Nornickel to supply nickel, cobalt to Johnson Matthey for battery materials

FILE PHOTO: A view shows nickel sheets at Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company (Kola MMC), a subsidiary of Nornickel metals and mining company, in the town of Monchegorsk in Murmansk Region, Russia February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian metals producer Nornickel said on Monday it had signed a long-term agreement to supply nickel and cobalt to chemicals company Johnson Matthey to produce materials used to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Nornickel, one of the world's largest producers of nickel, said last week it would boost output of nickel products at its Harjavalta refinery in Finland, betting on an expanding market for battery materials for EVs in Europe.

Harjavalta's products "will be playing an important role in satisfying Johnson Matthey’s requirements for its precursor and cathode active materials production in Finland as well as for its existing factory in Poland," Nornickel said in a statement.

Johnson Matthey said it would partner with Finland's state mining investment firm Finnish Minerals Group to locate a second commercial plant for cathode materials with capacity of 30,000 tonnes in Finland.

Nornickel and Johnson Matthey also agreed to explore options to expand the supply of nickel and cobalt in future and to collaborate in other parts of the battery materials value chain, including new metal dissolution technology and tokenisation of the supply chain using blockchain technology, the Russian firm said.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt and Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair)

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