How Lithium mining in Australia is coming of age?
Team Veye | 14 Sep 2020
Australia is among the top three countries with Lithium reserves. In 2019, Chile had the largest lithium reserves worldwide. It had an estimated 8.6 million metric tons of lithium reserves with Australia coming in second, having reserves estimated at 2.8 million metric tons. Australia was, though, the top country in terms of lithium mine production in 2019.
Lithium though used primarily in batteries, glass and ceramics, has other uses including rocket fuel and lasers. Lithium carbonate is also known as a common treatment of a bipolar disorder, helping to stabilize wild mood swings caused by the illness.
The increasing awareness towards clean energy and other environmental issues has many consumers favouring electric vehicles because of their environmental footprint, lower maintenance costs and vehicle performance. In 2019, the number of electric vehicles in the country tripled after the introduction of the successful Tesla Model 3. Tesla is believed to import much of the lithium it uses from Australia and South America.
The global lithium battery market is projected to grow substantially in the coming years, from 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to over 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. The electric vehicle market will propel the growth of the lithium market as the number of hybrid and electric vehicles powered by rechargeable lithium batteries picks up.
Lithium-ion batteries have a high power-to-weight ratio, high energy efficiency and good high-temperature performance. In practice, this means that the batteries hold a lot of energy for their weight, which is vital for electric cars – less weight means the car can travel further on a single charge. Lithium batteries can withstand charge/discharge cycles better than a lead-acid battery.
Australia lags behind the developed world in transition to clean and green electric cars. However, according to a new survey, more Australian buyers than ever before would consider an electric vehicle as their next car purchase. Most states are also working to outline their own individual roadmaps to encourage electric vehicle uptake.
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