Last week the worlds leading Battery Makers and New Energy Vehicle Manufacturers met in Las Vegas for the 10th annual Industrial Minerals Lithium Supply & Markets Conference.
There purpose was to discuss all things Lithium. These are the key takeaways:
Everybody wants lower and more stable lithium supplies with 5y+ commitments.
Lithium producers agree that shortage of lithium battery-grade compounds is here to stay.
Despite additional lithium production from hard rock and brine facilities, supply has been overestimated and demand underestimated over the past 10 years.
Most of the new production is struggling to meet the battery-grade specifications for cathode and battery makers,
Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) to remain important despite battery manufacturers’ preference for lithium hydroxide (LiOH).
Chinese firms finding mixed success with converting Australian Direct shipping ore (DSO) (min 1-1.5% Li2O) into battery-grade lithium. The challenge is conversion efficiency and the large amounts of waste generated.
Lithium a specialty chemical not a commodity. These specialty chemical compounds, must undergo a long and complex chemical process before being suitable for use by battery makers.
Both Lithium producers and investors agree that a new price mechanism is required to hedge their risk and to lock in investment for their projects.
The future for Lithium continues to look rosy.
'Lithium producers agree that shortage of lithium battery-grade compounds is here to stay' – get @metalbulletin's key takeaways from our #IMlithium conference https://t.co/oGIYofVmCN pic.twitter.com/7sPwQk4D3p
— Industrial Minerals Events (@IndMinEvents1) July 3, 2018