Lithium Mining Market: Introduction
- Lithium mining is a process used for obtaining lithium metal from various sources, such as brines and hard rocks. Lithium is the lightest material and solid element found in nature.
- Superior properties of lithium, such as high energy density, thermal resistance, long durability, and minimal maintenance make it ideal for use in a range of applications, including battery energy storage, glass, grease, etc.
- Approximately 56% of the world’s lithium mined and produced is employed in battery production. Mining of lithium results in the formation of a range of products such as lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, and lithium chloride.
- World’s major lithium reserves are found in China, Australia, Zimbabwe, Serbia, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, European Union, etc.
- Rise in Demand for Lithium Storage Batteries in Electric Vehicles to Enhance Lithium Mining Market. Growing adoption of electric vehicles and need for electric vehicle batteries with higher energy densities are likely to fuel lithium mining market. Increase in sales of electric vehicles, such as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs), is anticipated to boost the demand for Li batteries.
- Li ion batteries are lightweight. Extensive research and investments have been made in advanced battery technologies that are suitable for electric vehicles
- The U.S. Government supports its R&D activities for advanced batteries through the Department of Energy. It granted US$ 2 Bn to accelerate the development and manufacture of next generation electric vehicles. The European Commission and government organizations in Europe and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are supporting R&D activities in advanced batteries.
- Adoption of Li ion batteries is anticipated to increase in electric vehicles, especially in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles, owing to batteries high specific energy and energy density
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Increase in Demand for Lithium for Air-treatment Applications to Drive Lithium Mining Market
- Rise in use of lithium in air treatment applications is a major driver for the global lithium market. Lithium is used in cooling, dehumidification, and air regeneration applications. Shopping malls, hospitals, and other institutional facilities often employ absorption chillers as their source of air conditioning.
- Lithium chloride is used for dehumidification purpose. Large areas, which must operate without humidity use lithium chloride to absorb moisture.
- Demand for lithium for air regeneration applications is also increasing. Space vehicles, submarines and miners, safety devices, etc., possess systems to remove carbon dioxide from human exhaust. The non-reversible reaction of anhydrous lithium hydroxide with carbon dioxide results in efficient removal of carbon dioxide.
Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Risks
- The mining industry extracts a large amount of ground water, thus causing damage to the ecosystem. Processing of lithium mining involves evaporation of brines and washing the mineral with sodium carbonate in large-scale polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-lined shallow ponds, which leads to water pollution.
- Lithium, due to its alkaline properties, is highly corrosive in nature and reacts with water. Breathing lithium dust or alkaline lithium compounds negatively affect the respiratory tracts and prolonged exposure to lithium causes health issues, such as pulmonary edema.
Asia Pacific to Lead Global Lithium Mining Market
- In terms of region, the global lithium mining market can be divided into: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- Asia Pacific accounts for a significant share of the global lithium mining market. China, one of the major consumers of lithium, has started mining operations in South America and Australia, which are principal lithium sources.
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Key Players in Global Lithium Mining Market
The global lithium mining market is moderately fragmented with top manufacturers accounting for a major share. Prominent players operating in the global lithium mining market are entering into partnerships for the development of advanced lithium mining technologies.
Key players operating in the global lithium mining market include:
- Albemarle Corporation
- Talison Lithium
- FMC Corporation
- Tianqi Lithium Corporation
- Jiangxi Ganfeng
- Orocorbe Limited Pty Ltd
- Nordic Mining ASA
Global Lithium Mining Market: Research Scope
Global Lithium Mining Market, by Source
- Hard Rocks
Global Lithium Mining Market, by Technology
- Brine Processing
- Clay Processing
Global Lithium Mining Market, by Application
- Glass & Ceramics
- Battery Storage
- Portable Electronics
- Chemical Synthesis
- Others (Including other battery storage applications)
Global Lithium Mining Market, by Region
- North America
- Russia & CIS
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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