Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automaker, has announced a strategic investment of $155 million in a copper mine project in Argentina as part of its global push to secure raw materials for electric vehicle batteries. The company aims to become carbon net zero by 2038 and will launch 30 new electric models by 2025.
The company, formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, said on Monday that it had acquired a 14.2% stake in McEwen Copper, a subsidiary of Canada’s McEwen Mining, which owns the Los Azules project in Argentina, and the Elder Creek project in Nevada, USA.
Los Azules is one of the largest undeveloped copper projects in the world, with an estimated reserve of 29.6 billion pounds of copper. The project plans to produce 100,000 tons of cathode copper with a purity of 99.9% per year starting in 2027 and with a reserve capable of guaranteeing operation for at least 33 years.
Cathode copper is a key component for producing electric vehicle batteries, as it is used to make electrodes and wiring. Copper demand is expected to triple in the coming years due to the growth of electrification and renewable energy.
“Stellantis intends to lead the industry by committing to zero carbon emissions by 2038, a goal that requires innovation and a complete redefinition of the entire business,” said Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis. “We are taking important steps in Argentina and Brazil to decarbonize mobility and secure strategic supplies of the raw materials necessary for the success of the Company’s global electrification programs.”
With this investment, Stellantis will become the second largest shareholder in McEwen Copper, alongside Rio Tinto, through its copper leaching technology venture Nuton. Rio Tinto also invested $155 million for a 14.2% stake in McEwen Copper last year.
McEwen Copper Chief Executive Officer Rob McEwen said: “Stellantis and McEwen are ideal partners for a large project like Los Azules. Together we share the vision of building this mine using best practices that minimize environmental impacts while maximizing social benefits.”
Stellantis has also announced other initiatives to support its electrification strategy, such as partnering with battery makers CATL, BYD, Samsung SDI, LG Chem, SVOLT, ACC (a joint venture between Total Energies and Saft ); developing solid-state battery technology with QuantumScape; creating battery recycling plants with Engie EPS; investing $1 billion in Brazil for EV production; launching e-mobility services platforms such as Free2Move; joining forces with Daimler Truck AG for hydrogen fuel cell systems; collaborating with Google on cloud-based digital services.
Stellantis’ vision is to drive progress towards zero emissions by offering customers tailor-made solutions that meet their specific needs while also reducing their environmental impact. By investing $155 million in one of Argentina's most promising copper projects, Stellantis has taken another step towards making this vision a reality.