- Global demand for lithium carbonate is 120,000 tonnes annually
- Lithium is used in glassware, low melting fluxes, cement, adhesives, aircraft aluminum and lithium-ion batteries.
- According to the USGS, overall demand for lithium is growing at a rate of 4-5% per year
- Demand for lithium destined for battery usage is predicted to grow by 20% per year
- Over 60% of mobile phones and 90% of laptop computers feature Lithium Ion batteries
- The worldwide market for rechargeable lithium batteries is estimated to be worth over $4 billion/year
- The automotive market alone is projected to reach $337 million in 2012, and $1.6 billion in 2015
The world’s future energy course is being charted today because of the ramifications of peak oil and a need to reduce our carbon footprints. The recent growth of a global automotive and industrial lithium-ion battery industry has resulted in a demand for lithium carbonate that is expected to increase five-fold by 2017. Lithium-ion batteries have become the rechargeable battery of choice in cell phones, computers, hybrid-electric cars and electric cars.
Production figures are often quoted in lithium carbonate equivalent quantities. By weight approximately 18.8% of lithium carbonate is lithium. Therefore 1kg of lithium is the equivalent of 5.3 kg of lithium carbonate. Lithium is not traded publicly and is distributed in a chemical form (Li2CO3) directly to end users for a negotiated price per tone. High demand and low supply has recently caused reported paid end user prices to reach US $6,600.00 tone.
The worldwide market for lithium batteries is estimated at over $4 billion per year.