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China's Tsingshan signs pacts for 100,000 T nickel matte in EV push

Kitco News

(Corrects paragraph 8 to show 850,000T expected in 2022, not 2021)

* Tsingshan reaches supply agreements with Huayou, CNGR

* Tsingshan eyes 600,000 T nickel equivalent output in 2021

* Says to adjust output of nickel matte, NPI to market conditions

BEIJING/HANOI, March 3 (Reuters) - China's Tsingshan Holding Group has signed agreements to provide nickel matte, which is used to make batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), to Huayou Cobalt and battery materials maker CNGR Advanced Material .

In a statement on its WeChat account on Wednesday, the Chinese nickel and stainless steel giant said it had agreed to provide 60,000 tonnes of nickel matte to Huayou and another 40,000 tonnes to CNGR within a year, starting from October 2021. Huayou and CNGR Advanced did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for a comment.

Chinese firms have been stepping up focus on EVs in the world's biggest market for such vehicles, as Beijing heavily promotes greener vehicles as a way to reduce chronic air pollution. Last July, Tsingshan started trial production of nickel matte with more than 75% content of the metal to meet the increasing demand for EV batteries.

The company, which already holds investments in Indonesia for battery-grade nickel chemicals production, has been trying to expand its footprint in the new energy sector.

It inked a 5.5 billion yuan ($850.73 million) deal with Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co Ltd in January to invest in a new energy vehicle project. Tsingshan said it also planned to expand investments in Indonesia, and expected its nickel equivalent output to reach 600,000 tonnes this year, 850,000 tonnes in 2022 and jump to 1.1 million by 2023.

It will adjust output of nickel matte and nickel pig iron (NPI), a stainless steel input, based on market demand and prices.

Tsingshan has not revealed its 2020 output as yet. In 2019, it turned out 10.65 million tonnes of stainless steel and 330,000 tonnes of nickel equivalent. ($1=6.4650 yuan) (Reporting by Min Zhang in Beijing and Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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