Acquisition to drive India’s self-sufficiency in Nickel and Cobalt – metals critical for transition to a Green economy

Vedanta, one of the world’s largest natural resources conglomerates, has acquired Nicomet, a leading Nickel and Cobalt producer based in Goa. With this acquisition, Vedanta has become India’s sole producer of Nickel. The move is a significant step in Vedanta’s mission towards making India self-reliant in key critical minerals.

The acquisition of Nicomet is in line with Vedanta’s ESG mission and is a big step towards supporting India’s carbon neutrality goals.

Nickel, a strategic mineral, is a vital input in the manufacturing of stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Similarly, Cobalt is a key element for lithium-ion battery for EVs, Energy Storage Systems and has other uses like superalloy for steelmaking. Both Nickel and Cobalt are regarded as the minerals of the future which will play a leading role in transition to renewable and cleaner energy.

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, the main component for EV vehicles and support production of highquality steel products, a key building block for Infrastructure growth.

Certified with ISO 9001 for quality and with strong R&D focus, Nicomet has emerged as a certified producer of high-quality battery grade Nickel Sulphate Crystals used for manufacturing of batteries of electric vehicles globally. India’s demand for nickel is currently pegged at 45 KTPA which is entirely met through imports. At present, Nicomet’s plant has a capacity to produce 7.5 KTPA Nickel & Cobalt. With an ambitious growth plan in place, Vedanta is well poised to meet 50% of the country’s total Nickel demand.

Nicomet marks a major strategic acquisition for Vedanta and is expected to strengthen its portfolio of Iron and Steel business.

Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal said: “We are excited about Vedanta’s foray into nickel and cobalt production which will play a criticalrole in supporting Govt’s mission for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Nickel and Cobalt are a metal of great strategic importance, especially for our transition towards clean energy and electric mobility. Currently, India imports 100% of its Nickel requirements; our focus will be to boost domestic production that would fuel India’s transition to a Net Zero economy.”

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 that is expected to continue into 2022.