The prices of batteries for cars and smartphones continue to fall, partly due to the price drop resulting from the discovery in the USA of the largest lithium deposit in the world. In fact, the price of the mineral is already at November 2021 levels, and the slope is increasingly vertical. Aside from the price, this is a very hard blow for China, which boasted of having controlled and possessed the largest quantities of this very fundamental mineral.
Yes, we know that batteries are moving to other minerals, in many cases more expensive, in others longer lasting and faster, but Lithium is and remains the king when it comes to cost/benefit And if the price continues the spiral it has embarked on, it will soon reach historic lows, although it is already within them in 2024.
The USA finds the world’s largest lithium deposit at the foot of a dormant volcano in Nevada
The first estimates are between 20 and 40 million tons of this mineral. To give us an idea, the largest recorded entry was in Chile/Bolivia with 21 million tons. This could mean a doubling of this mineral resource, whose value will decline in a short period of time.
45 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide, located in McDermitt between the Nevada and Oregon borders, the huge deposit has wiped out China’s claims of subjugation to the US with the stroke of a pen.
And lithium is currently used at the geopolitical level in three key industries, such as Batteries for cars and smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices, as well as for solar thermal technology, such as solar panels, and let’s not forget the Production of nuclear reactors and their energy.
This means that the USA and, indirectly, Europe have eliminated their dependence on China in one fell swoop with this material. Taking into account the fact that the EU has signed trade agreements with Mercosurand that Chile is included, it is more than likely that the salt lakes they occupy along with Bolivia are a target that should be on the table now.
Globally, the dynamics are changing to dominate the electric vehicle
The Belgian geologist Anouk Borst commented that this “could change the dynamics of lithium globally in terms of price, security of supply and geopolitics.” The United States would have its own lithium supply and the industry would be less afraid of supply bottlenecks.”
Discovery will benefit Tesla especially and certainly the Volkswagen group, which has just landed on the American continent and will now have both eyes on it. But unlike Tesla, the German brand does not compete directly with Chinese car brands. Tesla is doing it, and right now in China, it’s knocking everyone down one by one This is the only thing that supports the price drop on cars like the Tesla Model 3 (especially the new 2024 version) and the Model Y.
However, the estimates for this lithium deposit in the USA assume that Biden, Tesla, Volkswagen, and possibly LG and CATL can make some 50 million batteries for electric cars alone, without counting the rest of the industries. Therefore, the blow to China here was both unexpected and gigantic, as the West, along with Chile, Bolivia, and Australia, ensures that it does not have to rely on this key mineral from Xi Jinping’s country.