Despite discussions around the different form of batteries — surely lithium-ion will take up a significant share of the market — but Vale believes nickel will take a preeminent position in the battery space and will be in demand, said Mark Travers, Vale’s executive officer base metals during the company’s Q4 earnings call.
Mark said there is great evidence that the electric vehicle (EV) space will grow dramatically over the years and batteries for EV will be a prominent opportunity for Vale’s nickel business. Vale expects robust discussions around the supply chain in the US and European markets and the company is actively participating in a number of such discussions.
Vale’s Class 1 nickel from its North Atlantic flow sheet, Canada and the UK is witnessing stable to strong demand. In the short-term, the company will focus on catering to the market demand from its current flow sheet.
For the medium to long-term, Vale will focus on opportunities within its flow sheet as well as partnerships and joint ventures. Besides, the miner is heavily engaged in exploration activities and focusing on innovation to fully exploit the opportunity in the nickel business.
In Q4 2020, Vale’s net operating revenues surged 48pc to $14.8bn from a year ago and base metals contributed 16pc to the total revenues. The company’s net profit rose to $739mn from a loss of $1.56bn in Q4 2019. For the full year, Vale posted a net profit of $4.8bn.