Elon Musk urges entrepreneurs to focus on lithium refining

FILE PHOTO: Braulio Lopez of Galaxy Resources lithium mining division carts halite concentrate at the Salar del Hombre Muerto, or Dead Man's Salt Flat, an important source of lithium at around 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) above sea level on the border of the northern Argentine provinces of Catamarca and Salta, October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian/File Photo/File Photo

In a conversation with investors, Elon Musk reminded them of the growing challenge of securing refined lithium for EV batteries.

On the Tesla earnings call, Musk said this:

The choke point is much more on refining capacity than it is on mining. Lithium is actually is very common throughout the world, including in the US. It’s much more a question of where is the refining capacity and can the refining capacity keep up.

Per Yahoo Finance, he also took the opportunity to call on other entrepreneurs to take on the challenge of lithium refining. Musk noted:

Like, instead of making a picture sharing app, please refine lithium. Mining and refining, heavy industry, come on.

The US is facing a significant lithium shortage, and as tensions with China continue to heat up, US automakers will need to look stateside for solutions. According to the CEO of Piedmont Lithium, Keith Phillips, the US will need to increase production by 35x of refined lithium hydroxide to keep up with demand by the end of the decade.

At least to say, this will be a challenge requiring increased mining, refining and production to make it work. The North American market is far behind China, but we could see it catch up quickly with smart investments by the government and private industry.

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About Scott Nordlund 1627 Articles
Originally from the West Coast, Scott is an avid writer & EV enthusiast now living in Ottawa. He holds a MA in Political Science and once played professional football in the German Football League. Email scott@driveteslacanada.ca