Glencore is on Tesla’s watch list

According to a report in the Financial Times, electric car giant Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is considering a stake in Glencore (LON: GLEN) and has been in talks with the mining company and commodities trader.

The FT reports that Tesla discussed buying 10% to 20% of Glencore last year and continued negotiations in March of this year, when the Swiss company’s CEO Gary Nagle visited the automaker’s plant in Fremont, California. However, Because of Tesla’s concerns about Glencore’s coal mining operations and its impact on the environment, the talks ended without agreement, the two sources told FT.

An agreement is already in place between the two companies that guarantee Tesla the supply of cobalt for its plants in China and Germany.

Last year, Tesla reached pacts with several battery metals producers to secure future supplies of key raw materials for its electric batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel.

With mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia, and Canada, Glencore is the world’s largest cobalt producer.

In response to Musk’s promise to miners, the company has signed nickel supply agreements with Australia’s BHP (ASX: BHP) and Vale (NYSE: VALE). The Tamarack nickel project in Minnesota is also supported by Talon Metals (TSX: TLO) and Prony Resources in New Caledonia.

Electric cars can be charged faster and have a longer range between charges due to nickel’s ability to pack more energy into cheaper and smaller batteries.

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