(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday entered into a $20.6 million agreement with a subsidiary of Canada's Talon Metals Corp to increase domestic production of Nickel.
The deal would advance nickel exploration at company's proposed mine in Minnesota, called Tamarack project.
Nickel is a key metal vital for the aerospace industry and electric vehicle batteries. The United States has only one operating nickel-cobalt mine with a current, publicly announced life of mine extending through 2026.
The Tamarack project is aimed at boosting domestic supply of nickel for its energy storage use in the U.S. battery supply chain, which currently depends on China and Russia for the minerals.
"This award exemplifies the DoD's commitment to strengthening the resilience of critical supply chains and lessening our reliance on foreign sources of vital materials," Director for MCEIP Anthony Di Stasio said in a statement.
Today's agreement was signed between Talon Nickel (USA) and DoD's Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization office.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)