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Price Drops, Slowing Adoption Fail to Faze Lithium Players

Dale Henderson, CEO Pilbara Minerals.
Dale Henderson, CEO Pilbara Minerals.

The price of lithium may have dropped and the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption worldwide may be slowing down, but this has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of the biggest players in the lithium mining industry.

Indeed, a number of experts note that demand for the vital metal has yet to wane. Independent analyst Chris Berry, for example, points out that any adverse changes to the level of demand that could have a serious impact on lithium’s spot price are absent despite the significant drop in overall prices.

This sentiment was echoed by Dale Henderson, chief executive at Australia’s Pilbara Minerals. Henderson remarked that while prices have become moderate of late, demand for lithium remains strong and so is the market for it.

Albemarle’s Eric Norris who heads the American mining firm’s energy storage division sees the current situation as a series of minor setbacks rather than an omen against the industry’s long-term growth.

Likewise, lithium producers throughout the world believe that any volatility in the market will be short-lived in light of the potential growth seen in the electrification sector.

Adjusting Expectations

While experts previously forecasted that the global demand for lithium would exceed the highest levels seen last year, many of their predictions for expansive growth have been tempered by the less-than-rosy reports submitted by Albemarle, Livent, and Pilbara, as well as the rest of their peers in the sector for the third quarter of 2023.

As a result, automotive firms like Honda and General Motors, along with battery companies like LG Energy Solution, needed to adjust their respective plans for expansion over the past several weeks. However, it should be noted that such decisions were also driven by the way interest rates have risen of late.

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