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July 27, 2022

Australian lithium production to grow by 24.5% in 2022 as capacity expands

Ongoing labour shortages due to Covid-19 remain a challenge for lithium output in Australia.

By GlobalData

Australia’s lithium production is set to increase by 24.5% to 68.45 thousand tonnes (kt) in 2022, as projects that were operating at reduced capacity, mostly due to the pandemic restrictions, returned to regular levels back in 2021 and are expected to continue operations going forward. However, ongoing labour shortages due to continued cases of Covid-19 remain a key challenge for Australia, which accounts for more than half of the global lithium output.

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For example, first quarter 2022 output at Pilbara Minerals dropped by 2.4% to 81,431 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate, having been impacted by the community transmission of Covid-19 in Western Australia, resulting in the shortage of staff and contractors. This is anticipated to continue in the current quarter, ending June 2022.

Overall, Australia’s lithium output is expected to increase at a CAGR of 14.2% to 116.24kt in 2026, supported mainly by scheduled expansions alongside consistent output from existing mines. A sharp increase in the country’s production is expected to take place in 2023, when the Wodinga lithium mine, which was put under care and maintenance in late 2019, returns to operations.

GlobalData also anticipates the resumption of mining activities at Bald Hill Lithium and Tantalum (2023) and the commencement of Mt Holland Lithium (2023) and Kathleen Valley (2024) projects to further boost Australia production.

In May 2022, Tianqi Lithium produced Australia’s first lithium hydroxide monohydrate, also known as battery-grade lithium, from its plant in Kwinana, which will add significant value to the Australian lithium industry.

With an objective to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, due to concerns over global warming, global demand for batteries continues to increase, driven by demand from electrical appliances and electric vehicles. As a result, the global demand for lithium, a key raw material for batteries, is expected to rise from a forecasted 114.4kt in 2022 to 248.4kt in 2026, at a 21.4% CAGR.

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Free Report
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Mining companies make accelerated moves towards net zero carbon emissions

Over the last two to three years, considerable progress has been made by mining companies in terms of setting emission reduction targets and net zero goals and, more recently, outlining their decarbonization pathways. While the target year for net zero for most has remained at 2050, mining companies are becoming increasingly ambitious with their targets for short-term scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions targets. To give a full view of this area of the mining industry, GlobalData is offering you a free whitepaper, which offers a detailed analysis around the following topics:
  • Compares the operational decarbonization progress to date for leading mining companies
  • Benchmarks the targets for reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions, and net zero carbon emissions
  • Benchmarks the current share of renewables in leading miners’ electricity consumption
Read this report to best position your company in line with these environmental targets.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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