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Chris Berry: Consolidation and M&A Coming to the Lithium Space in 2018

Chris describes his background in capital markets and how why he decided to become an independent researcher into rare earth and energy metals. He felt that the small sector was being ignored by institutions and there was going to be increasing demand for these metals. He says it was dull for the first few years, but now things are really picking up.

The lithium market has responded positively to the increase in price over the past year. There is continuing demand from China. Many people are just beginning to understand this market and how it relates to the electric vehicles. The coming months will be positive for investors.

There is a powerful economic tail-wind in play right now. Battery technology and prices are continuing to get cheaper. Solar, wind, and batteries are all getting more affordable and as technology improves the energy metals look increasingly promising.

China usually does what they say they will do, and they want seven million new vehicles on the road by 2025. That alone will increase lithium demand from 215k tons to over 300k tons. He feels E.V. demand will center around China and their desire to clean up air quality.

Investment interest is still lagging, and there is much room for growth. As underlying commodity prices improve, the stocks and market caps are likely to perform well.

Mr. Berry expects that the general theme for 2018 will be one of consolidation and acquisitions as major companies look for long-term supply. He discusses various companies that can provide good pure exposure to the market.

Talking Points From This Weeks Episode
• Battery and rare earth metals are under-appreciated.
• Underlying solar and battery technology continue to drive costs down.
• China will be a leading driver for E.V. adoption and production of batteries.
• The theme for 2018 remains one of consolidation and acquisition.

Chris has been an independent analyst since 2009 with a focus on Energy Metals including lithium, cobalt, graphite, vanadium, and rare earths. His research provides strategic insights to institutional clients and has a specific focus on how disruptive trends in energy, strategic metals, and technology create opportunities. Before shifting focus to analysis of these trends, Chris gained twelve years of capital markets experience on both the buy side and sell side.

He speaks at conferences in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia and is frequently quoted in the press including the Financial Times providing insights around raw material supply chain dynamics.

Chris holds a Master of Business Administration in finance with an international focus from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from The Virginia Military Institute.

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