December 8, 2022: Supplies of lithium, cobalt and nickel are unlikely to be available in quantities needed to meet the anticipated escalation of global demand for the battery metals over the next few years, a top analyst said on December 5.
Joao Jorge, market research and statistics director of the International Lead & Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), said it was “becoming clear that it is unlikely there will be sufficient supplies of the new battery metals” in the short term.
Jorge told the International Conference on Lead & Lead Batteries in New Delhi that a mix of battery technologies, including lead, would need to be deployed across industry sectors.
He said despite “the generally negative sentiment often directed toward lead”, the Lisbon-based study group believed there would be no major change in trends in that market in the short to medium term.
“The main reason is lead’s still-dominant position in the automotive sector. Looking ahead, we are confident that lead batteries can continue to play a significant role both in this sector and the growing energy storage market — particularly that generated from renewables,” Jorge said.
“This is mainly because lead acid batteries are a low-cost, safe and proven technology that is easily and effectively recycled.”
The ILZSG said in forecasts published on October 24 that global demand for refined lead metal was set to increase by 0.8% to 12.42 million tonnes this year after rising by 4.6% in 2021.