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Lithium's big run is a precursor for copper - Solaris Resources CEO Daniel Earle

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(Kitco News) - There is a gold rush for lithium and copper should be next, said Solaris Resources President and CEO Daniel Earle.

In February Earle was interviewed by Kitco correspondent Paul Harris at the BMO Global Metals, Mining & Critical Minerals Conference.

Solaris Resources (TSX:SLS) is a multi-asset exploration company that is advancing copper and gold assets in the Americas. Its primary focus is the Warintza Project in Ecuador. The company hit a 52-week high of $15.34 a share in 2022. The company has since sold off.

Due to energy transition, there is a shortage of critical metals. Lithium is up nearly 10 times since the start of the decade, according to the Benchmark Lithium Index. To secure supply, large automakers and industrial companies not traditionally associated with the sector started investing in miners. GM announced a $650 million investment in Lithium Americas earlier this year.

Earle said copper is just as constrained, and it is a fundamental metal for energy transition.

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"It's an imperative to go out there and find new sources of copper to feed into this energy transition," said Earle. "It's a global mandate now. Copper is the most critical over the long term. It's the metal that really wires together all these elements of the energy transition."

Earle said many of the long-lived copper mines are becoming depleted and exhausted. The tipping point is a few years out, but Earle believes that the same types of investments made into lithium will be made into copper.

Coverage of BMO Global Metals, Mining & Critical Minerals Conference was sponsored by First Majestic Silver.

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