Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Bloom Energy

The Chicken and Egg Problem with Energy Metals: Scandium as a Case Study

Chris BerryComment

By Chris Berry (@cberry1)

 

For a PDF of this note, please click here.

 

One of the biggest knocks I usually get from investors when discussing energy metals is that it’s too small. Lithium at 160,000 tonnes per year or cobalt at roughly half that are not big enough for the larger institutional money managers to focus on as other, more liquid metals markets are deemed safer (or likely just more familiar).

That said many of these “safer” opportunities are hampered by excess capacity and investor disinterest which continues to cast a pall over the commodities sector in general. The paradox is that despite the smaller size of most energy metals, they likely offer higher rates of return over the long-term as technology advances and quality of life between East and West slowly converges. To be fair, these metals will likely remain in niche status going forward, but avoiding learning about them risks walking away from unique opportunities.

It is this disinterest and general lack of funding availability that presents what I predict will be the seeds of the next bull market. This will be rooted in reliable access to the raw materials necessary to make technology supply chains run smoothly. As the demand for various technologies grows, these growth rates are dependent on the answer to one question: