Australia and Chile: Global Lithium Production Powerhouses

The booming electric vehicle industry and the rise of clean technologies have fueled a surge in global lithium demand. The lithium-ion battery market, valued at $52 billion in 2022, is projected to reach an impressive $194 billion by 2030.
Australia and Chile currently dominate lithium production, accounting for 77% of global output in 2022. Australia leads the way with 46.9% of production, while Chile closely follows with 30%. Australia’s hard rock mining, targeting spodumene, offers flexibility and higher-quality lithium, while Chile benefits from lower costs with brine extraction.

In the past, the United States held the top spot in lithium production, but Chile’s surge in the Salar de Atacama and Australia’s significant increase have shifted the landscape. China, the third-largest producer, focuses on developing domestic mines and acquiring lithium assets globally.

As demand continues to rise, the industry must expand lithium production. The need for investment in new mines, extraction technologies, and sustainable practices is crucial to meet the estimated demand of 3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) by 2030.

Australia and Chile currently dominate lithium production, but other countries will likely explore opportunities to increase their capacities and diversify the global supply chain for this critical resource.

Source: Visual Capitalist

Source: Visual Capitalist
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