Global Slice 🌍: Lithium



[ Below is from 10 minerals.docx ]


Very roughly 80 mil-lion

Two calculations below, the 1st one is of those countries in the world with the largest overall lithi-um reserves, regard-less of their stage of development:
Bolivia: 21 million
Argentina: 17 million
Chile: 9 million
USA: 6.8 million
Australia: 6.3 million
China: 4.5 million

The 2nd provides da-ta on the biggest “mine reserves” of the metal – in de-scending order:
Chile: 9,200,000
Australia: 4,700,000
Argentina: 1,900,000
China: 1,500,000
USA: 750,000
Zimbabwe: 220,000
Brazil: 95,000
Portugal: 60,000 82,000 in 2020. (this is a signifi-cant increase from 2010, when production was just 28,100 met-ric tons.) Australia: 42,000 (2019 data) (The Green-bushes lithium mine in Western Australia – a joint venture between US-based Alber-marle and China’s Tianqi Lithium – is billed as the world’s largest project to extract the metal. While it is the world’s top produc-er, Australia has only the fifth-largest known reserves of lithium in the world, estimated at 6.3 million tonnes.)
Chile: 18,000
China: 7,500 (China – along with South Korea and Japan – is among the world’s top import-ers of lithium, much of which is sourced from Australian producers. Tianqi Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium are two of the biggest Chi-nese producers of the metal, with mining op-erations both domestic and foreign.)
Argentina: 6,400 (many companies have shown interest in investing in Argentina’s lithium industry in recent years, but financial instability in the country and issues with finding the right technical expertise have so far been a barrier to swifter progress, given the size of its reserves.)
Zimbabwe: 1,600 (The Bikita mine in Masvingo Province in the south of the coun-try is Zimbabwe’s largest operational lithium mine, and has been active since the 1950s. The Arcadia Lithium Project, a venture run by Australia-based miner Prospect Re-sources, is nearing commercial readiness. The mine is based just east of the capital Ha-rare in northern Zimbabwe.)
Portugal: 1,200 (Portugal is the world’s sixth-largest lithium-producing nation, and the top producer among European countries with an output of 1,200 tonnes in 2019. Ac-cording to USGS data, the country holds around 250,000 tonnes of lithium resources – and 60,000 tonnes measured in mine reserves. The Mina do Barroso Lithium Project in northern Portugal – owned and operated by UK-based Savannah Resources – is Eu-rope’s most significant deposit of lithium-containing spodumene ore.) Plans by lithium mining firm SQM to expand its oper-ations were recently blocked by a Chilean court on environmental grounds, but almost every other effort to get the backing of the authorities has failed.

Lithium is a key component of batteries and other electronics that are becoming increasingly common around the world – particularly in the case of re-chargeable lithium-ion batteries used in electric-vehicle manufacturing, as well as larger-scale battery storage. Analysts expect global demand will more than double by 2024.

Top six countries with the largest lithium reserves in the world

Profiling the top six lithium-producing countries in the world

Lithium Production

Total … produced in 2017 was … tonnes. Divided equally between all 7.5 billion people, this would be … per person; divided between 10 million, …; divided between 12.5 billion, ….

The top 10 producing countries are listed and charted below. Click the “▶Remaining countries” legend under the chart to see the others.

Data as above, but charted.
▶Remaining countries
Data as above, but for the remaining countries.