The demand for lithium has been steadily increasing in recent years, leading to a significant increase in the number of operating mines. From just 22 mines six years ago, there are now 60 in operation, and this number is expected to reach 200 by the end of the decade. This rapid growth in supply has sparked concerns about market volatility, with some predicting that the market will experience significant fluctuations due to oversupply.
Despite these concerns, Mark Selby, CEO of Canada Nickel, remains optimistic about the future of the battery market. He believes that there is room for multiple battery chemistries in the market, and that it is unlikely that there will be one winner and everything else will be a loser. Selby envisions a differentiated market with options ranging from entry-level to premium based on performance.
Advancements in technology have made nickel substitution more feasible, but Selby is not worried about it. Nickel has the highest energy density and people are constantly looking for ways to use more of it in batteries. He also believes that lithium will continue to play an important role in the battery market due to its high energy density and low cost compared to other alternatives such as cobalt and graphite.
Overall, the conversation around the future of the battery market is one of cautious optimism, with a recognition of the potential for market volatility and a belief in the coexistence of multiple battery chemistries. The supply of lithium is expected to continue to climb, and this trend is likely to lead to a range of options for batteries based on performance and energy density.