Is there a growing interest in lithium?
Team Veye | 07-Nov-2021
Demand for lithium has been driven primarily by the need for alternatives to fossil fuels and advances in electric transportation. The importance of lithium is further accentuated by the increased use of battery power, expected to play a major role in facilitating the shift from the world’s reliance on fossil fuels towards clean energy sources.
Interest in lithium continues to grow due to its role in the lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars, and attention is landing on the top lithium-producing countries.
Another factor that can drive demand for lithium far into the future could be the news that Tesla was likely to change the type of battery cells it uses in all its standard-range cars and the new batteries will use a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry rather than nickel-cobalt-aluminum which Tesla will continue to use in its longer-range vehicles.
About 65 percent of the lithium produced currently goes toward battery production, and other industries consume the metal in much smaller proportions, like 18 percent of lithium in ceramics and glass, while 5 percent goes to lubricating greases.
Australian miners are in a perfect position to take advantage of the surge in demand as Australia is the world's biggest producer and exporter of lithium.
Australia holds over 2.7 million MT of identified lithium reserves, according to the US Geological Survey, which puts it just behind Chile.
Pilbara Minerals, a lithium miner in Western Australia, that until recently had dropped its operation down to 30 per cent production after lithium prices began falling in 2018 before bottoming out last year is now back at 100 per cent capacity, with expansion work underway.
It is anticipated that lithium-ion battery producers and EV manufacturers will
continue to play a more active role in sourcing lithium chemicals and spodumene concentrate in coming years under long term purchase agreements.
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