Lithium Supply and Markets Conference: Notes From the Floor

- July 2nd, 2018

If you missed the Lithium Supply and Markets conference, don’t worry — we’ve put together a pictorial overview of what happened at the event.

This year’s Lithium Supply and Markets conference in Las Vegas just wrapped up, and by all accounts it was full to the brim.

The Investing News Network (INN) kept busy at the event, which ran from June 26 to 28, engaging with companies, attending panel discussions 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 audio coverage.

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EV briefing day:

Before the Lithium Supply and 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, the lithium space and other raw materials, such as cobalt and nickel.

The first morning workshop was focused on pricing and featured Martin Facada of Industrial Minerals and Christopher Kavanagh of American Metal Market. Another highlight was a keynote presentation about the future of lithium-ion batteries by Emilio Bunel of SQM (NYSE:SQM).

In the afternoon, Stormcrow Capital’s Jon Hykawy spoke about the future of EVs, touching on cost concerns and scale issues. INN had the opportunity to ask Hykawy more about his EV outlook after his presentation. Stay tuned for the interview, which will be published in the next few days.

The most-awaited panel of the day was moderated by Kavanagh and featured Anthony Milewski, CEO and chairman of Cobalt 27 Capital (TSXV:KBLT); Gerry Hand, vice president of marketing at Superior Graphite; and Mark Selby, CEO of RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX). The panelists discussed the supply chains for cobalt, nickel and graphite for EV batteries.

Later in the day, Chloe Holzinger of Lux Research gave a presentation about the advantages and disadvantages of today’s lithium-ion batteries. She also discussed the potential of solid-state batteries, one of the main topics during the conference.

To end the EV briefing day, Ken Hoffman of McKinsey & Co. shared his outlook for the lithium market, including what he believes are the myths and realities in the space.

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Lithium Supply and Markets conference: Day 1

To kick off day one, senior executives, including Felipe Smith of SQM; Tom Schneberger of FMC Lithium (NYSE:FMC); Anthony Tse of Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY); and James Calaway of Global Geoscience (ASX:GSC), examined and discussed global industry challenges and strategies over the next five years.

Another morning event was a panel moderated by Chris Berry of House Mountain Partners and featuring Daniela Desormeaux of SignumBox; Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital; Ernie Ortiz of Waratah Capital Advisors; and William Adams of Metal Bulletin.

The experts discussed the main trends of 2017, what has happened in the lithium market this year and what’s ahead for the sector, including FMC’s IPO, investor sentiment and supply/demand dynamics.

In the afternoon, conference attendees had the chance to participate in roundtables and workshops, as well as company presentations. Some of the topics discussed included new battery technologies, their advantages and disadvantages and energy storage.

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Lithium Supply and Markets conference: Day 2

Day two of the Lithium Supply and Markets conference started with a presentation by Masaharu Nagata, executive vice president of Panasonic (TSE:6752). It was followed by a talk from Northvolt’s Paolo Cerruti, who discussed the company’s future as Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery cell factory.

Another high note was the global battery market panel, moderated by William Adams of Metal Bulletin and featuring Michael Beck of Regent Advisors; Holzinger of Lux Research, Shailesh Upreti of C4V New York; Cobalt 27’s Milewski; and Ana Cabral-Gardner of A10 Investimentos.

Later in the day, keynote sessions covered lithium funding, recycling of raw materials and lithium extraction, among other topics.

The last panel of the day was moderated by David Redford of Cassels Brock and featured Desormeaux of SignumBox; Galaxy Resources’ Tse; and Brian Dominique of Cassels Brock. The panelists discussed current practises and pitfalls regarding lithium offtake agreements.

INN was busy during the three-day event, conducting interviews with CEOs and experts including: Cobalt 27’s Milewski; Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital; Mckinsey & Co.’s Hoffman; Ken Brinsden of Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS); and analysts at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Interviews will be posted over 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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