“I scratch my head and wonder where is all this metal going to come from,” Clean TeQ’s Riggall said. “The risks to the automotive sector are very, very large unless they secure their raw materials supply chain.”

 


With “mind-blowing” projections from the auto industry on its future raw material needs, the best solution could be for vehicle producers to invest directly in mining operations, according to Sam Riggall, chief executive officer of developer Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd.

“Having to invest upstream is not what a car company wants to do, we understand that, but the rules have changed,” Riggall said. “We’re building a supply chain that’s never existed before, for a range of metals that have never been needed before by this industry.”

Auto companies have outlined plans to spend more than $140 billion on electric vehicle production, an industry shift that’ll need producers of specialist materials and metals for batteries to dramatically lift output. Nickel demand is forecast to surge about 16-fold through 2030 from 2018.
Nickel sulfate, among materials that Clean TeQ’s Sunrise mine project aims to produce, is a key industry concern. Even a doubling of production capacity through 2030 won’t be enough to keep pace with demand, and the market could fall into deficit as soon as 2023, BNEF analysts forecast.