Lithium is a soft silvery-white metal which is highly reactive and does not occur in nature in its elemental form. In nature it occurs as compounds within hard rock deposits (such as Pilgangoora) and salt brines.
Lithium and its chemical compounds are used in applications such as batteries, ceramics, glass and pharmaceuticals. Lithium has the highest electrochemical potential of all metals, a key property in its role in lithium-ion batteries.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries typically weigh approximately 75% less than an equivalent lead acid battery, making them an ideal solution for high-performance products, including electric cars, bikes and wheelchairs.
The supply/demand fundamentals for lithium put this highly sought-after metal in a league of its own compared with other commodities.
Demand for lithium raw materials is set to remain strong with forecast growth of 28% per annum between 2018 and 2028 largely driven by the automotive sector. It is estimated that by 2030, around 66% of the world’s automotive sales or 56.1 million passenger cars will have a battery as part of their powertrain.
The rapid growth in demand for lithium is being driven in particular by the rapid growth in the lithium-ion supply chain in China, including major chemical conversion capacity expansion over the coming five years. This, in turn, is being driven by the Chinese Central Government’s policy towards ‘New Energy’ and broad transport electrification (EV’s and E Bikes).
The Pilgangoora Project's spodumene concentrates meet the metallurgical specifications of the entire range of lithium products, putting the Pilgangoora Project in a very strong position to meet the looming supply challenge.
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