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Tesla Is in Talks With Top Miner BHP Over Nickel-Supply Pact

  • Metals giant is boosting output on electric-car battery demand
  • Elon Musk says automaker wants to use more of the metal
BHP Group Ltd.’s Kwinana Nickel Refinery in Western Australia.
BHP Group Ltd.’s Kwinana Nickel Refinery in Western Australia.
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Tesla Inc. is in talks with BHP Group on a nickel deal as the electric-car maker targets higher production and seeks to avoid a supply crunch, according to people familiar with the matter.

Talks are held up on pricing, and no final agreement has been reached so far between the automaker and BHP, the world’s largest miner, said one of the people, requesting anonymity because the talks are private. The discussions come as Tesla works to raise the amount of the metal used in vehicle batteries to improve performance, and as it makes a push into in-house cell production.