Lithium (Li) is an alkali metal that is the lightest and least dense metal found on earth. Lithium does not occur as a pure element in nature and instead concentrates over time within granitic pegmatites and brine solutions. Traditional applications for lithium include ceramics, chemicals and lubricants.
The unique characteristics of lithium position it as the most viable solution for battery storage- including everything from electric vehicles to consumer electronics to green energy sources.
Explosive Growth Prospects
Global demand for lithium expected to double between 2015 and 2025. The majority of demand growth will be attributed to the rapidly expanding electric vehicle, consumer electronic and green energy sectors. Lithium ion charged vehicle sales could total 40 million cars annually by 2040 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Lithium Prices Rapidly Rising
Current global lithium supply is consolidated within four large chemical companies that collectively account for 85% of worldwide production. A permanent shift in the supply/demand fundamentals of lithium is occurring and demand remains inelastic to price spikes, which have tripled since 2014.
Increasing demand pressures, combined with the fact that North American production is limited to a single producing brine operation in west-central Nevada, suggest that lithium prices will remain strong and continue to rise over the next decade.