largest deposit in the world after drilling just 20 % of the Crawford Ultramafic Complex and should significantly increase that number in the next few weeks as the new resource update is set to be released given that the company has drilled around 50% percent of the structure now. It will be interesting to see where it ranks after the update given that they haven’t even touched their other 5 optioned properties which host similar deposits highlighted by INCO drilling in the 1960’s. Early indications suggest that CNC may very well rank in the top 3 nickel sulphide deposits in the world once they get into the other 5 properties. That alone is cause for great optimism, yet we have another factor that bodes well for the project in the NetZero Metals inc. initiative. Because of the makeup of the tailings, CNC is able to naturally absorb carbon by running their emissions through the tailings piles, thus eliminating the need for carbon sequestration into the ground. They are also conveniently located near hydro electric dams which would allow them to utilize an all electric fleet of mining equipment and power their processing facility.
Interestingly, Mark Selby spent the last 7 years developing a similar project just 269 kilometers away in Dumont, which is currently the second largest nickel sulphide deposit in the world and the largest shovel ready fully permitted operation. Given that Mark Selby headed up Dumont from day one and is now developing this project in Timmins, he is leveraging his experience to move the project forward and still maintains a good relationship with the Dumont management team. Why is that important you ask? Well, consider for a moment that Elon is looking for a nickel solution that will allow him to implement his cost savings plan as he has made it very clear the benefits of building a giga factory near his production facilities as he did in china.
Northern Ontario/Quebec are becoming a very attractive option for the EV giant in my opinion and we may have seen a hint of this in yesterdays presentation as one of the maps place a potential plant right in between CNC and Dumont. Maybe that’s reading to far into it but it certainly opens the door for the imagination to run wild. But in all honesty, Is there a better place to build a plant than in between two of the largest nickel sulphide deposits in the world? To me it’s a no brainer as this offers an instant solution for nickel feed for the foreseeable future. Dumont is slated to have a 30 year mine life and while it is still unknown, CNC could potentially match this time frame for life of mine or even exceed it if the other optioned properties host similar deposits. Both projects check all the boxes for what Tesla is looking for and it is not a stretch to think that Elon has approached both companies as he stated yesterday that he has reached out to all the major nickel mining companies. While nobody can say for certain, it certainly makes sense to consider Northern Ontario as an option for a project of this scale.
If in fact this came to fruition, Northern Ontario and Quebec could see a resurgence in the mining space and bring much needed jobs to the area. The local economies have struggled for many years as mining operations are depleting their resources and people are moving away to find meaningful employment. Furthermore, Canada is very active in reducing the Carbon footprint and is aiming to be a global leader in green technology, meaning they would be very welcoming of a project like this.
For more information on the Canada Nickel Project visit their company profile on Insidexploration
You can also get up to speed by reviewing the CNC case study we wrote last month.