Global lithium production is expected to increase to 170.8 kilotons (kt) in 2023, an increase of 31.3% over 2022, with Australia and Argentina contributing to this growth.

While the restart of operations at the Wodgina lithium mine in June 2022 and the start of the Mount Finniss project in February 2023 will support production in Australia, an expected strong performance from existing mines coupled with the start of new projects will support production in Argentina.

Output in Zimbabwe meanwhile, is expected to grow by 430% in 2023, due to the start of the Zulu project in February 2023, which has an annual production capacity of 15 kilotons.

In addition, the expected start of the Arcadia Lithium project in 2023, which has successfully completed trial production of lithium concentrates in March 2023, will further boost production.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Albemarle, Pilbara Minerals, Mineral Resources, Alkem and Livent are among the key lithium-producing companies in the world, together accounting for 100.4 million tonnes, or 77.2%, of the global lithium production in 2022.

Looking ahead, global lithium production is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% over the forecast period to reach 512.8 kilotons in 2030.

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Australia and Argentina will be the key contributors to growth, with an estimated CAGR of 8.4% and 19%, respectively.