Mining and commodities Glencore is stated to be comparing the addition of lithium to the suite of metals it trades.
The battery metal is in “hot demand in the growth production of electric powered vehicles (EVs)” and worries over continues supply.
The Swiss company would initially add lithium to its zinc and copper business, run by Jyothish George and Nick Popovic. Glencore doesn’t own any lithium mines but has ventured into the metals recycling business this year.
In February he joined the forces of the battery start-up Britishvolt to build a new lithium-ion battery recycling plant in England. Less than three months later, the company announced a $200 million investment in Canada’s Li-Cycle Holdings.
Mining Giant Glencore has a strong presence in other battery metal. Producing cobalt, nickel and copper as the global push for a greener future is increasing demand for such metals. Often referred to as the “commodities of the future”.
It has also started recycling these metals, partnering with Moroccan mining company Managem in late January. Together they will produce cobalt from recycled battery materials at a facility near Marrakech.
A month later, Glencore announced it would expand its Britannia Refined Metals Plant in southern England. Which historically has been one of the leading re users of lead-acid batteries in internal combustion engine cars.
Lithium prices have soared to record highs this year, The amount of the metal used has nearly quadrupled over the past decade.
However, the lithium extraction process and relative lack of investment have yet to catch up with growing demand. Lithium mining involves mining the ore and then separating the metal or pumping underground water deposits to the surface and then extracting the metal from evaporation ponds,.
Elon Musk seems to agree. In late July, he called for more investment in global lithium or lithium mining, refining to alleviate shortages of battery metals, promising those who seize the opportunity, “It’s basically money to mint.”
On Thursday, Chile’s SQM, the world’s second-largest lithium producer, forecast , a “very tight market” for years to come. The company expects prices to be “slightly higher” this quarter than the previous three months.
According to a presentation to investors, with prices remaining at similar levels in the fourth quarter. While Chile and Australia remain the world’s top suppliers of lithium minings. China has more than half of all capacity to refine it into specialty battery chemicals.
There are also growing concerns about Beijing’s dominance in the material’s refining and manufacturing capacity. Reliance on China is seen as a vulnerability amid global political and trade tensions.