Musk’s tweets fuel mining industry’s hopes of a buyout by Tesla – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – April 19, 2022)

Elon Musk’s recent musings that high lithium prices may force Tesla Inc to make its own supply of the electric vehicle battery metal have fueled hopes by some that the billionaire entrepreneur will instead opt for a buyout of an established mining company.

The auto giant already has supply contracts for nickel, lithium and a range of other EV metals from suppliers across the globe. But it needs more, and industry analysts say Tesla may soon realize that building a mine or processing facility from scratch is not as easy as it sounds and the automaker should instead consider a buyout.

“Price of lithium has gone to insane levels! Tesla might actually have to get into the mining & refining directly at scale, unless costs improve,” the Tesla chief executive tweeted earlier this month. Lithium prices are up more than 80% this year and nickel prices have gyrated heavily amid trading turmoil in London.

The billionaire entrepreneur had already complained about “significant” jumps in raw materials costs for Tesla, which has raised prices of its vehicles twice this year.

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