Tesla CEO Elon Musk has virtually met Mongolian Prime Minister L. Oyun-Erdene about the automaker making a potential investment in the copper-rich country.
Mongolia is a resource-rich country, including some rare earth metals as well as copper, which can be useful in the electric vehicle industry.
Rio Tinto is building one of the largest copper mines in the world that will eventually produce more than 500,000 metric tons of copper annually.
Tesla has been increasingly working directly with miners and jurisdictions to secure battery metals for its battery suppliers and, now, its own battery cell production.
We have now learned that Mongolian Prime Minister L. Oyun-Erdene met with Elon Musk in a virtual meeting today to discuss a “range of issues and potential cooperation,” according to a statement from the government.
They reportedly discussed a potential joint research venture:
The Prime Minister and Musk also discussed a joint research venture on the use of rare earth elements and battery minerals, which are the main raw materials of Tesla’s products. These materials could also support the electric engine for large-scale mining materials and comes on the back of the commencement ceremony of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in March 2023. The two sides also discussed the establishment of a scholarship training programme for talented Mongolian engineers at Tesla.
Musk and the prime minister discussed the former visiting Mongolia soon to further discuss potential cooperation.
Mongolia would be an interesting resource hub for Tesla considering its proximity to China, which has become a manufacturing hub for Tesla.
As for a potential vehicle factory, that feels like a stretch, but I could see Tesla establishing maybe a metal processing factory there.