Since lithium is “just like widely available”, according to Musk and Tesla’s scientists, they have eliminated other hard to come by metals like graphite (replace it with sand, obvs) and cobalt from batteries (at least in theory), Musk’s prime raw material worry is nickel.
Nickel and dimed
Ahead of Battery Day, in an investors conference call Musk had a big shout-out for all the nickel miners out there, wherever they may be in the world (hopefully near some nickel):
“Well, I’d just like to re-emphasise, any mining companies out there, please mine more nickel. Okay. Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel and don’t wait for nickel to go back to some long — some high point that you experienced some five years ago, whatever. Go for efficiency, obviously environmentally friendly nickel mining at high volume. Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time, if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way. So hopefully this message goes out to all mining companies. Please get nickel.”
Nickel was languishing below $10,000 a tonne five years ago, not exactly an incentive price, but whatever. Mine efficiently and at high volume? We should give that a try, fellas! Then we can make up in volume what we lose on price.
At Battery Day Musk also ended the mining lesson with a plea for nickel. Perhaps the world’s miners did not get the previous shout out because this time Musk said he personally called all the CEOs of the biggest mining companies.
Musk did at least end that auspicious day in the Tesla parking lot on a cautiously optimistic note: “It is very important. I think they are going to make more nickel.”
They better – a couple of days after the event Musk confirmed in a tweet that Tesla will reach production of 20 million vehicles per year before 2030.
Devil’s copper is in the details
MINING.COM used data from Adamas Intelligence, which tracks demand for EV batteries by chemistry, cell supplier and capacity in over 90 countries, to calculate the deployment of raw materials in Tesla cars on a sales weighted basis in 2020.
By extrapolating those numbers, the company’s use of raw materials, if it was producing 20 million cars a year instead of the 500,000 vehicles it made last year, was determined.
Tesla’s models use on average around 45 kilograms of nickel (NCA and NCM811). The numbers are based on the assumption that roughly 20% of Tesla newly sold cars would be equipped with LFP batteries through 2030.
And if, as expected, Tesla moves to NCMA chemistries in China, nickel use would go up slightly and cobalt would go down marginally.
When Tesla makes 20 million cars in a year it will need more than 30% of global mined nickel production in 2019 (2020 saw a 20%-plus reduction in output) for its batteries.
Put another way, Tesla will have to buy the entire output of the top 6 producers – Norilsk, Vale, Jinchuan, Sumitomo, Glencore, BHP, and then some.
Or build the equivalent of 23 mines like Sumitomo’s Ambatovy mine in Madagascar – at $8.5 billion a pop. Obviously, money is no object for Musk, but still.
Get it to nameplate capacity and you only have to build 12, but you’ll have to torture that orebody until it gives you straight mineralogy and ore grades so that you’re not constantly reconfiguring the plant. This is not just an Ambatovy problem – but a common feature of nickel mines, and no, that’s not why it’s called the devil’s copper.
TSLA HPAL DSTP
If Tesla LFP does not prove popular – and early buyers are less than enthusiastic about the cheaper models – Tesla would have to sign exclusive off-takes for the top 10 nickel producers and take most of the 18.5 million wet tonnes of ore (there’s your volume now) from Philippines’ no. 1 producer Asia Nickel, its annual exports.
But China’s nickel pig iron and stainless steel makers won’t give up that supply so easily.
And besides converting 0.9% nickel ore to battery grade material cheaply and efficiently at high volume may be beyond even the rocket scientists at Musk’s Space-X. (And if the cyberpunktruck makes up a big portion of the 20 million, Tesla is going to need lots of stainless steel too.)
That leaves Indonesia, where a number of high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) projects using deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP) are in development. HPAL operations will likely become a significant source of new supply for the battery supply chain.
But HPAL and DSTP are not exactly the type of acronym you’d want the prospective TSLA buyer who’s in it for green credentials to learn if you want to get to 20 million. If you think artisanal mining in the Congo is a bad ESG look, you wouldn’t want images of the red shores of Basamuk Bay to enter the popular imagination.
Done and dusted
Since Tesla is replacing graphite anodes with silicon, it’s not necessary to dwell on the fact that if this elusive scientific breakthrough is not commercialized at the speed of a Tesla in Ridiculous Mode, the carmaker would need 94% of the world’s natural graphite production by the time it hits 20 million cars a year.
At least you can make more graphite.
Likewise, with cobalt – the metal that dare not speak its name at Tesla – the requirement of more than half the globe’s production before 2030, is irrelevant (at least in theory).
Similarly, it’s not worth mentioning that global lithium production was only 77,000 tonnes last year, and Tesla needs 127,000 tonnes annually to make 20 million vehicles. Because, Nevada.
Apart from nickel, a potential headache for Tesla20m is rare earths, 90% of which come from China.
Some three-quarters of Tesla’s motors use permanent magnets and should the ratio stay the same the company will need nearly 40% of magnet rare earth mined output (MagREO – NdPr, Dy, Tb) according to Adamas, which also publishes a rare earth handbook and tracks the metals in EV motors.
But, as every popular science article ever written about rare earths says in the first paragraph, despite being called rare earths, they are not.
In fact, the 17 elements are more abundant in the earth’s crust than lithium.
I guess you could say rare earths are just like widely available.
St Barbara considers placing Touquoy gold mine into care
The company said it would take more time than available before capacity of the existing facility at the mine is reached in early 2024.
Reuters | March 1, 2023 | 1:54 pm
Denarius resource supports restart of 230-year-old Colombian gold mine
The company plans to restart production this year from the former Independencia mine dating to 1793.
Staff Writer | March 1, 2023 | 10:20 am
Advance Lithium in joint venture talks with Mexico’s national lithium company
Advance Lithium has a group of lithium and potassium salars/salt lakes in central Mexico.
Staff Writer | March 1, 2023 | 10:12 am
Goldman warns carmakers against buying miners: ‘It always end in tears’
Automakers have been pushing into mining more aggressively to lock in supply for batteries.
Bloomberg News | March 1, 2023 | 8:59 am
Glad somebody called out these ridiculous speculations. Tesla is just one of the firms riding irrational government policies that ignore economic competition. Read the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged .for Tesla counterparts..
Lynn Lake Manitoba!!!!!! Lots of nickel. Lots of nickels!!!!!
I thought the nickel story for batteries was more complicated than this. Most production is ferro-nickel which is not optimal to purify for batteries. Sulfide nickel is easier to purify for battery purity, which is mainly Canada and Russia mines.
oscar salalima valencia
nicola tesla used zinc battery not lithium battery ,it should be elon musk car not tesla
I have a 110-D mining permit with the Colorado Division of reclamation, mining and safety. I have assay reports to show there is 10 elements and 4 rear earth In my ore. I have 100,000 ton available ready to process.
Monumental shift in way junior mining stocks are valued is coming
Rick Mills - Ahead of the Herd | March 1, 2023 | 12:34 pm
Advance Lithium in joint venture talks with Mexico’s national lithium company
Staff Writer | March 1, 2023 | 10:12 am
Goldman warns carmakers against buying miners: ‘It always end in tears’
Bloomberg News | March 1, 2023 | 8:59 am
China’s lithium mining likely to face more scrutiny
Reuters | March 1, 2023 | 8:06 am
What mining company is Tesla buying? ›
Tesla is reportedly considering buying Brazil-based lithium miner Sigma Lithium, which is currently valued at $3 billion. With the rapidly rising costs of key minerals for battery production, Tesla has been considering venturing into the mining world.Does Tesla use rare earth metals? ›
At Tesla's investor day this week, the electric vehicle maker announced its next generation of permanent magnet motors would no longer use rare earths. Markets reacted swiftly.What materials are needed for Tesla batteries? ›
Battery cell chemistry
The three main cathode types in Tesla EVs: nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) lithium iron phosphate (LFP)
Piedmont Lithium Inc. will now supply an increased 125,000 metric tons of lithium concentrate to the EV giant starting in the second half of this year through the end of 2025, according to a statement Tuesday.Is mining lithium bad for the environment? ›
According to a report by Friends of the Earth (FoE), lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and causes air contamination. As demand rises, the mining impacts are “increasingly affecting communities where this harmful extraction takes place, jeopardising their access to water,” says the report.What country has the most lithium? ›
With 8 million tons, Chile has the world's largest known lithium reserves. This puts the South American country ahead of Australia (2.7 million tons), Argentina (2 million tons) and China (1 million tons).Who owns the most rare earth metals? ›
In 2021, global demand for rare earths reached 125,000 metric tons. By 2030, it is forecast to reach 315,000 tons. Concerningly, production of these rare earth minerals has remained concentrated. China has a dominant hold on the market—with 60% of global production and 85% of processing capacity.Where does the US get its rare earth metals? ›
The U.S. is increasingly dependent on foreign sources for many of the processed versions of these minerals. Globally, China controls most of the market for processing and refining for cobalt, lithium, rare earths and other critical minerals.Which country has the most rare earth metals? ›
Most of these reserves are located within China, estimated at some 44 million metric tons. After China, the major rare earth countries based on reserve volume are Vietnam, Brazil, and Russia. The United States also has significant reserves, estimated to amount to 2.3 million metric tons.How much does a Tesla battery cost? ›
The cost to replace Tesla Battery
Over the years, Tesla has used different lithium-ion battery configurations in its vehicles. There haven't been many documented battery replacements, so it's hard to come up with the price range. But the cost of the battery may range anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000.
How long does Tesla battery last? ›
On Twitter, Elon Musk explained that Tesla car batteries should last for 300,000 to 500,000 miles or 1,500 battery charge cycles. That's between 22 and 37 years for the average car driver, who, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT), drives 13,476 miles per year.How much does it cost to charge a Tesla? ›
It costs $15.52 on average to charge a Tesla. Depending on the car model, it costs between $10.95 and $18.14. In general, the cost of charging a Tesla is more than 3 times cheaper per mile than the cost of fueling a gas-powered car (4.56 cents per mile compared to approximately 13.73 cents per mile for gas vehicles).Who owns the largest lithium mine in America? ›
Albemarle is the biggest company on the list and the world's largest lithium producer. Albemarle operates the only active lithium mine in the U.S., located in Silver Peak, Nevada.
However, the US is home to what are believed to be the world's largest lithium deposits after those in the so-called Lithium Triangle region in South America. The states of Nevada, North Carolina, and California together host an estimated 4% of the world's lithium reserves.Is lithium mining worse than oil? ›
Lithium mining does have an environmental impact, but it is no worse than oil drilling. This is especially true when you consider the carbon emissions produced from petroleum products during their usage, as compared to lithium-ion batteries that have little to no GHG emissions during their use.Are lithium mines destroying Earth? ›
The demand for lithium for EV batteries is driving a mining boom in an arid Andes region of Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, home to half the world's reserves. Hydrologists are warning the mines could drain vital ecosystems and deprive Indigenous communities of precious water.Is lithium mining worse than fracking? ›
Based on what is currently known, fracking is a much more dangerous process than lithium mining, but unfortunately, both seem to be essential to the world today. Many countries, companies, industries, and individuals are dependent on oil and natural gas.Is Mexico rich in lithium? ›
According to the US Geological Services, Mexico has the ninth largest identified lithium resources in the world (1.7 million tons). However, there is currently no commercial mining exploitation of lithium in Mexico, only some exploration projects in Jalisco, Guanajuato, Nogales, Sonora, and Puebla.Is Ukraine rich in lithium? ›
According to preliminary estimates, researchers believe that Ukraine is a treasure trove of lithium, holding about 500,000 tons of the “non-renewable mineral that makes renewable energy possible.” Lithium has become virtually irreplaceable in electric vehicle (EV) batteries because of its efficient energy storage per ...
Who has the most Unmined lithium? ›
USA Rare Earth, based in Tampa, Florida, was founded in 2019 by Pini Althaus. Thomas Schneberger was recently named as the company's new CEO.Who owns the most metal? ›
China: The world's No. 1 metals consumer holds more than half of the known global reserves of 9 of the 14 most critical raw materials.Which US company owns rare earth mines? ›
MP Materials Corp. Stellar Q2 2022 earnings, owns the only rare earth mine and processing facility in the U.S.Where is rare earth in the US? ›
Currently, the only U.S. rare earths mining and processing facility is the Mountain Pass mine in California's Mojave Desert. Operated by MP Materials, the mine accounts for close to 16 percent of the world's rare earths production.What is the rarest earth? ›
Rare Earths are a group of 15 elements in the periodic table known as the Lanthanide series. Rare earths are categorised into light elements (lanthanum to samarium) and heavy elements (europium to lutetium). The latter are less common and consequently more expensive.Does the US have any rare earth deposits? ›
The current US leader in terms of production is MP Materials, which owns the only operating rare earth mine in Mountain Pass, California, and is responsible for producing 15% of the mineral content consumed in the global market, according to SEC filings.What country is rich in metals? ›
China has natural resources estimated to be worth $23 trillion.2 Ninety percent of China's resources are coal and rare earth metals.Who supplies rare earth outside China? ›
The companies – Neo and Hudson – are two of the world's few rare earths processors outside China, which now enjoys about two-thirds of all rare earth mining and close to 90 percent of the global refining of these rare and critical metals.What country produces over 90% of all rare earth minerals? ›
China tops the list for mine production and reserves of rare earth elements, with 44 million tons in reserves and 140,000 tons of annual mine production.
What happens if Tesla runs out of battery? ›
What happens if your Tesla runs out of battery charge? The car will slow down but will not completely stop. The reason is that the battery has some reserve that can power it for a few extra miles. However, the battery indicator will warn you when it enters the reserve.How much does it cost to replace the battery in an electric car? ›
When it comes to the cost of car batteries, electric vehicles take the trophy for the most expensive type. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, a battery can run you between $4,000 and $20,000.Does Tesla replace batteries for free? ›
Speaking of Model 3 warranties, all of them come with 8 year coverage, and either 100,000 or 120,000 miles (for standard or long range trims, respectively). If your battery degrades more than 70% in that time, Tesla will replace your battery - not necessarily with a new one, but with one that does exceed the 70% limit.How long can a Tesla sit without charging? ›
If your vehicle has been parked for longer than a week, Tesla recommends driving your vehicle as you normally would and charge to 100% at your earliest convenience.How much does it cost to recycle a Tesla battery? ›
Do I have to pay to recycle a Tesla battery? There is no cost to consumers to recycle an EV battery. With current technology, Tesla pays approximately $4.50 per pound to recycle its battery packs, for a total price tag of around $6,750 per unit.How much does it cost to charge a Tesla at a charging station? ›
Considering most Tesla vehicles have a 50 kWh battery, the cost to charge the vehicle at a charging station ranges from absolutely free to $21.50. However, if you have a 100kWh battery, it may cost up to $43 to charge your vehicle at a charging station.Is charging at Tesla free? ›
In most cases, Tesla charging isn't free.
The one caveat is if you have a Model S or Model X you purchased in 2017 or earlier, you may have free Supercharging, but most Tesla owners do have to pay a Supercharging fee. There were also some free Supercharging credits previously given by Tesla for referrals.
Most affordable: Tesla Model 3 ($42,990) Most expensive: Tesla Model X, Plaid ($119,990) Longest range: Tesla Model S (405 miles) Shortest range: Tesla Model 3 (272 miles)How long does it take to charge a Tesla at a charging station? ›
The Tesla Supercharger is the fastest charging option when you're away from home, allowing you to charge your car up to 200 miles in 15 minutes.Does the United States have any lithium mines? ›
An aerial view of the Silver Peak Lithium Mine in Silver Peak, Nevada. The facility is the U.S.' lone lithium producer. Much of that demand comes from the booming global EV market, with sales reaching historic levels last year and on track to do so again in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency.
Why don't we mine lithium in the US? ›
Despite dozens of potential lithium mines in the United States and in Canada, most projects are in various stages of development and many are years away from production, particularly with environmental lawsuits delaying development due to multiple entry points for litigation in U.S. regulatory law.Who does the US buy lithium from? ›
The U.S. holds about 8 million tons of lithium, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, putting it in the top five most lithium-rich countries in the world. Yet it mines and processes only 1 percent of global output. Much of the rest comes from China, Chile and Australia.What will replace lithium? ›
- Sodium-ion. Sodium-ion batteries are an emerging technology with promising cost, safety, sustainability and performance advantages over commercialised lithium-ion batteries. ...
- Solid-state batteries. ...
Leading lithium producing countries worldwide 2022
In 2022, Australia was the world leader in terms of lithium mine production, with an estimated output of 61,000 metric tons. Chile and China ranked second and third, with lithium production totaling 39,000 and 19,000 metric tons, respectively.
Lithium is a lightweight metal used in the cathodes of lithium-ion batteries, which power electric vehicles. The need for lithium has increased significantly due to the growing demand for EVs. The three largest producers of lithium are Australia, Chile and China.What food is lithium found in? ›
Lithium in Food Products
The main sources of Li in the diet are cereals, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, and some mineral waters . It may also be found in some spices such as nutmeg, coriander seeds, or cumin; however, their share in the total supply of this element is negligible in many geographic regions .
The Lithium Supply Challenge
Even though the price of lithium has surged more than tenfold over the past two years, there's enough capacity to meet anticipated demand until around 2025—and potentially through 2030 if enough recycling operations come online. After that, chronic shortages are expected.
There are only a few locations where this is possible in the United States. California's Salton Sea—which offers the greatest domestic potential for lithium extraction from brines—could produce 600,000 tons annually, according to initial estimates.What companies is Tesla buying? ›
|Nov 21, 2016||Yes||SolarCity|
|Nov 7, 2017||Yes||Perbix|
|Dec 1, 2017||No||Compass Automation|
|May 16, 2019||Yes||Maxwell Technologies|
Tesla's Bitcoin Investment Hits Nearly $2 Billion—Here's How That Compares To Billionaire Novogratz's Galaxy, Dorsey's Square And More.
What mine did Elon Musk buy? ›
His claims about Elon Musk's family owning an emerald mine, however, did not go down well with the billionaire founder of Tesla. Born in South Africa to Errol and Maye Musk, Elon Musk moved to Canada as a teenager.What crypto is linked to Tesla? ›
What can I buy from Tesla with Dogecoin? Look for the Dogecoin symbol next to the “order” button for Dogecoin-eligible products.Who buys Tesla the most? ›
According to the data Jerry found, Tesla owners are overwhelmingly male. Eighty-three percent of drivers were men, compared to 49% of drivers for all other vehicles. Tesla owners are also typically younger; around 70% of drivers are 34 or younger, falling primarily into the millennial and gen Z generations.Who supplies batteries to Tesla? ›
CATL is the world's largest electric vehicle battery maker and supplier to the likes of Tesla and Ford.What company is Tesla's biggest competitor? ›
Ford, GM, NIO, and Volkswagen are four of Tesla's main competitors. In 2022, the Chinese manufacturer BYD sold more than 1.85 million plug-in electric cars, more than tripling its 2021 result of 593,745.31 Another Chinese company, SGMW, surpassed 1.6 million units the same year, so both companies should be considered.Who owns the most Bitcoin? ›
US-based software company MicroStrategy (MSTR) was the world's biggest publicly traded corporate owner of bitcoin. MicroStrategy said in its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2022 earnings results had holdings to 132,500 BTC, worth about $2.194bn on 2 February 2023.Why did Tesla sell 75% of its Bitcoin holding? ›
Tesla's Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on the earnings conference call that the company sold the Bitcoin to maximize its cash because of Covid related uncertainty.Did Tesla sell 75% of Bitcoin? ›
Tesla Inc. said it has sold 75% of the bitcoin it had purchased, little more than a year after investing in the digital currency. The electric-vehicle maker said the sale added $936 million to its balance sheet in the second quarter.Who is the richest mine in the world? ›
Officially opened in 1982, the Jwaneng Mine is the richest diamond mine in the world by value, producing high-quality diamonds at an annual average in excess of 12 million carats. The mine contributes significantly to the economy of Botswana.Who supplies nickel to Tesla? ›
A total of twelve companies are included in the table, including Vale, which is listed as a supplier of nickel mined from Canada from an integrated mine site and refiner. Following Tesla's disclosure, Vale went public with the deal as well in a short statement dated May 6.
Which coin is backed by Elon Musk? ›
However, Musk retains his support for meme coins like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). It has prompted new cryptocurrencies like HUH Token (HUH) to offer him their tokens for support. So, how has the self-proclaimed 'Dogefather' influenced meme coins in the crypto market?How to buy TeslaCoin? ›
Tesla Coin Working
If they want to invest in Tesla coin, they must do it via the official Teslacoin website. Teslacoins are not available for purchase on Binance, Coinbase, or any other cryptocurrency exchange.
TES Price Live Data
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