United States, Mark Crumpton, Jonathan Evans discussed on Balance of Power


Deal. Another leak has been found on the Nord stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. That brings the total number of ruptures to Ford. Several governments have called the leaks deliberate and sabotage. The pipelines carry gas from Russia to Europe. They were already out of action, but any hope the Kremlin might turn gas flows back on have now been dashed. Global news, 24 hours a day. On air and on Bloomberg quicktake, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts and over 120 countries. I'm Mark crumpton. This is Bloomberg. David. Thank you so much, Mark. Lithium. Something that until recently, many of us probably had not really thought much about, but now with the major move into electric vehicles and the lithium that they need for their batteries. We're all asking ourselves, are we going to have enough lithium for all those millions of electric vehicles, we're told are coming and coming rather soon. We welcome now someone who is involved in making sure we have the lithium. He is Jonathan Evans. He's president and CEO of lithium America. So Jonathan, thank you so much for being with us. Give us a sense of the world supply of lithium. How much is there? How much do we need and where does it exist? So thanks for having you on your show. So looking at this at rare, we actually have quite a bit of lithium in the U.S. and Canada, our project in Nevada is actually the largest deposit in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. And untapped at this point. Traditionally, it's come from Australia, from Chile and Argentina with the bulk of the refining being done in China. But with the quick adoption of EVs and actually even stationary storage batteries for renewable energy, the demand is really taken off. So you think about today there is about 6 or 700,000 tons of demand of this product, which is pretty small if you compare it to traditional markets like copper or things like that. And that demand is set to go more than 5 times by 2030. So we don't have a lot of time to take advantage of a lot of the great legislation. And our fight against climate change. So give us a sense of the timeline on getting a lithium mine up and running and functioning. How long does it take? You can take ten years, especially in locations like the U.S., where there's a lot of work that needs to be done up front to prepare for permitting to go through the permitting process then invariably there's usually an appeal at the end of that permitting process. It's quicker in other locations like Canada and Australia, but again, still takes several years. From the time you discover or categorize a deposit, the shortest is normally about 5 years and the longest could be could be ten to 20 years depending upon what types of issues that the company runs into to develop it. So if my math is right, ten years takes us beyond the 2030 date that you just mentioned. So I guess time is a wasting as a practical talk about the permitting because that's something that's obviously been very talked about a lot in Washington with the proposal from Joe Manchin. I'm permitting reform. How important is some sort of reform for your business to get the permits faster? I think it's important. Even beyond just critical minerals, the sector weren't actually for all the infrastructure to support this transition to green energy. What do you talk about transmission lines or pipelines and in our case here is to develop these deposits. There aren't that many that are being looked at right now, but the process can be very long and lengthy, especially the appeals process. And that actually helps it actually hinders capital deployment where private companies, if they don't, if they're not sure of when they're going to get a return on their investment, they don't invest at all. So luckily, our government has stepped in the loan program office and I think the very good legislation that's been put out with the inflation reduction act, which is going to help spur development domestically, but there still is work that needs to be done to ensure that we come up with a good compromise solution and have strong legislation and strong rules, but at the same time we're with the perceived forward for this infrastructure change and for commercial green energy in the United States. Well, my understanding is the inflation reduction actually helps on the demand side to make sure that we're going to actually make the transition. But on the permitting side, is it do anything to expedite the permitting? No, it does not. There's other legislation that the government has promulgated earlier that does add to the permitting process in terms of helping optimize it. Especially around areas like hiring additional personnel for the department of interior and bureau land management all very helpful. But there's still some more areas that the government I know is focusing on. It is a bipartisan focus. And I'm hopeful that we can come to a solution and we need to as a country because as I said, this is more than just critical minerals. This is the whole infrastructure for our country as we convert to intellectual electrify our country across the board. You said earlier, Jonathan, there really isn't a shortage of lithium globally that there's a fair amount of lithium around. At the same time, my impression is a lot of people are locking up supplies as fast as they can. Certainly, we've heard stories about China locking up supplies, but also I wonder if U.S. auto manufacturers are coming to people like you and saying we'd like to have a contract long-term contract to get access to the lithium reproducing. They are actually and I'll go back to the inflation reduction act. The legislation requires that the critical minerals are sourced in certain countries, mainly countries that have free trade agreements with the United States. And there's an additional incentive there for us to actually build here in the U.S. where there's actually a tax credit for those production facilities. So the domestic auto manufacturers and even European and Asian manufacturers really want to relocate here to take advantage of those not only the tax break for the purchase of the vehicle, but also the long-term tax break once the facility is actually built. So there is a lot of private capital that's being unleashed with the inflation reduction act, which is really what's been needed. And why this industry hasn't grown quick enough with the help of the government, inflation reduction act that just passed. So I think you're going to see a big change. And things are going to rapidly accelerate now. And you're going to see investment here in the United States, which I know that's one of the reasons for this as well is to build our not only our national security and our march towards energy independence, but actually also our economic security and good paying jobs. It's one thing to get the lithium out of the ground. Another thing to make it usable for the batteries is I understand you were finding process. Where are we on the capacity for refining lithium? There isn't very much in the U.S.. It's not outside of the realm of things we know how to do and actually we used to do a lot of that here and it went to other countries

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