Lithium producers warn global supplies may not meet electric vehicle demand – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – June 22, 2023)

LAS VEGAS, June 22 (Reuters) – Lithium producers are growing anxious that delays in mine permitting, staffing shortages and inflation may hinder their ability to supply enough of the battery metal to meet the world’s aggressive electrification timelines.

Once a niche metal used primarily in ceramics and pharmaceuticals, lithium is now one of the world’s most in-demand metals given aggressive EV plans from Stellantis (STLAM.MI), Ford (F.N) and other automakers.

At stake is the pace with which electric vehicles could displace internal combustion engines, a key goal of the green energy transition.

“You could end up in a crisis situation where the battery companies don’t have the security of (lithium) feedstock,” Stu Crow, chairman of Lake Resources (LKE.AX), said on the sidelines of this week’s Fastmarkets Lithium and Battery Raw Materials conference in Las Vegas. “There’s a disconnect between the panic that we’re seeing here, and the frenetic activity of trying to secure supply within the industry.”

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