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Electric cars stimulate the race for lithium, the raw material for batteries, in Brazil

The country has advantages over others and can consolidate itself among the largest producers of the mineral, attracting billionaire investments

In the energy transition that the world is trying to accelerate, a mineral has been identified as essential to leave carbon emissions from fossil fuels behind: lithium. One of the main raw materials for the production of batteries for electric vehicles and wind and solar power plants, the mineral has become the object of an international race.

With reserves estimated at 8% of the world’s total, the third largest on the planet, Brazil can play an important role in this process and attract billionaire investments, from mining companies to automakers, experts point out. Leader of the American electric car giant Tesla, billionaire Elon Musk, who recently visited Brazil, even said that having the right to refining lithium today is like having a “money making machine”.

With the accelerated growth in the production and sale of electric cars in the world, the international price of lithium has skyrocketed. Between January and October of this year alone, it rose more than 100% and reached US$ 80,000 per ton in November, an all-time high. With demand above supply, the trend is upward, while new deposits do not come into operation.

In Brazil, 417 requests for lithium research were submitted to the National Mining Agency (ANM) this year alone, more than all 317 registered between 2017 and 2021. Authorizations already total 229 in several states, according to ANM. Investments until 2030 in ore production are estimated at R$ 15 billion by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

from O Globo



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