Minister Declines Tesla’s Proposal To Get Lithium From Nigeria 

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite has disclosed that he declined an offer by Tesla Inc to get raw lithium from Nigeria.

Tesla, Inc. is an American multinational automotive and clean energy company headquartered in Austin, Texas. It designs and manufactures electric vehicles, battery energy.

The Minister, while speaking at a conference titled, “Leveraging Future Minerals for Sustainable Development”, said a Tesla representative met him during a summit in Saudi Arabia and expressed interest in obtaining Lithium from Nigeria.

However, the minister refused the proposal and told Tesla to establish a battery industry in Nigeria.

According to him, creating the battery industry would boost the value chain of mineral exploration in Nigeria.

Adegbite said that mineral demand from electric vehicles and battery storage is speculated to rise 10 to 30 times by 2040, adding that electric vehicles and battery storage would be responsible for half of the energy minerals demand over the next two decades, sparked by the heightening demand for battery materials.

“Nigeria is richly endowed with critical minerals. Lithium and tantalum are found in parts of the extensive pegmatite belts of Nigeria,” he said.

He clarified that the future minerals are the metallic or non-metallic elements essential for the growth and benefits of modern technologies.

Various nations are launching policies and strategic models to guarantee the accelerated development of the critical energy minerals, he said.

Discerning that the accumulating demand for critical minerals is stimulated by the crucial need to secure a low-carbon future, he said, “Countries are increasingly relying on rare earth elements and critical minerals to support their climate commitments.”

“The consequence of this major shift is a high demand for critical minerals for use in climate-friendly technologies.  The World Bank has estimated the demand for these minerals to triple by 2040.

“Undoubtedly, the deployment of critical minerals for a clean energy transition will remain significantly intensive for a long time,” he added.

Lithium is one of the components utilized in electric car batteries. There has been an upsurge in the demand of lithium in the recent years. This has posed the mineral resource at the heart of a global competition, pitching the world’s largest carmakers against each other and dragged in governments in a pursuit to safeguard supply.

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