Lithium is a soft, silvery-white metal that is the lightest of all metals and has excellent electrical conductivity. Though it had a diverse range of applications throughout history, in recent years, it has become a critical component of lithium-ion (‘Li-ion’) batteries due its reactivity, lightness and ability to be recharged.
The demand for lithium has been growing steadily in recent years, driven by the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and the transition towards renewable energy sources. EVs require large batteries to power their electric motors, and lithium-ion batteries are the most popular choice due to their high energy density and long lifespan. As a result, the global lithium market has experienced significant growth, with lithium demand from battery EVs expected to increase 10-fold (CAGR of 20%) from 321t LCE 1 in 2022 to 2.28t LCE in 2033 2.
The lithium market is a dynamic and fast-growing industry that is essential to the development of new technologies and the transition to a more sustainable future.
Lithium is primarily mined from hard rock and brine deposits. Western Australia has a strategic advantage in the global demand of lithium due to its endowment of mineral resources and access to skilled workers. The production from the State accounted for 43% of total global lithium extraction in 2022 and will remain dominant this decade 3. The state is home to several major lithium projects and has significant reserves of lithium, making it a key player in the global lithium supply chain.
1 LCE: Lithium Carbonate Equivalent
2 Source: Fastmarkets
3 Source: Government of Western Australia