Corporate deals in the lithium industry are heating up at a time when there is a predicted multi-billion-dollar cash injection needed to ramp up supply to meet rapidly growing demand.
One expert says at least US$12 billion ($17.3 billion) needs to be invested in new lithium projects by 2025 if the industry is to have any realistic hope of matching supply with demand.
US lithium expert Joe Lowry told delegates at the Latin America Downunder mining conference in Perth that the ‘Big Four’ global lithium producers – SQM, Albemarle, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi – could not alone meet 2025 lithium demand.
“Overall, the industry faces a lack of financing and needs to inject more than US$12 billion within five years to have a chance of meeting demand,” he said. “This requirement is exacerbated further by known and emerging failures in lithium start-ups which have demonstrated a lack of necessary skillsets – high profile failures that have discouraged sector investment.
“There will not be any significant lithium chemical oversupply anytime soon. While there have been many optimistic supply forecasts, recent results speak for themselves.”
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