Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
American businessman and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk has opened the possibility of entering the nickel mining and lithium refining business for the elaboration of the batteries of its electric vehicles, after the rise in prices that these raw materials recently experienced.
Through Twitter, the social network of which he is the majority shareholder, Musk hinted that Tesla could enter mining if the cost of lithium is not reduced –which experienced a rise of more than 80% this year–, and nickel –which has also suffered variations due to the commercial oscillation in London–.
“The price of lithium has risen to insane levels! Tesla might have to go into mining and refining directly at scaleunless costs improve,” Musk wrote in early April.
The American billionaire also said that Tesla “has some fresh ideas about sustainable lithium mining and refining”and alluded to the lithium reserves in Nevada, one of the largest in the United States.
Although it has supply contracts for nickel, lithium and other raw materials with suppliers from various parts of the world for the manufacture of batteries for its vehicles, the company needs more.
Experts like Morningstar lithium analyst Seth Goldstein say the billionaire should consider buying an existing lithium company, as he has never operated a mine and may sooner or later realize the difficulties of running it. .
Tesla is currently building a lithium plant in Texas to process spodumene concentrate (a stone containing the raw material) into lithium hydroxide, which is a necessary component in car batteries.
Regarding nickel, experts such as Coby Anderson, from the Colorado School of Mines, believe that Musk will need to build a refinery.
It may interest you:
-Why Elon Musk could be a headache for the new CEO of Twitter
-Elon Musk now also controls Twitter: He promises “significant improvements” in the company
-Elon Musk buys 9.2% of Twitter and becomes the main shareholder of the network that he has criticized so much