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Global Lithium Market Trends

Demand for lithium is rising exponentially due to the growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and grid-scale lithium-ion batteries for energy storage.

Mining Technology tracks the global lithium market by observing lithium price trends and analysing worldwide lithium reserves, production, exports, and imports data. We also closely monitor the performance of lithium mining companies and active lithium mines, as well as the progress of major lithium exploration and development projects around the world.

The global lithium metal production is forecast to surpass 100 thousand tonnes (kt) in 2023, according to GlobalData.

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GlobalData forecasts data for 15 commodities of 60 leading mining countries, with 70 reports per year covering supply & demand, key projects, activities of major mining companies and fiscal regimes.

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Largest Lithium Producing Countries

Mining Technology ranks the biggest lithium producing countries by analysing lithium production by country based on a comprehensive database that covers major lithium mining locations around the world.

The world’s biggest lithium mining countries in 2020 included Australia, Chile and Argentina.

The top three lithium producing countries together accounted for 78% of the global lithium output in 2020.


Biggest Lithium Mines in the World

Mining Technology keeps a close watch on the production of major lithium mining projects to rank the world’s biggest lithium mines.

With an output of 0.096Mtpa, Salar de Atacama Mine (Albemarle Corporation) in Chile ranked as the world’s biggest lithium mine in 2020.

The world’s ten biggest lithium mining operations together accounted for 66% of the global lithium metal output in 2020.

Mine Name Country State Owner Mine Type & Method Production 2020 (MTPA)
Salar de Atacama Mine (Albemarle Corporation) Chile El Loa Albemarle Corp(100%) Surface & To be confirmed 0.1
Greenbushes Lithium Operations Australia Western Australia Albemarle Corp(49%), Tianqi Lithium Corporation(26.01%), IGO Ltd(24.99%) Surface & Open Pit 0.07
Mount Marion Lithium Project Australia Western Australia Mineral Resources Ltd(50%), Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd(50%) Surface & Open Pit 0.03
Pilgangoora Mine Australia Western Australia Pilbara Minerals Ltd(100%) Surface & Open Pit 0.03
Salar del Hombre Muerto Mine Argentina Catamarca Livent Corp(100%) In-situ Leaching & In-situ Leaching 0.02
Mount Cattlin Mine Australia Western Australia Galaxy Resources Ltd(80%), Traka Resources Ltd(20%) Surface & Open Pit 0.02
Pilgangoora Project Australia Western Australia Pilbara Minerals Ltd(100%) Surface & Open Pit 0.01
Salar De Olaroz Lithium Project Argentina Jujuy Orocobre Ltd(66.5%), Toyota Tsusho Corp(25%), Jujuy Energia y Mineria Sociedad del Estado(8.5%) Surface & Open Pit 0.01
Bald Hill Lithium and Tantalum Project Australia Western Australia Alita Resources Ltd(100%) Surface & Open Pit 0.01
Wodgina Lithium Mine Australia Western Australia Albemarle Corp(60%), Mineral Resources Ltd(40%) Surface & Open Pit 0.01

Source: GlobalData

Major Upcoming Lithium Mines

Mining Technology lists the major upcoming lithium mines in the world by comparing annual production capacities of upcoming lithium mining projects.

Goulamina Lithium Project in Mali is the biggest upcoming lithium mine in the world, with an annual production capacity of 0.059Mtpa.

Jadar Project in Serbia and Earl Grey Lithium Project in Australia are the next major upcoming lithium mines with a capacity of 0.05Mtpa and 0.043Mtpa, respectively.

Mine Name Country State Owner Mine Type & Method Annual Production Capacity (MTPA)
Goulamina Lithium Project Mali Sikasso Firefinch Ltd(100%) Surface & Open Cut 0.06
Jadar Project Serbia Sumadija and Western Serbia Rio Tinto(100%) Underground & To be confirmed 0.05
Earl Grey Lithium Project Australia Western Australia Wesfarmers Ltd(50%), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA(50%) Surface & Open Pit 0.04
Kathleen Valley Project (Liontown Resources) Australia Western Australia Liontown Resources Ltd(100%) Surface and Underground & Open Pit/Stoping 0.04
Cauchari-Olaroz Project Argentina Jujuy Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd(51%), Lithium Americas Corp(49%) In-situ Leaching & In-situ Leaching 0.04
Thacker Pass Project United States Nevada Lithium Americas Corp(100%) Surface & Open Pit 0.03
Bougouni Lithium Project Mali Sikasso Kodal Minerals Plc(100%) Surface & Open Pit 0.03
Manono Project Democratic Republic of the Congo Katanga AVZ Minerals Ltd(60%), La Congolaise Dexploitation Miniere SA(25%), Dathomir Mining Ressources SARL(15%) Surface & Open Pit 0.03
Moblan Project Canada Quebec Guo Ao Lithium Co., Ltd(60%), SOQUEM Inc(40%) Surface & Open Pit 0.03
Mount Finniss Project Australia Northern Territory Core Lithium Ltd(100%) Surface and Underground & Open Pit 0.03

Source: GlobalData

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