Big Oil Ventures into Lithium Production Amid Loomining Shortages – by Christopher Bonasia (The Energy Mix – August 1, 2023)


As lithium producers warn of shortages amid a global push for electrification, oil and gas companies are making forays into extracting the in-demand metal—and banking on nascent technologies to “become big in lithium.”

Delays in mine permitting, staffing shortages, and inflation are making lithium producers anxious about their ability to meet skyrocketing demand for the battery metal, reports Reuters. “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, board chair at lithium producer Lake Resources, said last week on the sidelines of a battery materials conference in Las Vegas. “There is a disconnect between the panic that we are seeing here and the frenetic activity of trying to secure supply within the industry.”

Several consultancies and companies are warning of looming lithium shortages. Albemarle, the world’s largest lithium producer, expects demand to exceed supply by 500,000 tonnes in 2030.

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