June 12, 2019 / 2:17 PM / 8 days ago

Lithium industry at a crossroad

Global lithium producers, investors, analysts and regulators are in Santiago this week for the annual Fastmarkets Lithium Supply & Markets Conference.

Breakneck demand for the white metal from Tesla and other automakers has sparked rapid development, but oversupply concerns, as well as controversy over the best way to track industry pricing, is clouding that growth.

INDUSTRY

- How much does lithium cost? The industry can't seem to agree

Opaque pricing for lithium, the powerhouse metal fuelling the electric vehicle revolution, is expected to be top of mind this week as the industry’s leaders gather in Santiago, with calls rising for more transparency to attract much-needed expansion funding.

- Chile to clean up rules for lithium industry to boost production

Chile´s Mining Ministry said on Tuesday it would release in “the coming weeks” a plan to clarify rules around its lithium industry to maintain its global share of output amid spiraling demand for the coveted battery metal.

COMPANIES

- China's Tianqi says happy 'for now' with stake in Chile's SQM

 Tianqi Lithium Corp is happy for now with its stake in rival SQM and is working to deepen business ties with the Chilean lithium producer, the Chinese company’s president said on Monday.

- LME shocks market with Fastmarkets choice as lithium partner

The London Metal Exchange (LME) surprised the lithium market on Monday with its choice of Fastmarkets to provide a reference price for its planned new contract, shunning a rival widely regarded as market leader.

- Albemarle declines to participate in LME lithium contract

Albemarle Corp, the world’s largest lithium producer, said on Tuesday it will not participate in the London Metal Exchange’s plan to launch a new contract for the white metal, depriving it of a key source of pricing data.

- Albemarle details efforts to boost its Chilean lithium output by 30 %

Albemarle Corp on Tuesday detailed a process it believes will increase its Chilean lithium output by nearly a third and said it is working to reduce the affect of precipitation on its evaporation ponds.

GRAPHICS

Game of Mines https://tmsnrt.rs/2WiWp6o

Global Lithium Production https://tmsnrt.rs/2HLefGh

Compiled by Dave Gregorio

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