Lithium Supply & Markets 2019: Notes from the Floor

- June 12th, 2019

If you missed the Lithium Supply & Markets Conference, don’t worry — we’ve put together an overview of what happened at the event.

After three days of discussions, panels and networking, this year’s Lithium Supply & Markets Conference has come to an end.

The Investing News Network (INN) kept busy at the event, which ran from June 10 to 12 in Santiago, Chile, engaging with companies, attending presentations and, of course, interviewing industry experts.

Scroll on to read more about what happened on the floor throughout the three day event, and stay tuned for our upcoming written and video coverage.

Battery and EV briefing day

Before the Lithium Supply & Markets Conference kicked off, conference participants had the chance to attend an electric vehicle (EV) briefing day, which included expert analysis and forecasts for the electric car sector, discussions on what upcoming technologies are disrupting the sector and an overview of essential battery raw materials such as nickel and cobalt.

In the morning, attendees heard presentations about the outlook for EV adoption, energy density and the future of EV batteries and what’s been happening in the Chinese EV market. Speakers included LCM Automotive’s Kevin Riddell, Rho Motion’s Adam Panayi and Pulead’s Yuan Gao.

Another morning highlight was a panel moderated by Fastmarkets Head of Base Metals and Battery Research William Adams, featuring RNC Minerals’ (TSX:RNX,OTCQX:RNKLF) Mark Selby and McKinsey Battery Materials Expert Ken Hoffman, who discussed nickel, cobalt and the future of lithium-ion batteries.

Solid-state batteries took center stage in the afternoon, with presentations by Emily Hersh, managing partner at DCDB Group, and Chloe Holzinger, senior research associate at Lux Research. They were also part of a panel looking at cathodes and raw materials.

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Lithium Supply & Markets Conference: Day 1

Day one of the conference kicked off with a welcome address by Alberto Salas, chairman of SQM (NYSE:SQM), followed by Chile’s Minister of Mining Baldo Prokurica, who talked about his country’s future plans for the lithium sector.

The lithium producers panel started right after, with a full room eager to hear from Emma Hall, Tianqi Lithium’s (SZSE:002466vice president of corporate development and marketing; Pablo Altimiras, vice president of SQM’s lithium and iodine business; and David Ryan, Albemarle’s (NYSE:ALB) vice president of corporate strategy and investor relations. You can read more on their thoughts here.

Another big topic at the conference was prices, in particular after the London Metal Exchange decided to join forces with Fastmarkets to develop a lithium futures contract.

A panel moderated by Hoffman and featuring Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE:MS) Javier Martinez de Olcoz Cerdan, Minmetals Securities’ Jingwen Sun, the LME’s Antonio Masiero and Fastmarkets’ Williams provided insight on forecasting prices, the evolution of pricing and the development of a benchmark.

In the afternoon, attendees had the chance to participate in dynamic breakout sessions discussing topics such as the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, financing of projects and future mobility.

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Lithium Supply & Markets Conference: Day 2

The second day of the event was full of opportunities to learn more about the sector, with options for participants to choose between presentations about the market and companies.

A morning highlight included SignumBox Founder and CEO Daniela Desormeaux’s presentation about the changes that the industry has experienced in the past 10 years and what the space could look like in the next decade.

China and other Asian battery markets were under the spotlight as well, with presentations by Minmetals’ Sun and Roskill’s Jake Fraser.

Attendees also had the chance to hear more insight from experts about different regions, such as Australia and Europe.

The afternoon was all about investments and investors, funding lithium projects and offtake agreements.

INN was busy during the three day event, conducting interviews with CEOs and experts, including: Chris Berry of House Mountain Partners; Joe Lowry of Global Lithium; Fastmarkets’ Adams; Howard Klein of RK Equity; Desormeaux of SignumBox, Hersh of DCDB Group and analysts at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

You can click here to see our full Lithium Supply & Markets Conference playlist on YouTube. Interviews will be posted in the next week or so, so stay tuned!

Don’t forget to follow us at @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!

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

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