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Andrew Miller: We are in an Upward Transition Period for Lithium & EVs

Andrew sees a vital and intense lithium market with continued demand growth. There has been a lot of investment in the space during the last few years. This has brought new supply to the market temporarily outstripping demand. Continued investment in new mines is needed, and volatility will undoubtedly persist.

Nickel demand has not grown quite as quickly as some analysts were predicting. A conservative approach is needed as it takes time to improve battery technology. He discusses the growth models for the battery chemistries, the cost concerns, and the pressures across the supply chain.

Often overlooked in battery metals is the crucial anode side of the technology. All of the focus has been on cathodes, and yet the anode side is equally vital. Not all types of graphite are practical, so supply may be more uncertain than many experts believe.

He feels we are at or just past the tipping point for electric vehicles, and that massive growth will continue around the world. Automobile manufacturers are regularly announcing new electric vehicles. Battery costs will continue to decline while the technology gradually improves.

One book he enjoyed this year was “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” which looks at the mistakes made during the Theranos Scandal. There are a lot of lessons in those pages for investors regarding human nature.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence collects and examines first-hand data from the market about the supply chain and generate price assessments. Andrew has a group of talented analysts that are continually staying on top of the industry.

Time Stamp References:
0:40 – The lithium market and the next bull market.
2:20 – Where we are at with nickel chemistry in batteries.
4:40 – The LME nickel drawdown and speculation.
6:15 – Graphite and anode materials in batteries.
9:00 – The tipping point for EV’s
11:30 – Book recommendations.
12:30 – Benchmark Mineral Intelligence overview.

Talking Points From This Week’s Episode
• The demand picture for lithium and nickel.
• The need for high-quality graphite in batteries.
• Electric vehicle uptake is improving worldwide.

Andrew Miller is the Head of Price Assessments at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. He specializes in first-hand data collection of niche minerals and metals, especially graphite, lithium, cobalt, and fluorspar. Miller’s primary role at Benchmark is price collection for these industries and creating and maintaining indices, including Benchmark’s new Graphite Price Index. Before this, he was an analyst for Industrial Minerals and a Client Services Executive for Invesco Perpetual.

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