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Insatiable Lithium Demand Fuels Investment Boom in Australia

  • Carmakers and miners inking deals amid $42 billion funding gap
  • Liontown shares swelled 76 times in just three years
The Pilgangoora lithium project in Port Hedland.
The Pilgangoora lithium project in Port Hedland.Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg
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In the rocky deserts of Western Australia, a handful of little-known and once-shunned miners are suddenly in vogue as the electric vehicle industry clamors for a metal it can’t do without.

Executives from Australia’s lithium industry were inundated by bankers and brokers at the Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum in the outback town of Kalgoorlie this week, talking up deals to secure some of the estimated $42 billion worth of investment needed for metal producers to meet their goals. Global automakers have snapped up producers’ shares on the open market, scrapped over supply agreements and even handed over cash for mine expansions.