Elon Musk’s call for more lithium refining highlights reliance on China

Elon Musk’s call for entrepreneurs to go into the lithium refining business highlights the lack of capacity outside of China, Benchmark data shows.

Musk said there were likely to be “constraints in the refining of the materials necessary for lithium ion batteries” since refining was “much harder” than mining.

“The processing of lithium is insane,” Musk told analysts during a post earnings call. “The mining is relatively easy, the refining is much harder...you have to refine the lithium into battery grade carbonate and hydroxide which has extremely high purity. It’s like software margins in lithium processing right . . .


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