Sources say Tesla is in talks with BHP Billiton about supplying nickel.

Tesla is reportedly in talks with BHP Group, the world’s largest miner, over a nickel deal as the electric car maker aims to boost production and avoid tight supplies. People familiar with the matter said price talks had been ongoing and no final agreement had been reached.

Sources say Tesla is in talks with BHP Billiton about supplying nickel.

In July, Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, urged mining companies to produce more nickel, a key component of batteries that power the company’s electric cars. Musk also said the company would offer long-term “huge” procurement contracts that were environmentally friendly.

Musk is concerned about nickel supply because of challenges in sustainable sourcing. Since nickel is a small part of BHP’s business, a deal with Tesla could surprise some BHP investors. This would mark substantial progress in the company’s efforts to expand space and restructure its nickel division to serve battery manufacturers.