The following is a speech given by Benchmark’s chief executive Simon Moores at the opening of the Battery Gigafactories USA 2023 conference in Washington, DC.
“This is what I want people to mull over. Between now and 2035, $920 billion dollars will be needed to be invested to bridge this great raw material disconnect.”
Today, we must recognise that for our industry this is a moment. This global battery arms race has arrived on these shores at a pace we could have never imagined, even only 18 months ago.
It is especially a moment for the critical mineral explorers, developers, miners, and refiners. That’s the hardest job in the industry – it’s a thankless task for the prospectors, developers and pioneers that actually go around the world and look for these minerals and put in the real hard work to actually attempt to bring them to production.
It’s the hardest job in the supply chain but it’s absolutely all eyes on that sector now, and it’s deserved. Having been focused on this my whole career – since 2006 and with Benchmark since 2014 – I have never seen this level of interest and such a window of opportunity that we have now for building critical mineral mines and refining plants in the US.
And we all know this is thanks to the inflation reduction act, which has now been handed a 17-month window, a 17-month bull market to actually make it happen, thanks to the debt ceiling agreement being made. In the last 12 months has turbo charged this lithium ion economy in the US.
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