The Energy Report: Your experience in business is both extensive and varied. Could you describe your history and how it led you to lithium?
Anthony Tse: I have been in high-growth industries for the last 20 years covering the media and entertainment sectors, then subsequently Internet and mobile, and in recent years, resource and commodities – mainly in senior management roles, covering strategy, corporate finance, M&A, as well as operational roles. I joined the board of Galaxy Resources Ltd. (GXY:ASX), an Australian-listed mining company. I was initially in a non-executive role, assisting the company to (1) raise capital and (2) pursue a dual listing and initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The previous management team had been primarily of mining and operations background and less familiar with finance and capital markets. I was able to support Galaxy in this role, due to my previous relationships with strategic and institutional investors across Asia and internationally. The IPO was planned for March 2011, but was withdrawn at the eleventh hour, as it had unfortunately coincided with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster, and capital markets during that period became very volatile. I remained on the board and assisted the company in raising about AU$120 million ($AU120M) that spring.
TER: Lithium is certainly a high-growth industry. What are the projections for growth in lithium demand by 2020?
AT: The world currently consumes about 160 thousand tons per annum (160 Ktpa) of lithium-carbonate equivalent. Just under 30% or about 45–50 thousand tons (45–50 Kt) is battery-grade lithium: 99.5–99.9% purity. Depending on which projections you look at, global consumption is projected to rise to 200–300 Kt by 2020.
TER: What is driving demand growth?
AT: The lithium battery sector. Within that, the current mid-to-low double-digit growth has been primarily driven by the consumer …read more