“Wall Street Journal put it best: when automakers, like General Motors, began outlining EV plans, most did not account for one critical factor. Many of the battery minerals needed to fulfill their plans were still in the ground.
Rich deposits of nickel are really rare. The last discovery of global significance was over 30 years ago in Voisey’s Bay, Labrador, Canada. And it’s not that geologists haven’t been looking. It’s just that today, we find ourselves in a bit of a predicament. We needed nickel then, but today we need it more.
The chances of finding another globally significant, massive-sulfide nickel deposit like Voisey’s Bay are not very high. And while Voisey’s Bay is an incredible deposit, the world will need much more than a single deposit can supply.
In 2021, when EV demand grew by 100%, base metals like nickel grew faster. And that’s what reassured me I made the right decision to acquire a substantial nickel project and form Alaska Energy Metals,” says Gregory Beischer, CEO of Alaska Energy Metals.
The words above are from an interview we conducted with Gregory Beischer. We interviewed Gregory to learn more about Alaska Energy Metals, a fast-growing, early-stage nickel project that has the potential to supply a massive amount of nickel, that’s needed, to secure America’s energy future.
Read more below.
Table of Contents
Let’s get into it. Why, all of a sudden, is there so much talk about nickel? What’s the deal?
Gregory Beischer: Nickel is one of the most significant minerals in the battery supply chain. Do you want an EV? Well, you can’t have one if you don’t have a battery to power it. It is also used in several defense applications. In 2020, the federal government added nickel to the U.S. critical minerals list, and under Title III of the Defense Production Act of 1950, it’s now included as “essential to the national defense.”
There is so much talk about nickel today because the US has a very limited domestic supply available. It’s a scary time for this to be our reality because the US imports 100% of its nickel, and that means access to nickel could be cut off at any time. In order to meet net-zero climate goals, we need to swap out internal combustion engine automobiles with electric vehicles, pronto. We are literally racing against the clock.
In theory, the US has enough nickel. It’s just that most of it is in the ground. That’s why Alaska Energy Metals is working quickly to get things going.
Tell us about Alaska Energy Metals and Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates-backed Kobold Metals joining in on the Alaska Rush.
Gregory Beischer: A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to reacquire all of the mineral rights to the Nikolai project, a project in Alaska I had explored in 1995 with INCO, the 20th century’s leading nickel producer. I was amazed that the ground had come open. There was just no interest in nickel, and the opportunity was there for the taking.
So, for a few tens of thousands of dollars, we were able to acquire all of the mineral rights. Today, I feel our timing was spot on.
And late last year, it just so happened, that Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos’ Kobold Metals kickstarted a project right next door to ours, and we even sold a bit of our historical data to them to help with their project. Kobold is private so you can’t invest, whereas Alaska Energy Metals is a public company (TSX-V: AEMC), and so you can.
Is nickel hard to find, and what’s going on in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of nickel?
Gregory Beischer: As a geologist, I can tell you that nickel is extremely hard to find. As mentioned above, the last significant discovery took place 30 years ago. Without getting too technical, nickel is only found in a few types of rocks. Outside of that, it is found in soil. But obtaining nickel from the soil is an environmentally harmful practice that contradicts the essence of our global sustainability efforts, though there are places in the world, outside of North America, that extract nickel this way. Take Indonesia, for example. Indonesia is the largest nickel producer in the world, but it uses coal to process it.
In 2022, Indonesia burned 33% more coal compared to the year before, which contributed to a 20% increase in the country’s carbon emissions from fossil fuels. It is well on track to become one of the largest carbon emitters from fossil fuels in the world. This is a practice we need to curb. But by relying on Indonesia and demanding more nickel, we are contradicting and unraveling all the work that’s gone into protecting our environment.
Any Final Comments?
Gregory Beischer: As our population grows, nickel will become increasingly more important. And so, I view our Nikolai deposit as one that will quickly rise to be viewed as the largest nickel deposit in the United States. There is not a lot of competition out there. This should be a very significant amount of metal that is a secure domestic source for the United States.
To learn more about Alaska Energy Metals, visit www.alaskaenergymetals.com
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Gregory Beischer for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Gregory Beischer or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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