New Delhi: Mining major Vedanta on Monday acquired Nicomet, a nickel and cobalt producer based out of Goa.
The move is in line with Vedanta’s mission towards making India self-reliant in key critical minerals.
Vedanta said that with this acquisition, it would become India’s sole producer of nickel.
The mining major said in a statement that the move would support India’s carbon neutrality goals.
Nickel, a strategic mineral, is a vital input in the manufacturing of stainless-steel and batteries for electric vehicles, while cobalt is used in making lithium-ion batteries for EVs, energy storage systems and has other uses like superalloy for steelmaking.
“Currently, India imports 100 per cent of its nickel requirements; our focus will be to boost domestic production that would fuel India’s transition to a ‘Net Zero’ economy,” said Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal.
Notably, the acquisition comes at a time when the nickel market is tightening with a surge in battery demand and an increase in global stainless-steel production in recent years, a trend which is expected to continue into 2022.
“In recent years, the value of India’s nickel and cobalt imports has been growing steadily. With Vedanta’s foray into production of these critical minerals, India will be in a better position to manufacture EV batteries,” Vedanta said in the statement.
At present, Nicomet’s plant has a capacity to produce 7.5 KTPA (Kilo-Tonnes Per Annum) nickel and cobalt.
With an ambitious growth plan in place, Vedanta is well poised to meet 50 per cent of the country’s total nickel demand, it said.