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Lithium on the rise after US EV law passes

Monday, August 22nd, 2022

President Joe Biden signs the bill.

Australia’s critical minerals will drive the United States’ electric vehicle battery program following its move to grant preferred status to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners.

The US Inflation Reduction Act is a boost for the Australian Government’s manufacturing agenda and will help underpin the demand for high quality Australian battery minerals.

Under the Act, a new electric vehicle will only be eligible for tax credits when at least 40 per cent of the battery’s critical minerals came from the US, an FTA partner such as Australia, Chile or Canada, or recycling in North America. That could increase to 80 percent by 2027.

The new law is a major milestone in the country’s transition from an economy long driven by fossil fuels to one that will be dominated by minerals such as lithium, nickel and aluminum.

Lithium share prices shot up when the ASX opened for the first time after the bill passed the House of Representatives. Companies such as Piedmont Lithium, Core Lithium, Sayona Mining, Allkem and Global Lithium Resources all surged.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said the development would strengthen the case for investment capital into mining.

“Australian mining needs about $20 billion per year to sustain current production,” she said.

“If we are going to increase the capacity of existing mines, or open new mines – including in the commodities needed for our global transition to net zero emissions – capital investment will need to be increased by an order of magnitude.

“The Bank of America estimates that $US150 billion per year will be needed in global mining to produce the minerals needed to achieve the global transition to net zero.

“Australia needs to position itself as a competitive destination for this capital in order to realise its full potential.”

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