The piece highlights a slide from an Orocobre deck showing just how large the gap is between expectations of new supply and the reality of bringing lithium projects into production.
It could not have been Orocobre’s intention, but the Brisbane-based company’s Argentina venture became the poster child for the challenges faced by new brine projects. Salar de Olaroz eventually took seven years to hit its stride.
The delays, run-ins with courts and regulators, not to mention mutual accusations of licence violations, Chile giants SQM and Albemarle are dealing with in the Atacama only reinforce this point.
After a dramatic retreat since the first quarter, lithium carbonate and hydroxide prices have now at least stabilized.