Lithium executive explains why demand is exploding

By Lelde Smits. Published at May 30, 2016, in Question and Answer

Everlight Resources Managing Director Humberto L Caldelas tells The Capital Network’s Lelde Smits about the global lithium industry, supply/demand dynamics and outlook.

The Capital Network: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for The Capital Network and joining me from Everlight Resources is its Managing Director, Humberto Caldelas. Humberto, welcome.

Humberto L Caldelas: Thank you, happy to be here.

The Capital Network: Humberto you are a chemical engineer, you’ve been one for almost three decades, you’ve also got experience in the lithium industry. We’ve seen the price of lithium jump about 100% over the past year. Why are we seeing this price explosion?

Humberto L Caldelas: Well historically the demand for lithium products and lithium carbonate has far exceeded the supply. So that, carries with it the need to increase prices, or better yet what we are doing, fulfilling and putting more supply out there in the market.

The Capital Network: So Humberto we’ve had Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors Inc’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) really shine a spotlight on lithium. Can you explain the connection and also why investors really can’t get enough of it.

Humberto L Caldelas: Sure, so as you are aware he owns Tesla. Tesla is an electric car manufacturer, and being an electric car it does consume lithium hydroxide, which goes into the battery to power the vehicle. So that has been a primary reason for the explosion for the demand of lithium worldwide.

The Capital Network: Could you explain the supply demand situation with lithium and how that is expected to evolve over the coming years?

Humberto L Caldelas: Yes, the supply/demand imbalance will continue to exist for several reasons. The applications and uses of lithium are expanding beyond the electric car battery – Such as, metal alloys, pharmaceutical, so that motivates several applications and several industries that will require more supply to come into the market to fulfil that demand requirement.

The Capital Network: Could you explain to us historically who the major lithium players have been?

Humberto L Caldelas: Well yes, historically it has been FMC Corp (NYSE:FMC), Albemaro and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE:SQM) that have been satisfying the market. There is a huge lithium presence here in Australia. There is growth in lithium in China, and obviously different players are establishing themselves in Argentina.

The Capital Network: So if we’re looking at investing into lithium and we’ve got someone asking, ‘How do we know what’s good and bad?, what would you advise to them?

Humberto L Caldelas: Well I would advise to them to look at investing in lithium brine opportunities.

The Capital Network: And why is that important?

Humberto L Caldelas: They offer better operational costs, better capital costs and better grade of lithium for processing and application.

The Capital Network: And in your experience what you believe are the biggest mistakes that people are making when looking to invest in lithium?

Humberto L Caldelas: The biggest mistakes people make is not spending enough time in the design, exploration and understanding of the lithium process. There have been a lot of companies that have started up thinking they can fast-track operations, not going through their due diligence, not understanding the lithium content and impurity profile, and that obviously causes problems as they’re trying to process.

The Capital Network: OK now just to re-cap, we have seen these pretty incredible gains in the price of lithium. It’s pretty fair to say we’re in a bull market. Of course the fear is with bull markets that they bust. What are you feeling about the long term prospects for lithium.

Humberto L Caldelas: The long term prospects are great. We should continue to see an imbalance of supply and demand for the next 15-20 years. Again, the focus has been on the electrical car battery and other minor other applications, but lithium has been looked at many many future applications. So, that will continue to drive demand for lithium products.

The Capital Network: Great, so you’re feeling pretty confident.

Humberto L Caldelas: Very bullish.

The Capital Network: That’s good to hear, thank you so much for your insights today.

Humberto L Caldelas: Thank you.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When the experts at Next Investors have a stock pick, it may pay to listen.

The Next Investors have been investing in ASX small cap stocks for years, with their best small cap picks yielding returns of 1,200%, 1,120%, 900% and 678%.

They have just revealed their hand-picked, FY2021 stock portfolio of high conviction long-term investments.

Click the link below to see what they are currently investing in.




S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (CAR No.433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information only. Any advice is general advice only. Neither your personal objectives, financial situation nor needs have been taken into consideration. Accordingly you should consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to those objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.

Conflict of Interest Notice

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd does and seeks to do business with companies featured in its articles. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this article. Investors should consider this article as only a single factor in making any investment decision. The publishers of this article also wish to disclose that they may hold this stock in their portfolios and that any decision to purchase this stock should be done so after the purchaser has made their own inquires as to the validity of any information in this article.

Publishers Notice

The information contained in this article is current at the finalised date. The information contained in this article is based on sources reasonably considered to be reliable by S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and available in the public domain. No “insider information” is ever sourced, disclosed or used by S3 Consortium.

Australian ASX Small Cap stocks | Why is Australia’s leading small cap publication

Founded seven years ago, is Australia’s leading and longest standing website for investor and finance news, education and expert opinion.

Published by StocksDigital, Finfeed was created to report daily on the comings and goings of ASX listed stocks in the small cap market.

As the first digital publication dedicated specifically to this space, Finfeed soon became the most trusted publication in the market, quickly garnering over two million page views – a number that continues to rise. provides its readers with informative articles that tackle the latest in market moving #ASX small cap news, plus exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. It is aimed at those with an interest in investing, market education, company performance, start-ups and much more. is the only media organisation operating under the strength of a Financial Services License and is backed by leading journalists and analysts all with brands of their own.

The website aims to inform, educate and entertain with content that drills down into the heart of financial matters.

Finfeed is a leading source of investor and market information, with everything investors need to know about how to invest written in a way that anyone can understand. 

Over the years, the website has expanded beyond exclusively reporting on small caps, to profile Australia’s leading ASX listed small, mid and large caps as well as some of the country’s most successful CEOs and business leaders to find out what makes them tick.

Every day you will find fresh content covering:

Fast Facts

Over 4,000 articles published

Over 2.3 Million Page Views and counting

Over 10,000 followers on social media

Subscriber list growing by 2% monthly

Thanks for subscribing!