Benchmark World Tour: Highlights from Vancouver

- October 1st, 2015

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.

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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:
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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:
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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:
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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: Owly Image


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