Every industrial minerals commodity - and indeed every market - relies on the basic fundamentals of supply and demand.
Because of the nature of raw materials, demand and supply can vary enormously owing to the wide spectra of end use applications - affecting factors such as degree of beneficiation required.
End use applications may require a material that has undergone so many stages of treatment, from chemical to calcination, size reduction to precipitation, that it is hard to believe the original raw material is the same.
With lithium, nothing could be truer. On one hand it is the raw material for lithium-ion batteries that power up-to-the-minute hand-held technologies, which are changing the way people communicate with each other.
It is used in a new breed of automobiles, which will no longer wholly rely on polluting fossil fuels and grid storage.
But on the other hand, it is still an industrial staple - used...