By Sandra Wirtz
It’s Halloween – time for trick or treating, spooky storytelling and scary visuals. Here’s a real scary one if you’re still looking to frighten the policy wonks among your Halloween party guests. Courtesy of our friends at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, it’s an infographic that should send a serious chill down policy makers’ spines, and it’s not even gory
While stakeholders have taken some important steps to decouple from China in the wake of critical mineral supply chain wake-up calls against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and rising geopolitical tensions, we are still — and likely will be for a while — at the mercy of China when it comes to securing our EV battery supply chains, which are at the core of the green energy transition.
As Benchmark outlines,
“While most of the world’s lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese for batteries is mined outside of China, the majority of all critical minerals for the battery supply chain are further refined and processed in China.
With the exception of mining, China controls at least half of the supply from every step needed to make a lithium ion battery.”
As if “at least half” wasn’t scary enough, let’s take a look at graphite — a key ingredient for the anode side of Lithium-ion batteries: According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, China mines 64% of natural flake graphite, and it has a “monopoly on converting [it] into the spherical graphite needed for anodes.”