EV battery nickel product to be produced in the US for the first time

The metals refining company behind the new development claims to also be eco-friendly.
Loukia Papadopoulos
A piece of nickel ore.jpg
A piece of nickel ore.


Mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), a nickel product vital to EV battery development, is going to be produced in the U.S. for the first time by Massachusetts metals refining company Nth Cycle, according to a report by electrek published on Thursday.

Megan O’Connor, cofounder and CEO of Nth Cycle, said about the development: “We can economically and efficiently solve a key supply chain challenge for EV OEMs and battery manufacturers by offering MHP produced from our unique electro-extraction platform.”

“And as we continue to decarbonize the grid and electrify transportation, it’s more important than ever that our refining processes are environmentally sound and labor practices are safe. Our MHP product ensures both,” she added.

The Inflation Reduction Act

Currently, the U.S. has the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which offers a $7,500 tax credit to electric vehicles. However, to qualify, a proportion of the electric car’s battery minerals must be extracted or processed in either the U.S. or its free-trade partner countries.

Up to now, most MHP has been produced in Indonesia, which isn’t a U.S. free trade partner, making the source of the product IRA ineligible. 

In addition, the MHP produced in Indonesia is not of the best quality. It features low concentrations of nickel and cobalt (30-40 percent nickel and only 1-10 percent cobalt).

Nth Cycle, on the other hand, claims it will produce an MHP product consisting of over 90 percent of nickel-cobalt hydroxide. The firm is also eco-friendly.

Reducing carbon emissions

It claims that its refining process will reduce emissions by more than 90 percent when compared to other more conventional mining processes. It will also aim to fulfil the domestic sourcing and recycled content compliance requirements of the IRA.

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The firm has ambitious plans to begin production later this year.

In January of 2022, electric car company Tesla, which in the past has been criticized by some for being less eco-friendly than it purports to be, signed its first U.S. nickel supply deal, selecting Talon Metals Corp's Tamarack mining project in Minnesota for this task.

“This agreement is the start of an innovative partnership between Tesla and Talon for the responsible production of battery materials directly from the mine to the battery cathode," said at the time Henri van Rooyen, CEO of Talon.

"Talon is committed to meeting the highest standards of responsible production that is fully traceable and that has the lowest embedded CO2 footprint in the industry. Talon is excited to support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the transition to renewable energy."

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