Elon Musk tweeted again… this time the billionaire used his 140 characters to send analysts speculating on a new venture after suggesting interest in the lithium mining and refining business.
“Price of lithium has gone to insane levels. There is no shortage of the element itself, as lithium is almost everywhere on Earth, but pace of extraction/refinement is slow” Musk responded to a tweet showing the massive increase in prices.
According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, the cost of the metal has gone up more than 480% in the last year. Batteries made with lithium have the best power-to-weight ratio in the industry and there is not a clear option the replace them.
This is not the first time Musk has discussed the importance to focus on the battery supply chain down to the minerals. Also in 2020, the richest man on the planet, according to the most recent Forbes ranking, secured rights to mine lithium in Nevada to provide the Tesla Gigafactory that opened in 2015.
With several countries committed to end producing gasoline and diesel engine vehicles by 2040, EVs growth is fueling a global boom in lithium production.
Musk’s lithium tweet comes only days after President Joe Biden issued a directive that invokes the Defense Production Act, to kickstart the domestic production and mining of the critical minerals needed to manufacture batteries for EVs and long-term energy storage.