In an article published this morning, Industrial Minerals’ Simon Moores states that Tesla Motors Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) planned $5-billion lithium-ion battery “gigafactory” could increase natural graphite demand by 37 percent by 2020.

As quoted in the market news:

In IM Data’s calculations, Tesla’s plant – which is set to be based in the south-west USA – will consume at least 28,000 tonnes of spherical graphite every year if operating at capacity. This equates to 93,000 tonnes of flake graphite if produced to today’s standards which sees raw material wastage of up to 70%.

If achieved, battery demand for natural graphite will increase 112% from today’s levels of 83,000 tpa. This is assuming no other growth in regions such as Asia which is today’s primary consuming region.

While R&D firms have been actively exploring non-graphitic carbon anode alternatives, the position of graphite anodes as the current material of choice for Li-ion battery producers means the graphite industry is likely to be the beneficiary of this growth.

Click here to read the full Industrial Minerals report.