Mumbai-headquartered natural resources company Vedanta has announced the acquisition of Nicomet, a Goa-based nickel and cobalt producer, in a move to capitalize on the anticipated electric vehicle and energy storage boom.
With the acquisition, Vedanta has become the sole producer of nickel in India.
“As the sole producer of Nickel in India, we will invest in improved production of this green metal to assist India’s transition to a Green Economy,” stated the company.
Cobalt and nickel are used in the batteries to power electric vehicles (EVs) and in energy storage.
Cobalt is found associated mostly with copper and nickel ores and extracted as a by-product. Globally, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the leading cobalt producer. China, Canada, and Australia also have significant reserves.
In India, occurrences of cobalt ores are reported from Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan, Nagaland, and Madhya Pradesh. However, the nation meets its demand for cobalt usually through imports. Among players, Nicomet Industries is a leading producer of cobalt metal and different cobalt salts in India. It manufactures cobalt cathodes under NICO Brand in Maharashtra.
Nickel is found as oxides, sulphides, and silicates in India. Odisha accounts for the largest share of nickel ore resources in the country (93%), followed by Jharkhand and Nagaland. For nickel too, India is largely dependent on imports, given limited facilities to recover this metal from primary sources.
Nicomet Industries produces nickel metal and its derivatives and had about 5,400 MTPA annual production capacity at its Goa plant as of 2019.
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