Elon Musk called out to the nickel miners of the world this week to request a more sustainable way to mine the mineral. A tiny Toronto-based miner seems to have accepted the challenge and could win a major contract from the billionaire’s company if their sustainable nickel production facility comes through.
Canada Nickel Co. (TSXV:CNC) saw its stock price triple in just four days since Musk made the plea. Now, the company could be on the verge of a major breakthrough that could unlock immense value for early investors. Here’s a closer look.
The fact that the tech billionaire turned his attention to nickel mining shouldn’t come as a surprise. Musk has built a fortune by focusing on sustainable energy solutions and electric transport. Commodities like nickel play a pivotal role in both areas.
According to Musk, nickel-based battery cells have higher energy density than the traditional lithium-ion cells currently used in his electric vehicles. Higher density means longer range without the added weight that would compromise speed and traction for Tesla cars.
Nickel-based cells could be particularly useful in larger vehicles, such as the upcoming Cybertruck and Semi. In other words, the commodity could play a key role in Tesla’s future — which is why Musk promised a lucrative deal for any miner who could come up with a greener, more sustainable way to extract the element.
“Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time, if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally-sensitive way,” Musk said during a recent earnings call with Wall Street analysts.
That’s where Canada Nickel comes in.
Toronto-based Canada Nickel Company told Bloomberg this week that it is poised to build a facility that could process nickel in a zero-carbon way. CEO Mark Selby said the facility could be based in the Timmins-Cochrane region of Northern Ontario.
“The electric vehicle chain and broader market in general is crying out for a zero-carbon product,” Selby told Bloomberg. The report ignited investor interest at a stunning pace and the company is now worth thrice as much as it was last week.
Canada Nickel is currently valued at $196 million. However, if it gains funding from Musk or wins a contract with any electric vehicle maker, the stock could shoot much higher.
The global battery industry was worth $108 billion last year. It’s expected to grow 14% every year until 2027. Demand should accelerate as more people swap traditional gasoline-powered vehicles for electric cars. Meanwhile, demand is further magnified by the need for storage at wind and solar farms. The market could be worth $250 billion by 2027.
If nickel mining becomes more sustainable, miners like Canada Nickel could be poised for a massive windfall.
Nickel could be a pivotal element in the future of electric transport. Elon Musk seems to believe that an environmentally-friendly nickel mining process could unlock its true potential. He’s offered a contract to any company that can deliver on this potential. Canada Nickel Co. could on the verge of doing just that.