#Bloomberg: Carmakers Urged to Invest in Mines to Avoid Battery Metal Pinch
Mine developers scrambling to fund projects to meet forecast demand for battery metals see the threat of looming supply crunches as a trigger for electric-vehicle makers to step in with investments.
An already tough environment to raise project finance for the mines is being made worse by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and plunging global auto sales. It’s a scenario that’s threatening to slow a pipeline of operations planned to supply lithium, nickel and cobalt materials.
With “mind-blowing” projections from the auto industry on its future raw material needs, the best solution could be for vehicle producers to invest directly in mining operations, according to Sam Riggall, chief executive officer of developer Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd.
“Having to invest upstream is not what a car company wants to do, we understand that, but the rules have changed,” Riggall said. “We’re building a supply chain that’s never existed before, for a range of metals that have never been needed before by this industry.”
Auto companies have outlined plans to spend more than $140 billion on electric vehicle production, an industry shift that’ll need producers of specialist materials and metals for batteries to dramatically lift output. Nickel demand is forecast to surge about 16-fold through 2030 from 2018, while there will also be a significant rise in demand for graphite, lithium, copper and aluminum, according to BloombergNEF.