Lithium supply could be about to increase even more as US projects come online
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Increasing lithium supply from the US could add to a “likely glut” as demand for battery storage and electric car batteries prompts American miner
Lithium production in the US could increase “over the next several years by multiples of two to three”, report researchers at S&P Platts.
That’s not good news for investors in ASX lithium stocks that are already under increased pressure since investment banks said the lithium-ion battery boom would not soak up a wall of new lithium supply.
Right now Abermarle’s 5500 tonnes per annum Silver Peak mine is the only operational lithium site in the US – but that could change soon.
New York-listed Lithium Americas has unveiled plans to fast-track development of its massive Thacker Pass project in Nevada
Thacker Pass project could produce 60,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium carbonate, according to the company’s base case project study released in July.
A number of other US-based junior lithium players are also looking at projects, including Blue Eagle and Standard Lithium.
Standard Lithium has been working to develop a project in Arkansas.
Standard chief executive Robert Mintak said while “there will likely be a glut” of lithium as projects come online, “even if the price fell to $10,000/t there is still money to be made”, S&P reported.
The global lithium-ion battery market is expected to pass $US93 billion by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 17 per cent, according to a new report by Grand View Research.
“Increased usage of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, portable consumer electronics and grid storage systems owing to its high energy density and high safety level is expected to drive market demand,” the group said.