Mad Dash to Lock in Lithium


". . .many questions still remain on the supply and. . .demand aspect of the industry."

With the spotlight now firmly fixed on lithium as the new wave green-energy material of choice, the first annual industrial mineral commodity conference in Las Vegas showcased how corporates are warming up to the strategic resource.

Clearly, there is a mad dash to lock in lithium-mining rights in the Argentine, Bolivian and Chilean Andes. With expectations of booming demand, lithium users are also banking on some South American miners. Already, well over half of the world's lithium output comes from mines in Chile and Argentina.

At the Las Vegas meet, emerging North American lithium producers like Canada Lithium Corp (CLQ.V), International Lithium Corp/TNR Gold, Western Lithium Corp. (TSX.V:WLC) and Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (TSX:AVL, OTCQX:AVARF), presented their cases. All of them were ultra positive on the global opportunities in lithium.

Though the conference was timely, many questions still remain on the supply, and particularly, the demand aspect of the industry. As the number of new entrants scorches, there is an urgent need for accurate and informed intelligence on lithium.

New entrants to the lithium supply side are bound to come in as demand increases and source logistics and economics all fall into place.

Interest and demand in lithium minerals has increased significantly. But there is a rider.

The problem with predicting the demand for the future use of lithium in transportation as a preferred medium of energy storage is that no one actually knows just how enthusiastic the trend will be.

The need is there and urgent research is bound to fuel it. Strategic investors are already veering to lithium source types like hectorite clay and oilfield brines, which are meant to rank ahead of hard rock pegmatite, which is considered massively expensive to mine.

The point is—which side of the fence are you on?

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