Battery Metals

Cobalt Investing

The Benchmark Mineral Intelligence World Tour just made its fourth stop in Vancouver, and attendees walked away with a wealth of knowledge about the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

The Benchmark Mineral Intelligence World Tour just made its fourth stop in Vancouver, and attendees walked away with a wealth of knowledge about the lithium-ion battery supply chain.
Guest speakers included Sam Jaffe, managing director of Cairn Energy Research Advisors, Jay Chmelauskas, president and CEO of Western Lithium (TSX:WLC), and Gianni Kovacevic, executive chairman of CopperBank Resource (CSE:CBK) and author of My Electrician Drives a Porsche?
Beyond just talking about lithium, graphite and cobalt, presenters also touched on the roles of copper and vanadium in the battery revolution. Jaffe gave a brief overview of the history of the battery industry, while Benchmark’s Andrew Miller explained why critical metals markets need to be looked at differently than markets for traditional commodities.


Here are a few highlights from the talks:
Benchmark Managing Director Simon Moores kicked off the talks to a packed crowd:

Moores spoke about how the cost to produce batteries has fallen in recent years:

And about how lithium supply hasn’t responded adequately to increased demand:

Jaffe was next, providing some interesting perspectives on the battery sector overall:


In addition to sharing the story of how lithium-ion batteries came to be, Gaffe also spoke about what could be in store for the markets in coming years:

To be sure, battery demand is already growing, and lithium isn’t the only critical metal needed:


Kovacevic spoke about how copper fits into the picture:

He just announced a tour in which he will drive a Tesla from Toronto, Ontario to Palo Alto, California, so it’s no surprise that Kovacevic is passionate about where environmentalism and resources intersect:


Sait Uysal, global marketing manager for Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR), spoke about how graphite prices have performed in recent years:

While Miller pointed out that, for critical metals, there’s more of a focus on being able to process tailored end products; that’s in contrast to traditional metals such as copper:



Benchmark capped off the day with a panel discussion including all of the speakers:


Several interesting points were made regarding battery recycling, vanadium and the growth of the lithium market overall:

Certainly, those attending Benchmark’s tour in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney and Melbourne will have plenty to look forward to.


 
Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

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