The supply chain for batteries, wind turbines, solar panels, electric motors, transmission lines, 5G — everything regarding electrification and decarbonization that is needed for a green economy — starts with metals and mining.
A green infrastructure and transportation spending push will mean a lot more metals will need to be mined, including lithium, nickel, and graphite for EV batteries; copper for electric vehicle wiring, charging stations and renewable energy projects; silver for solar panels; rare earths for permanent magnets that go into EV motors and wind turbines; and silver/ tin for the hundreds of millions of solder points necessary in making the new electrified economy a reality.
In fact, battery/ energy metals demand is moving at such a break-neck speed, that supply will be extremely challenged to keep up. Without a major thrust by producers and junior miners to find and develop new mineral deposits, glaring supply deficits are going to beset the industry for some time.
According to research by Fastmarkets, the lithium market is facing a growing deficit through 2023, with a deficit of 60,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2022 and a deficit of 89,000 tonnes of LCE in 2023.
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