With global battery production set to exceed 1 terawatt-hour for the first time in 2023, it comes as no surprise that governments around the world are implementing policies to build out their lithium-ion supply chains.
In the words of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, “the race is on” to determine which players are going to be dominant in the cleantech market moving forward into the future.
Speaking on the sidelines of this year’s Battery Gigafactories Europe event, held from March 28 to 29, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence CEO Simon Moores said geopolitics is the ultimate trend at the moment in Europe.
“This geopolitical trend is blanketing this industry, which was in ludicrous mode, but has now turbocharged into a rocket ship,” he told the Investing News Network in an interview at the conference.
The US launched its Inflation Reduction Act last year, while Europe released its Critical Raw Materials Act in March. Both are aimed at strengthening supply chains of raw materials and reducing vulnerabilities caused by being too dependent on China.
But when it comes to the upstream, Europe has a lot of catching up to do.
“(Europe) got a discussion going early on, which did result in gigafactories being planned and built, yet that supply chain coherence hasn’t really followed,” Moores explained. “I think to build mines here in Europe, to scale and get that supply, permitting has to be addressed as the number one thing.”
Europe is looking to join forces with the US while distancing itself from China, which currently has a leading position in many critical raw materials value chains. “The question is how China reacts,” Moores said. “What’s happening at the moment is the world is banding together to cut China out of the equation. When it doesn’t dominate mining, Chinese companies have partnerships with mines outside of China. So we will see how China reacts.”
He also shared his thoughts on the lithium market and its price dynamics. “Lithium is going into a lower-price environment,” Moores said. “That doesn’t mean lithium is going to be a rock-low price, it doesn’t mean it’s going to crash, it means it’s a lower-price or medium-term price environment, which is good for anyone that wants to buy lithium resources.”
Listen to the interview for more what Moores expects to see in the critical minerals space for the rest of 2023.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.
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