Lithium producers warn that global supplies may fall short of electric vehicle demand: Report

There's a disconnect between the panic that we're seeing here, and the frenetic activity of trying to secure supply within the industry, is what companies are saying.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 23 Jun 2023 Views icon4388 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Lithium producers warn that global supplies may fall short of electric vehicle demand: Report

Lithium producers are concerned about issues such as delays in mine permitting, lack of staff, and inflation might hamper their ability to supply enough lithium to meet the electrification demands the world is aspiring to achieve, Reuters reported.

Speaking on the side lines of Fastmarkets Lithium and Battery Raw Materials event, Stu Crow, chairman of Lake Resources stated that one could end up in a situation where battery companies ‘do not have security of lithium feedstock,’ the newswire stated.

"There's a disconnect between the panic that we're seeing here, and the frenetic activity of trying to secure supply within the industry,” he added.

Lake Resources is the latest to join the growing list of companies that are announcing project delays, Reuters stated. The company has pushed back its first production from its Kachi lithium project in Argentina by three years. It cited power supply and other logistics concerns.

"It's a big challenge," said Eric Norris, head of the world’s largest lithium producer Albemarle's lithium business, the world’s largest producer of the metal.

There were 45 lithium mines operating in the world last year, with 11 expected to open this year and seven next year, according to Fastmarkets. That pace is far below what consultants say is needed to ensure adequate global supply, the newswire stated.

Media reports state that even if more lithium mines are built, there are not enough facilities to make specialised type of metals for batteries and the result could be that auto firms will have no choice but to go with lower quality lithium, which reduces an EV battery’s range, executives stated.

The Fastmarkets conference has grown rapidly alongside breakneck lithium demand. Nearly 1,100 attended this year, nearly triple 2019 levels and up 68% from last year, the newswire reported.

"Investment has to continue, otherwise there will be more delays to (lithium) timelines that are already massively long," said Tara Berrie of EV maker Rivian.

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