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Battery minerals processing facility to be built in Mercer County

Officials in Mercer County say a new “Battery Minerals Processing Facility” will help the economy – not only of the county, but the country as a whole.

Talon Metals Company was awarded a $114 million grant from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the new facility, to be built in Mercer County. It will process ore from the Tamrack mine in Minnesota, and will produce nickel concentrate, which Tesla will use in electric vehicle batteries.

Beulah economic development director Granville "Beaver" Brinkman said the new plant would create around 155 new jobs.

"It means a lot to Mercer County, potentially," Brinkman said. And he said this will be meaningful for the state of North Dakota, and the country as a whole.

"If we have the ability to quit purchasing nickel, which is used for everything from our cellphones to military devices, computers, etc, we will no longer be dependent on foreign countries for that nickel," Brinkman said.

The ore will be brought by rail to Mercer County from the Tamrack mine. Brinkman said the company has started the permit process in both Minnesota and North Dakota, and he anticipates construction to begin next year, with the first nickel to be shipped to Tesla by 2027.

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