At a time when mineral commodities have been slumping, one material is proving to be the exception to the rule, leading many to hail lithium as “a rare bright spot for miners, amid cratering prices of raw materials tied to heavy industry such as iron ore to coal.”
Via our friend Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Minerals and lead expert on the supply chain for batteries, we came across a solid analysis of minerals in clean car technology. Bloomberg’s Liam Denning discusses the role of lithium as one of the key minerals at the heart of 21st Century battery technology fueling electric vehicles as well as portable devices and power storage.
Contrasting lithium’s story with that of two other once promising metals, palladium and uranium, Denning outlines lithium’s rise to stardom, appeal and potential staying power. His verdict – lithium is a mineral worth watching:
“Rising demand that is largely indifferent to price, combined with lagging supply, is what commodity bulls dream of. This underpinned the boom in palladium, as well as the recent bull markets in oil and copper. It looks like lithium’s turn is coming.”
With Tesla’s new Gigafactory slated to open soon, and other battery makers expanding their plants, chances are, he is right.
Says Simon Moores:
“[New supply from all lithium sources] will have a critical role to play in sourcing lithium for the battery supply chain. As things stands, there will not be enough lithium to supply the battery megafactories coming onstream.”
With the net import reliance on foreign supplies of lithium hovering at more than 60% according to USGS estimates, this challenge will most certainly affect U.S. battery makers and downstream domestic industries.
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