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Why Rock Tech Lithium Is Looking To Europe For A Coming Lithium Boom

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Lithium has many industrial applications and is an important resource for many economic sectors. The sector with the biggest demand for lithium is the battery industry. With electric vehicles being on the rise and society as a whole becoming more digital-first, the demand for lithium is increasing. Currently, most of the world’s lithium hydroxide is being produced in China, which is unsurprising, given the fact that China is very big on e-mobility.

While China is well-positioned for its own supply of battery-grade lithium, Europe is lagging behind in this regard. Thankfully, the demand for electric vehicles is climbing fast in Europe.

One company, Rock Tech Lithium Inc. (OTC: RCKTF), is plannig to build its own conversion plant in Europe in order to position itself as one of the first lithium hydroxide suppliers outside of China. By doing this, Rock Tech Lithium hopes to enable the European lithium market to flourish independently.

“With sustainable production that is based on the latest technologies, we will develop Rock Tech Lithium into a major central player in the green and clean-tech industry. We plan on building a second lithium converter in five years with our self-developed, patented chem-tech processes, and we will make our contribution to the European auto and battery industries to make Europe independent of deliveries from Asia at every stage of the supply chain,” said Dirk Harbecke, Chairman of the Board at Rock Tech Lithium.

The total global lithium demand for all applications is expected to increase to over 400,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate in 2021, with the demand for lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide expected to increase by 23% year-on-year and 33% year-on-year, respectively. This increase is almost entirely down to the climbing needs of the battery sector, which are the result of the increased global demand for electric vehicles.

The incoming lithium boom

In January 2021, lithium carbonate prices in China increased by over 40% because of the continued rising demand for lithium iron phosphate batteries. Seeing as the sales figures for fully electric cars are growing throughout Europe, the European demand for lithium is expected to grow as well.

According to Dirk Harbecke, the production and sale of battery cells for electric car applications rose by more than 30% in 2020. With new battery cell factories being built around the world, the demand for lithium increases. Prices, which went down for almost three years, have risen over 50% since December 2020, and they will continue to rise because the planned production can’t keep up with the growing demand.

The first lithium boom was from 2016 to 2018, but experts expect the upcoming boom to be even bigger. The previous lithium boom was mainly driven by China’s commitment to e-mobility and the euphoria and hype surrounding Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3.

“However, this time, the boom is driven by real, very high growth rates in lithium demand of more than 20 percent per year,” said Dirk Harbecke.

Rock Tech Lithium has the goal of becoming a fully integrated producer of battery-grade lithium hydroxide. The company recently partnered with a large German construction and recycling group to ensure the sustainable production and recycling of all the materials from its converter. Once it starts its production, which is planned for 2023, it will be producing around 24,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year - enough for 500,000 electric cars. This will ultimately help European producers become more independent of raw materials from China.

Disclaimer: the writer does not hold any relationship with Rock Tech Lithium.

 

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