A key global player, the United States is not used to being a bystander. Yet this is exactly what is currently happening, says Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Managing Director Simon Moores, addressing the full U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources this morning.
Delivering his testimony on the outlook for energy and minerals market in the 116th Congress with a special emphasis on battery technology, Moores, who is also a member of the ARPN panel of issue experts, told senators that as battery megafactories are being built to make lithium ion battery cells “[a]t the beginning of 2019, the US has a minor to non-existent role in most of the key lithium- ion battery raw materials and only has a presence in lithium ion battery manufacturing via Tesla. Tesla and its Gigafactory 1 is emerging to be the most strategic US asset in the EV supply chain.
Providing insightful details and supporting data for the four key battery raw materials lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, Moores drives home an important message:
“Those who control these critical raw materials and those who possess the manufacturing and processing know how, will hold the balance of industrial power in the 21st century auto and energy storage industries.”
The writing is on the wall. As Moores previously stated:
“Without low cost, abundant lithium ion batteries & secure supply chains, the US will fall behind in the EV & energy storage revolution.”
This clearly is a scenario U.S. policy makers and other stakeholders will want to avoid, which is why moving forward on mineral resource policy reform is critical.
We know it is much to ask of Washington, where too often, partisan politics override prudent policies. However, as another fellow ARPN expert panel member Jeff Green recently said (while addressing resource policy in the context of the defense industrial base):
“In the new Congress, Democrats and Republicans should seek out opportunities to work together in advancing mutually sought-after goals in this critical policy area.”