Mining Technology lists five of the most popular tweets on battery minerals in Q4 2021 based on data from GlobalData’s Mining Influencer Platform.
The top tweets are based on total engagements (likes and retweets) received on tweets from more than 150 battery minerals experts tracked by GlobalData’s Mining Influencer platform during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.
The most popular tweets on battery minerals in Q4 2021: Top five
1. Simon Moores’ tweet on increase in lithium prices leading to surge in lithium-ion battery prices
Simon Moores, CEO of price reporting agency Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, tweeted on how lithium-ion battery prices are surging due to an increase in the prices of lithium. Lithium carbonate prices have increased the most recording a 200% year-on-year increase as per the company’s Lithium Price Index. Moores added that the lithium price surge is being witnessed at a time when a major shortage of lithium is only expected in 2022.
The price rise could lead to a lithium price crisis for those companies that have not signed long-term lithium supply contracts, he added. Moores noted that some automakers have taken the right step by building battery mega factories, although a lack of focus on upstream sourcing may impact the automotive industry. Furthermore, automakers’ plans to launch electric vehicles (EVs) at lower costs between 2022 and 2026 are expected to be impacted by the rising prices of lithium, which is a key element in the production of lithium-ion batteries, according to Moores.
Username: Simon Moores
Twitter handle: @sdmoores
2. Chris Berry’s tweet on Lithium Americas making an offer to acquire Millennial Lithium
Chris Berry, founder and president of advisory firm House Mountain Partners, tweeted on lithium mineral developer Lithium Americas’ announcement of making an offer to acquire Millennial Lithium for $400m. Lithium Americas made the offer on 01 November 2021 and signed a definitive agreement to acquire Millennial Lithium on 17 November 2021. The transaction is expected to close in January 2022.
Berry tweeted on how the transaction marks the beginning of mergers and acquisitions in the battery metals sector. The acquisition will provide Lithium Americas with regional growth opportunity through Millennial’s Pastos Grandes lithium brine project located in Argentina. The project will add high-quality brine resource to Lithium Americas’ portfolio, which will enhance its long-term growth strategy.
Username: Chris Berry
Twitter handle: @cberry1
3. Euan McTurk’s tweet on the Scottish government providing a taxpayer-backed guarantee to an aluminium smelter
Euan McTurk, an EV battery electrochemist, shared an article on the Scottish government signing a £586m ($790.5m) taxpayer-backed guarantee to support the sale of a hydro-powered aluminium smelter located in Lochaber to the international business group GFG Alliance. The guarantee provided was termed as risky since it involved public money although the government defended the move stating that the smelter would support high-skilled jobs.
McTurk tweeted that the decision to support the smelter was the right one as it will safeguard local battery metals supply chains since aluminium is a key element in EV batteries and supports the transition to net-zero. Aluminium produced using hydropower locally is less carbon-intensive compared to aluminium shipped from other parts of the world, he added.
Username: Euan McTurk
Twitter handle: @106Euan
4. Joe Lowry’s tweet on General Motors and Ford not having access to sufficient lithium
Joe Lowry, president of lithium advisory services firm Global Lithium, tweeted an article on Lithium Americas expanding its mineral resource estimate at the Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada, US. He tweeted the article stating that automakers General Motors and Ford should take note of the development and build a robust supply chain. He added that the two automakers do not have access to sufficient lithium required to make the EV batteries that they require.
Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass project’s mineral resource estimate has increased to 13.7 million tonnes (Mt) of lithium carbonate equivalent grading 2,231 parts per million (ppm) lithium. The company has subsequently increased phase one capacity in the feasibility study of the project to 40,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium carbonate. A pilot plant at the project is expected to commence operations in the first half of the year.
Username: Joe Lowry
Twitter handle: @globallithium
5. Andrew Miller’s tweet on lithium iron phosphate battery output
Andrew Miller, COO of price reporting agency Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, tweeted on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cathode being the standout battery cathode last year and how it will play a major role in the lithium-ion mix in the future. He cautioned that taking only China LFP output figures into account overlooks certain aspects including the fact that the battery market extends beyond China where LFP output is more than the demand.
EVs in the US and Europe are heavily reliant on NCM or lithium-ion batteries containing nickel, manganese and cobalt, while LFP batteries are mostly confined to heavy-duty or low-cost passenger vehicles, he added. Furthermore, the market may not remain the same in the future as nickel/cobalt-based battery solutions are fast emerging. The increase in LFP densities is still dependent on unproven technologies at commercial scale that are only being explored by a small group of battery producers, Miller added.
Username: Andrew Miller
Twitter handle: @amiller_bmi