Polymer Lithium Ion Battery - 110mAh. (CC 2.0) BY SparkFunElectronics

The recent AfriTin blast may have come at the perfect time according to industry analysts. As the tin mining company completed its first-large scale blasting of ore at Uis since it closed down in 1991, those tracking the value of base metals believe tin is heading for a price surge.

Batteries connect tin to the future

Discussing the future of base metals in 2019 in a live chat set up by trading company IG, Daniel Lacalle and John Meyer agreed that tin looks to be a strong short-term investment due to the current supply vs. demand dynamic.

Although the live Q&A on the factors affecting base metals touched on a variety of subjects, tin dominated large parts of the video.

For market analyst Mayer, tin’s role in the manufacturing of batteries and other sustainable energy products will make it a hot commodity in the coming months. In addition to Meyer’s reference to a 2017 report by Rio Tinto regarding tin and battery production, researchers at Washington State University have long championed its usage.

As far back as 2012, academics were experimenting with the base metal in a bid to improve the power of lithium-ion batteries.

While graphite is still preferable to tin, its cost makes widescale adoption. However, battery technology has evolved; using tin anodes is now highly effective and, importantly, cheaper than graphite. With this being true, the value of tin has increased.

Naturally, demand can only drive up the price of a commodity if it outweighs supply. Expanding on his point, Meyer said that “it’s very hard to find new tin supply”.

Although we’re not on the brink of stocks running so low that a crash reminiscent of 1985 is on the horizon, there is a growing disparity between the amount of tin needed and its supply.

Short-term positives for tin investors and miners

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Based on this, Meyer believes the those looking to make short-term investments should be looking to the upside.

In fact, outside of the market conditions driving up the price of tin, innovations in the trading world have made it easier for investors to trade base metals – and, as a result, more laypeople than ever are interested in following these markets.

As online trading platforms have increased in size and scope, trading metal commodities with low leverage is now possible. Between this and current supply/demand dynamic highlighted by Meyer is why tin is being tipped for 2019.

For AfriTin, current market conditions appear to be ripe for a surge in business in the coming years.

Although tin product is likely to ramp up as demand increases, the immediate forecast for one of Africa’s leading mining companies is positive.

While other metals such as copper will continue to be used as markers of economic change, tin is emerging as a hot commodity for investors and miners moving into 2019 and beyond.