Bloomberg News

Lithium, Cobalt Among Minerals Facing Chronic Shortage, PwC Says

December 07, 2011

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Global manufacturers may face a critical shortage of 14 raw materials over the next five years affecting industries including chemicals, aviation and renewable energy, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Seven manufacturing industries may be seriously affected by a critical shortage of raw materials “which could disrupt entire supply chains and economies,” PwC said in a report today based on a survey of senior executives from 69 manufacturers.

“Many businesses now recognize that we are living beyond the planet’s means,” Malcolm Preston, PwC’s global sustainability leader, said in the report. “New business models will be fundamental to the ability to respond appropriately to the risks and opportunities posed by the scarcity of minerals and metals.”

Beryllium, used as a lightweight component in military equipment, cobalt, used in industrial manufacturing and lithium, used in wind turbines and hybrid cars, were among minerals identified in the report as facing critical shortages. Tantalum and flurospar will also face a shortfall, it said.

--Editors: Alex Devine, Tony Barrett

To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Riseborough in London at jriseborough@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net


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