Rising Resource Nationalism in Metals Critical for EV Batteries

Published on 02 Feb, 2024

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The commodities markets, renowned for their inherent volatility, are poised for a substantial surge in demand for battery metals. This is primarily due to the exponential growth of electric vehicles and the need for energy storage solutions to enable a greater share of intermittent renewable energy sources in the energy matrix. The pivotal battery minerals encompass lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, manganese, vanadium, and copper. Presently, the anticipated scarcity of lithium, nickel, and cobalt emerges as the most pressing concern in the landscape of new supply. The demand for nickel is expected to rise 44% globally by 2030 compared to 2022, while the growth of lithium-ion batteries is anticipated to accelerate at a 30% annual compound rate and the production of cobalt is projected to rise by 13% yearly over the following five years. Heightened concerns about energy and resource security, coupled with supply-chain resilience, have been exacerbated by extreme weather events and elevated inflation in numerous countries. Consequently, nations reliant on these minerals for the energy transition are taking proactive measures to secure their supply. Concurrently, there is a resurgence of resource nationalism, with key producing nations strategically positioning themselves to garner a greater share of value from their mineral reserves.