Rumors of a new Tesla factory in Canada seem to be gaining strength on news that the company is hiring local lithium experts.
Tesla has recently hired mineral expert Aleem Ladak, who is a mining engineer in Toronto and advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines. Ladak has updated his LinkedIn profile to show his new position.
The rumors are saying that this new Gigafactory would be opening in Quebec, and there does appear to be some evidence supporting this. Tesla has confirmed engagement with François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development. The company has also been hiring multiple recruiters in the Quebec area, which would hint at plans for a large-scale hiring push.
Canada is a top site for mining the minerals that are relevant to EV battery production — including nickel. The country was named sixth in global nickel mine production in 2021 with an extraction rate of 130,000 metric tons, though it’s far behind the No. 1 producer, Indonesia, which extracted 1 million metric tons last year.
If Tesla does open this Canadian Gigafactory, that might boost North America’s contribution to the larger global nickel market.
“North America currently only contributes around 4% of global primary nickel,” Trent Mell, critical mineral expert and CEO of Electra Battery Materials, shared with Teslarati earlier this year. “There is no immediate North American solution to growing nickel demand, but we anticipate that the construction of processing capacity on the continent will act as a catalyst to bring more primary nickel, in the form of mining operations, online in coming years so that North America can become increasingly self-reliant on domestically sourced raw materials. There are ample, good-quality nickel projects in North America.”
SOURCE | IMAGES: ELECTRIC AUTONOMY.