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.
5 TSX Stocks Under $5Click here to learn more!
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.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.