Rio Tinto says 60 Jadar mines wouldn’t fill looming lithium gap – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – October 21, 2021)

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) joined the rising chorus of companies and analysts warning of an imminent and “significant” supply gap for lithium, as demand for the metal used in electric vehicles (EV) and green technologies continues to soar.

The world’s second-largest miner, which greenlighted in July the $2.4 billion Jadar lithium project in Serbia, believes the supply gap needs to be addressed “within the next ten years.”

In a presentation to investors, Rio Tinto’s head of economics Vivek Tulpule said EV sales are on track to hit up to 55% of the world’s total light vehicles sales as early as 2030, reaching about 65 million units.

This means manufacturers would need about three million tonnes of lithium, compared with the roughly 350,000 tonnes they consume today, Tulpule noted. Existing operations and projects combined, however, are slated to contribute one million tonnes of lithium, he said.

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