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Coup for lithium? "Small metal" becomes "big metal" lithium ore welcomes another golden decade


According to Agence France Presse, former Bolivian President Morales said recently that he was ousted by a coup planned by the United States to help the United States acquire the rich lithium resources of this South American country. Previously, Bolivia chose to establish a lithium mining partnership with Russia and China rather than the United States, which the United States cannot "forgive".

Bolivia has "the largest lithium deposit in the world" - Uyuni salt lake. At present, the reserve of Uyuni salt lake is only estimated. Based on the maximum depth of 140 meters, it can ensure that the reserve is at least 10 billion tons, which is more than 5 times that of China's largest salt lake. According to the satellite calibration data in 2009, the Uyuni salt lake is like a huge ice sheet, with a smooth surface like a mirror, and the air above the salt lake is dry and clear all the year round because of no industrial pollution and high altitude. It is refracted behind the endless Salt Lake mirror, so it is named "the mirror of the sky".

It has nothing to do with politics. With the recent vigorous development of global new energy vehicles, lithium has already become a strategic resource and the focus of global competition.

Norway officially restricts the sale of traditional cars in 2025; India only sells electric vehicles after 2030; Spain, Britain and France announced that they would restrict the sale of fuel vehicles from 2040. In addition, the Ministry of industry and information technology of China is also studying the timetable for stopping traditional cars.

In fact, the attitudes shown by so many major countries also show that,New energy vehiclesIs the future of the automotive industry. Countries' resource strategies are also clear-cut: the United States lists lithium as one of 43 important minerals; The EU defines lithium as one of 14 key materials; China has also listed lithium as one of the 24 national strategic mineral resources.

According to a report by Goldman Sachs, an internationally renowned investment bank, every 1% increase in new energy vehicles will increase global lithium demand by 40%. This is no exaggeration. For Tesla, the American new energy vehicle giant, the lithium battery of a new energy vehicle alone requires as much as 63 kg of lithium carbonate. Therefore, lithium carbonate is vividly known as "new gasoline" and "white oil".

In 2018, the global demand of the lithium industry was approximately 272000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent, with a market scale of about 33 billion yuan; By 2028, the market size of the lithium industry will exceed 1million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent. The lithium industry alone is expected to reach 100 billion market, successfully complete the growth from "small metal" to "large metal", and continue to grow at a high speed.

The next decade is still the golden decade for the rapid development of the lithium industry.

In terms of reserves, according to the data of the U.S. Geological Survey, the world's proven lithium reserves exceed 53million tons. Among them, Argentina ranks first with reserves of 9.8 million tons; 8.4 million tons in Chile; Australia is 5million tons. Although China has 7million tons, the overall quality and development conditions of lithium ore are poor. Therefore, at present, more than 80% of China's lithium ore resources are imported.

Distribution map of major lithium deposits in the world

In terms of output, salt lake resources in South America and lithium resources in Western Australia are the largest lithium resource supply bases in the world, which together supply 90% of the global lithium resource supply. The salt lake has a long production expansion cycle. The lithium resource increment in the next three years will mainly come from lithium mines in Western Australia. In 2020, it is expected that lithium concentrate in Western Australia will account for 60% of the global lithium supply, and the importance of lithium mines in Western Australia will further increase.

In view of the increasingly important position of lithium mines, countries in China, the United States, Japan and Europe have begun to deploy the distribution pattern of lithium mines.

China Tianqi lithium holdings Australia talison lithium company, the world's largest lithium miner. The company's greenbushes lithium mine has the world's largest spodumene reserves, and its spodumene quality is also the highest. The reserves of greenbushes alone can meet about 75% of China's lithium demand and about 40% of the global lithium demand.

In September this year, Ningde times, China's largest battery manufacturer, announced that it would spend a $55 million (a $1, about 4.8 yuan) to acquire an 8.5% stake in Pilbara mining, an Australian lithium mining company.

According to statistics, nearly half of the world's lithium resource exploitation is controlled by Chinese enterprises, and even about 60% of the world's lithium battery capacity is provided by Chinese enterprises. At present, China firmly occupies a leading position in this field, but other countries should not be underestimated!

Greenbushes lithium mine, which is controlled by China Tianqi lithium, and American Yabao company also hold 49% equity; Rio Tinto, an Australian mining giant, is studying the method of extracting lithium from the waste rock of a mine in the United States, and plans to spend $10million (about 70.8 million yuan) to build a pilot plant; Japan's famous Softbank group is vigorously entering the lithium industry, investing about 8billion yen and acquiring 9.9% equity of nemasca lithium.

At present, the competition for lithium resources in large economies such as China, Europe, the United States and Japan is intensifying, and lithium resources will become one of the strategic commanding heights of the industrial chain.

Article source:Battery net
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