Lithium Pioneer James Calaway, founder and ex-Chairman of Argentina/Japan-focused Orocobre and now on a second lithium tour of duty as Chairman of ioneer, a leading American lithium and boron project in Nevada, shares his perspective after a morning keynote speech and day of high-level USA government talks at Benchmark Minerals Washington DC summit "Securing 21st Century US Supply Chains for EVS & Energy Storage."
A serial and accomplished entrepreneur and project developer, Sweet Baby James, Capital Structure Calaway discusses the "un-level playing field" in which US developers compete from a cost of capital perspective, based on the hand-in-glove relationship he sees between industry and government in China, Korea & Japan for the EV/Storage thematic and its implications throughout the entire raw material-to-EV supply chain.
The USA lithium landscape has many potential projects but the opportunity set is quite varied by resource type and therefore risk. James helps frame the opportunity set into four separate buckets and the relative considerations - technical and otherwise - in each bucket.
He also raises some specific policy ideas for where some small government involvement can help level the playing field from a cost-of-capital perspective with America's Asian competitors.