World depends on a lithium economy, delegates hear at Benchmark World Tour 2017: Toronto

On the 68th floor of the BMO Tower in downtown Toronto, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence hosted its second stop of 17 on the Benchmark World Tour 2017 on Monday 24 April.

The 107 strong delegation comprised of institutional investors, commodity majors and mining development stage companies heard from players across the lithium ion battery supply chain and how it is evolving to meet 21st century demand from electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary storage.

The event, co-hosted by BMO Capital Markets, was held at First Canada Place in Toronto and heard from the keynote speakers, Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark, Dr David Deak, CTO of Lithium Americas and former senior engineer of Tesla, specialising in raw material supply for the Gigafactory, and Rick Chamberlain, CTO of lithium ion battery and pack producer, Boston Power.

“The success of EVs will depend on our ability to deliver lithium to the world,” Dr Deak explained to the delegation.

“The lithium market must grow by a factor of 20 for a world that runs on electric vehicles,” he added.

At present, there is not enough lithium supply in the pipeline to satisfy a wide range of lithium ion battery demand expectations by 2025, Toronto heard.

“The lithium ion battery megafactories at rising at a rate that we have never seen before” Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

“At present, 15 megafactories are under construction totalling a capacity of 228GWh. This is some growth from a capacity today if 120GWh and a production level of 70GWh in 2016,” he added.

Boston Power CTO, Rick Chamberlain, gave a unique insight into how buyers of these raw materials think.

Chamberlain highlighted raw material (lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel) consistency, a clear supply chain and supply that meets the demand in order to keep prices for the battery manufacturers at a sensible level.

He also explained that it can take Boston Power, a producer of lithium ion battery cells and packs in Liyang, China, up to 6 months to qualify an anode or cathode material for factory floor trials.

The event also heard from:

> Guy Bourassa, President & CEO, Nemaska Lithium (Lithium, Canada)

> Don Bubar, President, Avalon Advanced Materials (Lithium, Canada)

> Eric Desaulniers, CEO, Nouveau Monde Graphite (Graphite, Canada)

> Greg Bowes, CEO, Northern Graphite (Graphite, Canada)

> Trent Mell, President & CEO, First Cobalt (Cobalt, Canada)

> Brent Nykoliation, VP Corporate Development, NextSource Materials (Graphite, Madagascar)
Presentation access

Those that attended the Toronto event can access the public company presentations. A link has been delivered to your email.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence presentations and all other keynote talks are only available to Benchmark Members. To subscribe please email Andy Miller on amiller@benchmarkminerals.com

Picture highlights from the tour:

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