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Natural resources conglomerate Vedanta has acquired Nicomet, a leading nickel and cobalt producer in Goa, for an undisclosed amount.

With the acquisition, Vedanta becomes India’s sole producer of nickel. The move is a step in the company’s mission towards making India self-reliant in critical minerals, the company said. The acquisition is in line with Vedanta’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) mission and is a step towards supporting India’s carbon neutrality goals, it added in a statement.

Nickel, a strategic mineral, is a vital input for manufacturing stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Similarly, cobalt is a key element for lithium-ion batteries for EVs and energy storage systems, besides other use cases such as a superalloy for steelmaking. Both nickel and cobalt are considered as the minerals of the future, which will play a leading role in the transition towards renewable and cleaner energy.

In recent years, the value of India’s nickel and cobalt imports has been steadily growing. With Vedanta’s foray into production of the critical minerals, India will be in a better place to manufacture EV batteries, the main component for EV vehicles, and support the production of high-quality steel products, a key building block for infrastructure growth.

Nicomet has emerged as a certified producer of high-quality battery-grade nickel sulphate crystals used for manufacturing EV batteries globally. India’s demand for nickel is pegged at 45 KTPA, which is entirely met through imports. Nicomet has a capacity to produce 7.5 KTPA nickel and cobalt. With an ambitious growth plan in place, Vedanta is poised to meet 50% of India’s nickel demand. For Vedanta, Nicomet is a major strategic acquisition and is expected to strengthen its portfolio of iron and steel businesses, the company said. “We are excited about Vedanta’s foray into nickel and cobalt production, which will play a critical role in supporting the government’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," said Vedanta’s chairman Anil Agarwal.

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