Chinalco is the world's No. 1 supplier of alumina and No. 1 supplier of electrolytic aluminum, with operations in more than 20 countries and regions.

today signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco), a state-owned aluminum manufacturing giant, to deepen cooperation in the areas of automotive aluminum and copper materials, component development, supply, procurement and carbon footprint reduction.

The agreement was signed at Chinalco's headquarters in Beijing in the presence of the company's executives and William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO, according to a press release issued by the aluminum maker today.

Chinalco, founded in 2001, is the world's No. 1 alumina supplier and No. 1 electrolytic aluminum supplier with operations in more than 20 countries and regions, according to information on its official website.

Chinalco is the controlling shareholder of US-listed Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, or Chalco (NYSE: ACH).

NIO and Chinalco have carried out a number of collaborations in recent years, which have yielded positive results, Li said.

"We expect both sides to take this strategic cooperation signing as an opportunity ...... to carry out cooperation across the whole industry chain and life cycle," Li said.

Yao Lin, chairman of Chinalco, said he hoped the two sides would give full play to their respective advantages, establish a regular exchange mechanism and increase joint R&D efforts.

The two sides will work together to explore the potential of Chinalco's existing materials for automotive applications and accelerate their cooperation in research and development and supply chain stability, he said.

The press release does not provide details of the cooperation between the two, but it appears to be a move by NIO to secure the supply of raw materials.

NIO has previously touted all-aluminum bodies as one of the key features of its vehicles, but it's worth noting that aluminum prices have risen sharply at a time when commodity prices continue to rise during the past year.

Since the beginning of November last year, the price of aluminum has risen 46 percent, according to data from Investing.

Notably, this is not the first time NIO has reached an agreement with a raw material giant.

On January 10, NIO entered into a strategic partnership with Chinese steel producer Baoshan Iron & Steel to collaborate in areas including products and supply chain.