Lithium demand predicted to soar even further
Lithium demand is set to soar further as China's plan to ban new petrol-powered vehicles has led to increased forecasts for alternatively fuelled vehicles in coming years.
Coupled with plans by Tesla, BMW, Volvo and Volkswagen, consultant Roskill has estimated 785,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent will be needed per year by 2025.
Based on currently anticipated supply levels, Roskill calculates there will be a 26,000-tonne shortfall.
In 2017, 227,000 tonnes of supply is expected to slightly exceed the 217,000 tonnes demanded.
China's new mandate is forecast to see demand in the country reach 6m AFVs a year by 2025.
"Despite compelling positivity surrounding global electric vehicle policies and mandates, there are mounting apprehensions over the distribution of electricity to power the electric vehicle boom. The drastic rise in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles will need to be met with a substantial rise in base-load power from the gird systems," said analysts at SP Angel on Tuesday.
FinnCap has previous explained some of the dynamics of the sector.
"Hard-rock sources of lithium are far more widely distributed geographically though so far have seen only limited commercial exploitation. Until now, this has simply been because the brine operations are more profitable. However, the significant increase in demand, in particular for lithium carbonate for battery manufacture, means that much of the near-term increase in supply will have to come from hard-rock sources."
London-listed miners with existing or potential lithium assets include Rio Tinto via its Jadar prospect is Serbia, Rainbow Rare Earths, Savannah Resources, Kodal Minerals and European Metals