LONDON, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The global demand for lithium mining is driven by the metal's high performance, thermal resistance, and lightweight properties, making it the ideal for spacecraft, submarines, or safety equipment. Lithium finds widespread application in dehumidification, cooling, and air regeneration, which is largely required in hospitals and commercial complexes. Analysts predict, use of lithium for various purposes such as car batteries to aluminium products will drive the mining activities.
According to Fairfield Market Research, the global lithium mining market is expected to surge at a CAGR of 26.3% from 2020 to 2025. The global market is estimated to be worth US$1,630.30 Mn by 2025 from US$829.73 Mn in 2019.
Lithium Mining Market Primary Beneficiary of Consumer Shift Towards Electric Vehicles
Rampant air pollution across emerging economies has accelerated the shift towards electric vehicles (EV) and lithium mining stands to gain handsomely as the metal is a key component in the production of lithium-ion batteries. Lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide are essential for battery cathode production. Although the cost of lithium hydroxide is steeper than lithium carbonate, it is likely to witness greater demand as a result of its use in Li-ion batteries. As per data from Fairfield Market Research, the price of lithium has plummeted 89% in the decade from 2010 to 2020. This saving will directly be passed onto consumers with lowering the prices of EVs, which is expected to boost the demand by several notches.
Complex Extraction Process and Pollutants Released in Waterbodies Spark Debate About Lithium Mining
Lithium is only found in compounds and is highly reactive to most elements, making extraction a water-intensive process. Almost 500,000 gallons of water are needed to produce only one tonne of lithium. This is made worse by the emission of borax, potassium, and manganese released into local water supplies after the extraction. Several indigenous communities have expressed their concern about water shortages and threats to their livelihoods posed by lithium extraction activity. All these factors have raised heated debates about the sustainability of lithium mining, posing challenges to growth in the global lithium mining market.
Lithium Triangle in Latin America Holds Promise of Lucrative Outcomes
Asia Pacific region dominated the global lithium mining market during the assessment period with Australia accounting for 50% of production in 2019. High economic growth coupled with tropical climates are the perfect recipe for the unprecedented demand for air conditioning across Asian countries. Even though APAC has an outsized influence in lithium production, the lithium triangle of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile is brimming with potential in the medium term. Bolivia is home to the world's largest salt flat that is estimated to hold 50% of global lithium, yet the country has not exploited it to the fullest.
Business Merging With Geopolitics in Global Lithium Mining Market as Asian Companies Expand
Large companies profiled in the report about the global lithium mining market are Albemarle Corporation, SQM S.A., Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd., Tianqi Lithium, Mineral Resources, Lithium Americas Corp., Livent, and Orocobre Limited Pty Ltd. Asian companies are aggressively investing in South American ones to maximize their profitability and tap lithium reserves as soon as they are discovered. For e.g. – Tianqi Lithium owns 24% of SQM – Chile's biggest lithium producer. Such business decisions made in the global lithium mining market are undoubtedly expected to have political ramifications on the global economy.
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