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Developing Markets Heap Greater Importance on Nickel Production

NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nickel is a crucial element used for several applications such as manufacturing nickel steels, electroplating and superalloys. Overall, the increasing rate of industrialization coupled with infrastructure development has grown the demand for steel across the globe. In addition, there has been a surge in demand for nickel sulphate in recent years as global consumption increased by 28% in 2019, primarily driven by the electric vehicle (EV) market. And, as the EV revolution gathers speed, demand for battery materials will accelerate. According to the research by IDTechEx, nickel is the most expensive material in electric vehicle batteries after cobalt and is also one of the most highly used outside of the battery industry. Here To Serve Holding Corp. (OTC: HTSC), Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE: PLM), Giga Metals Corp (OTC: HNCKF), Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd, Melbourne (OTC: CTEQF)

Most automakers utilize nickel-based batteries for their balance of energy and power density; for example BMW, Hyundai and Renault use variants of the Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) chemistry, while Tesla uses a Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide (NCA) chemistry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on a post-earnings call back in July that "Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way." According to a report by the Verge, Musk also explained that "In order to scale, we really need to make sure that we're not constrained by total nickel availability. I actually spoke with the CEOs of the biggest mining company in the world and said, 'Please make more nickel, it's very important."

Here To Serve Holding Corp. (OTC: HTSC) announced breaking news that's, "its wholly owned subsidiary, Fortune Nickel and Gold Inc. ("Fortune") retained Prairie Fire Enterprises to investigate, photograph and plan Fortune's exploration mining in Timmins, Ontario.

Prairie Fire performed an environmental investigation of the Fortune nickel claims by helicopter to map out the area's operating mines, mill plants, access and infrastructures.  The geological team also made quick drops to take GPS readings on outcrops and sampling points, and locate the historical high-grade RCD hole with 3.5% Ni and 1.2% Cu.  This drill hole is unique and one of the highest-grade nickel-bearing holes between Timmins and the Quebec border.

In addition, Prairie Fire has reported to Fortune that the Canada Nickel deposit in Crawford township is similar in geology to Fortune's claims in Gowan, except the geological  unit in Gowan is much larger plus it has several types of intrusive porphyries that also host large copper and gold systems.

Fortune's CEO, Paul Riss, said, 'We are very excited about the on-going exploration progress and the attention nickel is receiving in the electric vehicle battery supply chain.  We have read that nickel is arguably the single most important metal component in electric vehicle batteries.  Elon Musk has been quoted as saying that the battery cells should be referred to as nickel-graphite, because the primary constituent in the cell is nickel.'"

Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced earlier this month that it has produced just over 145,000 vehicles and delivered nearly 140,000 vehicles. "Our net income and cash flow results will be announced along with the rest of our financial performance when we announce Q3 earnings. Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more. Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company's financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles," Tesla indicated.

PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE: PLM) is a mine development company that owns 100% of the NorthMet Project, the first large-scale project to be permitted within the Duluth Complex in northeastern Minnesota, one of the world's major, undeveloped mining regions. NorthMet has significant proven and probable reserves of copper, nickel and palladium – metals vital to global carbon reduction efforts – in addition to marketable reserves of cobalt, platinum and gold. Earlier in September the Company announced that a Ramsey County District Court judge found that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) did not engage in any procedural irregularities in connection with the processing of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project, according to Poly Met Mining, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PolyMet Mining Corp. 

Giga Metals Corp (OTCQB: HNCKF) provided earlier in September an update regarding certain nickel market developments. "We were not surprised to learn today about Vale's decision to place their High Pressure, High Temperature Acid Leach (HPAL) operation in New Caledonia, commonly known as Goro, on care and maintenance" said Mr. Vydra.  "HPAL is exceedingly complex and can be prone to failure. Even the best designed and constructed facilities must rely on experienced and well-trained personnel or they are likely to suffer setback after setback." Earlier this year the Ambatovy HPAL operation in Madagascar was also placed on care and maintenance. These two operations represent nameplate capacity of close to 120,000 tons per year of nickel and 10,000 tons per year of cobalt.

Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd, Melbourne (OTCQX: CTEQF) announced earlier this month the achievement of a key milestone in the Sunrise Battery Materials Project - completion of the Sunrise Project Execution Plan ('PEP'). The PEP outcomes confirm Sunrise's status as one of the world's lowest cost, development-ready sources of critical battery raw materials. In production it will be a major supplier of nickel and cobalt to the lithium-ion battery market, and scandium to the aerospace, consumer electronics and automotive sectors. "We have a clear vision for how to create a sustainable auto supply chain of the future. Our team is proud to present that vision today. Sunrise is a long-life, lowcost, development-ready asset which is a template for consistent, sustainable and auditable nickel and cobalt supply. We cannot anticipate how long it will take to have the project funded and in development, but we can be patient with such a strategically important asset, and we are fully committed to ensuring it is developed with partners who understand the value that responsible supply chain integration brings."

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