Like other battery raw materials that power electric vehicles, lithium continues to attract investor attention.
At Fastmarkets’ latest Lithium Supply and Battery Raw Materials conference, the Investing News Network caught up with Chris Berry of House Mountain Partners to discuss what’s been happening in the lithium space.
“There are a lot more people … that have come to grips or have started to come to grips with a lot of the challenges around building out a, not even just a domestic supply chain, but a more regionalized supply chain structure, which is going to take a lot of capital, a lot of intellectual firepower and a lot of time,” Berry said on the sidelines of the show, which saw record attendance.
Commenting on how lithium prices have been performing, Berry said price volatility is here to stay for the coming decade, not just for lithium, but for many other battery raw materials as well.
“That has implications, obviously, depending upon where you are in the supply chain, whether you are a miner or a cathode manufacturer or an OEM,” he said. “I think the market will ultimately dictate what is sustainable (in terms of prices) … I do think we’re very limited on the downside — the days of US$6,000 or US$10,000 (per metric ton) lithium are ancient history.”
Berry, who hosts the Power Current podcast, also shared his thoughts on the impact of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“The IRA is an incredibly economically beneficial piece of legislation to build battery infrastructure, whether or not it’s recycling or cathode or anode or cell manufacturing in the US,” he said. “If there’s a problem or a limitation of the IRA it’s that it does not really address the permitting issues — it doesn’t smooth them over, or it doesn’t necessarily accelerate them.”
The energy transition will not be possible without mining, but what could the industry do better to attract investment?
“Regardless of the jurisdiction, regardless of the metal, regardless of all of these different factors, I just think that the mining business has to deliver on time and on budget,” Berry said during the conversation. “I think one of the ways that you might be able to do that is through leveraging technology.”
Listen to the interview above for more of Berry’s thoughts on legislation, direct lithium extraction and sustainability. You can also click here for our recap of the Fastmarkets event.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.
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