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Sunday, February 26, 2023

Battery Metals Scramble

 Car makers are going mining. 

Tesla, GM Among Carmakers Flocking to Mining Events Amid Battery Metals Scramble

February 24, 2023 Bloomberg      in SupplyBrainChain

Top automakers including Tesla, General Motors, and Ford are heading out on the mining conference circuit as soaring demand for metals used in electric vehicles ignites a scramble to lock in long-term supplies.

Those major U.S. firms, along with Rivian Automotive Inc. and European counterparts Stellantis N.V., Mercedes-Benz Group AG, and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive, will be mingling with the crowds of mining industry executives attending a major metals conference in Florida in early March.

The four-day event is expected to attract almost 1,500 participants to Hollywood, Florida. Bank of Montreal, which is organizing the annual gathering, sees strong interest from several car manufacturers that are seeking to secure supplies of lithium, nickel, graphite and other battery metals.

“There’s an urgency to it now that wasn’t there a few years ago,” said Ilan Bahar, co-head of global metals and mining business at BMO Capital Markets.“If three or four years ago we had invited car companies to our conference, they probably wouldn’t have made it a priority.”

It’s unusual for massive end-users of raw commodities, like auto manufacturers, machinery producers or aerospace companies, to attend large mining conferences. But the huge demand for raw materials to support the electrification of those industries is changing that.

Bahar said a number of automakers are attending, including officials in procurement or corporate development, and are focused on securing supply and investing.

“They’re there as investors,” he said. “They want to meet with companies, and the companies want to meet with investors.”  ... ' 

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