A new report by BMI Research states that based on project pipelines, Chile and Argentina will lead lithium production in coming years, with the bulk of new capacity coming online in 2019.
Argentina is disputing with Chile South America’s top producer of the mineral lithium, a key ingredient for the production of electric cars and its rechargeable batteries allowing them to retain energy far longer, and as a consequence its price has soared more than 30% to a record US$ 12.000 a ton this year.
The age of electrification across the transportation sector, the solar panel revolution, and Tesla's battery giga-factory are igniting a battle for the cheapest battery. That will transform lithium into a boom-time mineral and the hottest commodity on the energy investor's radar. It has been easy to take lithium for granted.
By John C.K. Daly - The US currently imports more than 80% of the lithium it uses, with the silvery metal winding up in batteries from cell phones to electric cars.
Chile revoked the concession awarded to Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile to exploit substantial reserves of lithium in the Andes region, acknowledging problems with the tender process.
The world leading lithium producer SQM has won a tender to develop a lithium concession in Chile, which produces around 40% of the metal, used widely in hybrid vehicles and computer and smart-phone batteries, the Mining Ministry said on Monday.
Argentina is promoting the idea of an OPEC-like cartel for itself, Bolivia and Chile, which together control 85% of the world's reserves of lithium, a key component in electric car batteries.
Canadian miner Lithium Americas Corp said it plans to start building a lithium carbonate facility next year at its Cauchuri project in the Argentine province of Jujuy. The plant with a total capacity of 40,000 tons per annum is expected to start adding to the company's revenue in 2014, Lithium Americas said in a statement.