Nickel mine developer has major commitment from Tesla

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The company that plans to develop a nickel mine in Aitkin County has made a major supply deal with Tesla, the electric vehicle maker.

Tesla has committed to purchasing 75,000 metric tons of nickel concentrate over six years from Talon Metals’ planned mine in Tamarack, which is about 50 miles west of Duluth.

Rep. Dale Lueck (R-Aitkin) said the development is great news for the region.

“It’s a clear indication the project is viable, and will ultimately produce the nickel needed to manufacture batteries for 10s of thousands of electric vehicles. The Tamarack Project, as it moves forward, is going to be an integral part of a very positive economy here in this part of Minnesota," Lueck said in a news release.

Talon hopes to open the mine by January 2026, but has not yet started the permitting process.

Nickel is a key ingredient of electric vehicle batteries. Tesla would claim more than half of the mine’s production of nickel concentrate, which would be further refined before it could be used to make batteries.