INTERNATIONAL – Tesla expects global shortages of nickel, copper and other electric-vehicle battery minerals down the road due to underinvestment in the mining sector, the company’s global supply manager for battery metals told an industry conference on Thursday, according to two sources.
The company, a major minerals consumer, has rarely talked publicly about its views on the metals industry. Copper, nickel, lithium and related minerals are key components used to make electric-vehicle batteries and other parts.
Sarah Maryssael, Tesla’s global supply manager for battery metals, told a closed-door Washington conference of miners, regulators and lawmakers that the automaker sees a shortage of key EV minerals coming, according to the sources.
According to a Tesla spokesperson, the comments were industry-specific and referring to the long-term supply challenges that may occur with regards to these metals.
The copper industry has suffered from years of underinvestment, and it is now working feverishly to develop new mines and bring fresh supply online as the electrification trend envelops the global economy. Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, is expanding in the United States and Indonesia.