High growth in demand for lithium batteries is spurring more than two-fold growth in the mining sector’s production of lithium over the next four years, with over 80kt of new lithium metal capacity coming on stream.

After moderate growth in lithium supply between 2010 and 2017 of 6.4% per annum, global output is expected to more than double between 2018 and 2022 to reach 116kt (metal content), as over 80kt of new metal capacity comes on stream to meet the increasing demand for the metal for use in batteries in electric vehicles and smart phones.

Currently, the largest centre of production is Australia with 18.3kt, followed by Chile and Argentina with 14.1kt and 5.5kt respectively. Among the largest global producers are SQM, which is market leader with a 25% share of global production, followed by Talison (24%), Albemarle (17%) and FMC (9%).

Over the next four years, Australia will account for the largest share of additional capacity (37%), with mine openings at Pilgangoora, Wodgina, Bald Hill and Mt Holland. It will be followed by Argentina (29%), Canada (16%), Chile (9%), the US (6%) and Mexico (4%).

Lithium production and capacity, global snapshot

Source: GlobalData. © GlobalData

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.


GlobalData’s forecasts for global lithium production and future capacity additions are based on the approximately 204 lithium mines’ data, and four-year forecasts for capacity expansion for all currently operating and developing mines.