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May 6, 2022

Twitter: Rising lithium prices and more

Mining Technology lists five of the most popular tweets on battery minerals in Q1 2022 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 first quarter (Q1) of 2022.

1. Joe Lowry’s tweet on lithium prices in China continuing to rise on strong demand

Joe Lowry, president of lithium advisory services firm Global Lithium, tweeted an infographic on lithium prices in China continuing to rise on strong demand in the week ending 14 January 2022. The highest offer was placed at $59,720.8 per tonne increasing from $4,714.8 per tonne from the previous week. The rise in lithium carbonate prices was attributed to an increase in demand and a surge in domestic spot sales.

Consumer demand in 2021 was equal to the total demand of the previous three years. In addition, lack of supply is fuelling a further increase in prices. The majority of the trades announced in the market had been in smaller volumes of around 30t due to a lack of supply. As more companies commence maintenance activities, supply is expected to become tighter and lead to a further surge in prices, which will reduce the already restricted supply of the metal, according to the infographic.

Username: Joe Lowry

Twitter handle: @globallithium

Likes: 179

Retweets: 38

2. Henry Sanderson’s tweet on the use of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries becoming mainstream

Henry Sanderson, executive editor at price reporting agency Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, shared an article on how the use of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries is becoming mainstream. Automotive companies such as Tesla, Volkswagen, Daimler and Ford have embraced the cost-effective LFP batteries for their entry-level EVs.

China currently accounts for more than 90% of the world’s LFP battery cell capacity. Gotion High-Tech, a China-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer, agreed to supply 200GWh of LFP batteries to a US automaker between 2023 and 2028, which indicates the over reliance of Western automakers on battery supply from China. The lack of battery cell manufacturing capacity outside China can hamper the widespread adoption of the LFP batteries by Western automakers, the article highlighted. LFP production, therefore, needs to be set up in North America and Europe to ensure that the cost effective LFP batteries become a standard solution for entry-level cars globally.

Username: Henry Sanderson

Twitter handle: @hjesanderson

Likes: 85

Retweets: 17

3. Simon Moores’ tweet on battery makers moving to secure supplies as lithium carbonate prices surge

Simon Moores, CEO of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, shared an article on battery-grade lithium carbonate prices increasing in China by 21% in the first two weeks of January. China battery-grade lithium carbonate prices reached a new high of $47,500 per tonne, rising by 495.9% from January 2021, according to Benchmark’s Lithium Price Assessment.

The rising cost of lithium carbonate has placed a financial strain on battery manufacturers who are seeking to secure supplies of the essential raw material.

Username: Simon Moores

Twitter handle: @sdmoores

Likes: 76

Retweets: 27

4. Caspar Rawles’ tweet on under investment in supply leading to rise in lithium prices

Caspar Rawles, chief data officer at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, shared an article on lithium prices in China surpassing $40,000 per tonne for the first time. The highest peak of lithium carbonate price in China was $41,925 per tonne on 31 December 2021.

The early transactions in 2022 indicate that prices may continue to rise, reflecting a chronic under investment in supply between 2018 and 2021, Rawles stated. Investors are keen to support the expansion of supply by providing funding, but the time lag to production may not immediately address the current tight supply in the market, he added.

Username: Caspar Rawles

Twitter handle: @CDMRawles

Likes: 67

Retweets: 27

5. Euan McTurk’s tweet on British Lithium extracting the world’s first battery-grade lithium carbonate from mica crystals

Euan McTurk, an EV battery electrochemist, shared an article on mining company British Lithium extracting the world’s first battery-grade lithium carbonate from mica crystals. The company’s pilot plant located in Roche, North Cornwall, UK, recovered the lithium carbonate from mica. The UK government financed the plant, which will start producing 5kg of lithium carbonate every day for clients for trial purposes.

British Lithium is planning to develop a full-scale plant that will generate 21,000t of battery-grade lithium carbonate a year, which accounts for one-third of the lithium supply needed by the UK to meet future EV demand. The UK government is planning to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, with EVs expected to represent majority of new car sales. Furthermore, lithium production in the country will aid in the development of a domestic supply chain for EV batteries.

Username: Euan McTurk

Twitter handle: @106Euan

Likes: 61

Retweets: 16

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