Lithium Carbonate Prices Expected To Surge Later This Year


i3 Battery Pack

i3 Battery Pack

Asian News outlet Nikkei is reporting that Australia is in prime position to take advantage of an expected uptick in lithium carbonate prices.

From the report:

“Australia lithium miners are in prime position to benefit from a price surge for the soft light metal this year, as industrial users in China, Japan and South Korea rush to shore up their supply chains…”

Battery grade lithium carbonate was at approximately $5,000 per metric ton late last year, but come this fall, prices are expected to surge to as high as $10,000 per metric ton.

Believe it or not, “Australia is now the world’s top lithium producer,” according to Nikkei, but China holds controlling interest in the nation’s leading hard-rock mining company, Talison Lithium.

Even though lithium carbonate prices are expected to rise, there’s been no direct correlation between rising prices for the raw material and battery cell prices – as the resource makes up only a fraction of the total cost, and the overall production of cells has been falling precipitously of late thanks to the economics of production scale. Well find out soon enough if this trend remains true.

Source: Nikkei

Categories: General


Leave a Reply

52 Comments on "Lithium Carbonate Prices Expected To Surge Later This Year"

newest oldest most voted

lithium is a loser technology: it is *far* from “green” and it is non-recyclable. so using lithium is like using oil. it’s just not a viable long term solution for alternative energy.

I think you’re lost, please go away

Troll bait … lithium (carbonate) is just as recyclable as “no comment”. Oh but wait, that was a comment!

When losers are recycled they become winners. The more times things get recycled, the more wins.

It’s hard to cram so much ignorance into so short a post. Congratulations.

When is it the last time you recycled a gallon of gas?

that’s my point.

Your point is, as usual, trying to delay the rEVolution, like hundreds of paid pe-trolls infesting the comment sections of car web sites.

I don’t think anyone is actually paid. Just ignorant and hating green tech.

Yeah sure, Exxon alone spends over 50 millions a year in P.R. Propaganda, but carefully avoid to take opportunity in this war for the public opinion to influence directly those unaware casual readers seeking information about EVs by forming bogus commentators…

EVERYBODY is inclined to trust appreciations and comments from “genuine” users of any products on all sites selling stuff.

And Public Relation companies would not use this most effective marketing weapon?!?

They are many and they have attended courses and formations, they receive updates on what subject to talk about, with which expressions, what subject to ignore and what tactics are the best.
Most of all, they only have to repeat continuously the same lies for an effective conditioning of the public opinion.
Spotting them, when you are aware of how P.R. works, is fairly easy.

And as you can see one of their tactic is to insist on discussing a small negative detail about sustainable solutions to make it appear like a big issue.

If Exxon is paying anyone to post anti-EV propagande on we should be very happy about it. That would be a truly moronic misallocation of resources from the point of view of someone seeking to influence the general public.

Nearly everyone who reads this site with any regularity is already a convinced EV convert. This isn’t the mainstream media. Pay anyone on an hourly basis to use FUD tactics against EVs, and you’d be a LOT better off directing them to sites like Wired or the New York Times.

It is rather more likely that “no comment” is a good old-fashioned troll. They thrive on provocing the easily provoked, such as yourself. Your responses are in fact what energizes them. So if you’d rather like to see them go away, do the unintuitive thing: Ignore them.

It could seem like a stupid move, if you are not aware of the tremendous power of “soft propaganda” on human behavior. You may find stupid as well to spend so many millions a year on repeating and repeating the same TV/radio/web ads from SubWay, McDonald or Ford. If it was so ineffective, don’t you think they would stop since all these years? …But marketers know exactly what they are doing. It all began in 1920. Most of the population is unaware of the “Public Relation” stealth army manipulations and psychological warfare, and it has to remain so for more effectiveness. The main goal is very easy: it is to sow DOUBT in the unsuspecting population in order to PARALYSE any grassroots movements against unhealthy/dangerous business practices and by so break the resistance of the citizens. How do you think so many besides intelligent people are lead to believe Oil companies have nothing to do with Global Warming ? I suggest you have a look at some enlightening documentaries… Merchants of doubts Manufacturing consent (Chomsky) Baby it’s cold outside (BBC) Outfoxed The Corporation All of those can be found in streaming or torrent. The paid bogus commentators don’t target you… Read more »

I know it can be quite disturbing to realize we are not always the master of our opinions, but when you know how it works, you have to face the truth, as unsettling as it can be.

Then you will be better prepared to face and defeat the propagandists at their own games.

Musk do it all the time with his first principles 😉

or just put it simply:dull

“…hundreds of paid pe-trolls infesting the comment sections…”

More likely a Tesla stock shorter who thinks, for some bizarre reason, that he can actually affect stock prices by posting anti-EV FUD here.

You can see an awful lot of the same Tesla bashing FUD on Seeking Alpha, if you want to immerse yourself in manure.

I know there are people paid by large companies to post propaganda online, and certainly Big Oil has enough excess funds to pay for a lot of that. But I have not read that they actually fund such activities.

Actually, there are more paid dis-informers than shorters and trolls together.

You have to look at the themes they repeat on different tones, not only one occasional comment. Sven is very good at it, subtle and friendly. zzzzzzzzz and nocomment not so.. but they all form a team to influence us. They use us to get to know our best arguments, that are later on analysed to find a counter measure by the P.R. Wizards.

Some recurant, ad nauseam repeated false themes we find on general sites:
-Batteries are very expensive(always will be)
-EVs are weak like golf carts
-You have to regularly change the batteries
-Lithium mining is “very” polluting
-Unwise to buy until there are as many recharge stations than gas pumps
-Recycling is impossible
– EVs are of no use until they get 500 miles range
-The technology is not ready, wait in ten years
-EV companies are wasting tax payers money
-GW is not man made
-Tesla is losing money (without mentioning the insane expansion)
-EVs pollute more than ICEs
-add your own here…

As I said, the propaganda is more effective if the population is not aware of it, therefore it is difficult to find publicly disclosed contracts with P.R. companies about the details.
Consider the big cartelized corporations as the high command, the Media would be the bombers, the P.R. firms the planners and the bogus commentators the troops that make sure the objective is secured and give feed back to the officers.

Show me the lithium pollution?

T’es en feu Rex!

With most lithium brine pumped from shallow wells it is MUCH greener than fracked oil or tar sands. Then it is normally concentrated in shallow solar ponds which again is MUCH greener than oil refining. Then ther is the fact that my lithium battery is still perfectly drivable after 8 years on the road. Try that with your gasoline. Finally lithium and batteries ARE recyclable.

The more you think about it, the more ridiculous is that comment from “no comment” claiming mining lithium “isn’t green”. As Rick Danger said: It’s hard to cram so much ignorance into so short a post.

Lithium is “mined” from lifeless salt flats by drying out brine and collecting the salts. Just what sort of environmental damage to such lifeless areas does “no comment” think this is causing? Oh, how horrible it is that they’re extracting salts from lifeless areas! 🙄

And of course, he’s also wrong to say EV batteries can’t be recycled. The Gigafactory is gearing up to do exactly that, and Honda is making plans to do the same:

It’s really good to see more and more stories about oil companies profits being hit by an oil glut and stories about the price of lithium spiking. We are at the really early stages of this but it is good to see things moving in the right direction. Hopefully oil demand predictions will continue to be proven totally over optimistic and lithium will continue to surprise the market with it’s growth.

Please suggest your oil alternative, as both commodities are eventually supply constrained. There are better renewable fuels, cost however, is still the main driver to wide range adoption.

No comment is affiliated with MB whom Tesla S is rapidly taking market share from MB S class so he has an axe to grind and has just proven he’s another anti-EV loser.

Lithium batteries contain only 2% lithium.
Not a big deal if prices play yoyo.
And in the long term, recycling will secure even more lithium.

There is more to worry about Cobalt and Nickel prices.

when you use the lithium to make a battery, the *battery* is not recyclable. lithium batteries do not have unlimited lifetimes. when used up, used lithium batteries typically end up in landfill.

Tesla *already* recycle their batteries.
As Musk said: “It’s easier to dig in a battery than a mine.
More over, the tools will be adapted for Tesla battery packs.

recycling lithium from batteries is not an easy process.

It will become routine and profitable as soon as batteries will start to return after their long life in cars…
I notice that haters at last shut the f*** up about replacing batteries every 2-3 years… 😉
Now they find the small 2% lithium in batteries hard to recycle… Like tires? The the complex and fragile engines that last only 2-300,000 miles?
What will it be after ? Dirty electrons?

You just said they are not recyclable, now you say they are hard to recycle. Make up your mind troll!

No, deep water drilling is not an easy process!

Recycling your brain is impossible.

When gasoline burns, after 25 miles, it ends up in your lungs.

Li+ batteries, by contrast, are already being recycled – after providing 100,000 miles or more of energy.

Non automotive lithium batteries typically end up in a landfill because they are too costly to recycle not because they are not recyclable. You have dozens of smart phone,lap top, tablet etc type of batteries making sorting and processing expensive.

Automotive batteries economies of scale are much different. You have a lot of the same batteries so you can program a robot to do the same repetitive task again and again.

Tesla and Nissan already have programs to recycle all their batteries. The rest of the OEMs should follow suit shortly.

lithium ion recycling is quite complex with challenges due to unfavorable economics and energy utilization. but if anyone can make it work, an oem has a better chance of doing so than does a third party recycler, who would have to deal with different non-standard battery chemistries from different oem’s.

that said, the future of battery chemistry is still very much up in the air, and i’ve got to think that people are going to be looking for a better solution.

for the time being, the cost of new batteries is a bigger issue than is the issue of how to recycle them.

The cost of new batteries won’t be an issue very much longer. Price parity of BEVs and ICE vehicles is upon us. Once the tipping point is reached, the transition to electric is going to happen at a faster clip than most people realize.

We are still a long way from price parity. Bolt and Model 3 are high 30s vs. 20k for similarly equipped Honda Fit and Civic. Tesla wisely targets premium brands such as BMW instead of Honda so the price disparity isn’t so obvious. I’m not sure what GM is thinking.

I think price parity will be never reached if you look at selling price. A ICE with exhaust cleaner, pipes and tank included is around 2.500 € at the production side. A 60kWh battery with 42 €/kWh cost already more without controller (300 – 1000 €) and electric motor (180 – 800 €) included.

Today battery prices consist by 70 $/kWh from resources only.

Therefore BEV prices will most likely never reach parity. But who cares. Diesel are also more expensive than Gasoline and is very common in europe. If we reach BEV prices that are only 1000-3000€ more expensive than typicall ICE and we have BEV of all kind of cars the BEV segment will go stellar. So far no station wagoon, no minivan, no truck and no long range except two expensive BEVs…

I would gladly pay double the price of my last car if it had half the range of my last car and would be a BEV. That would be a used BEV for 20.000 € and a realistic range of 400 km. Seems like a 10-15 year old tesla to me. So minimum seven more years to wait.

You are obviously completely insane or so ignorant you are unwilling to spend 20 seconds on internet research that would show what you are saying is complete drivel.

I can only assume you get some sort of perverted pleasure from causing lots of sensible and informed folk to respond to your silly posts – ergo I advise to one and all… *please*, don’t feed the troll!

Unfortunately, the strategy of refusing to “feed” a troll doesn’t work with these short-selling anti-EV FUDsters. They are here to feed their greedy profit motive, which doesn’t go away even if no one responds to their B.S.

no comment continued his FUD campaign:

“when you use the lithium to make a battery, the *battery* is not recyclable. lithium batteries do not have unlimited lifetimes.”

First of all, it’s not true that the battery isn’t recyclable. In fact, Tesla’s Gigafactory will be set up to do high-volume recycling.

Secondly, you know perfectly well that you’re spouting complete B.S. when you try to pain using lithium to make batteries is as bad for the environment as burning gasoline.

You only have to make batteries once (or at worst, and rarely, twice) for the lifetime of the car. How many times do you have to replace the gasoline in a gasmobile?

Lithium-ion batteries typically last for the life of the car, or at worst have to be replaced once.

Yet you’re trying to make us believe this is as bad as gasoline, which has to be replaced about once a week.

Now, go peddle your fraudulent B.S. somewhere else.

PP, you bait.

By compelling the responses about lithium recycling, “no comment” has actually hurt his own objective of discrediting battery cars. Hope you find a bandage for the foot you just shot. In a broader sense however, recycling all of the materials in an EV is a challenge. BMW and perhaps others seem to have some leadership in this area.

Do you mean the total production cost has fallen?

“and the overall production of cells has been falling precipitously”

Yes – obviously, that is what they meant.

Prices per kWh will continue to fall fast, despite increases in the price of lithium. With 2% lithium (by mass, not sure if it is accurate but it’ll give us a ballpark anyway) in current batteries, we are talking about 2 kg per 100 kg of battery pack. If the prediction pans out, that means the price of the raw material increases from $10 per 100 kg of battery pack to $20. Basically we are discussing noise in the signal.

And “yes”, the “price of the raw material” is meant to mean the price of the lithium raw material. Total cost of materials obviously has to cover the remaining 98% of the pack..! 😉

It a bit is more than noise.
E.g. Model S 85 battery may contain around 15 kg of Lithium. Exact content is not published.
It would be some x 5.323 = 80 kg of lithium carbonate. At $10,000/ton or $10/kg it is $800. At $20/kg it is $1,600. Not critical for $100k vanity car, but making cheaper mass market car becomes somewhat more difficult, especially when you account cost of other raw materials that may fluctuate wildly. In particular cobalt supply creates bigger threat, as it is not sensitive to its demand unlike lithium.

The S 85 battery pack weight 540 kg Lithium accounts for 2% of THE CELLS. So your petro-biased calculations are way off.

Again, what is your source for the numbers of lithium content in NCA?
Feeble cheerleeding and uncontrolled burst of emotions doesn’t look impressive.

Elon Musk and J.B. Straubel on the GF opening.

I’ve noticed your continued references to Tesla and Tesla owners with rather denigrating terminology, especially with regard to the expense of the vehicles. I’m sure it’s not a secret as to why the cars are expensive.

I’m also sure you’re aware of what Tesla is attempting to do and the importance of those goals. For many these aren’t “vanity” purchases to a stable of vehicles, but their only vehicle, which for those many required a reach in their budgets. They believe enough in the company’s mission to support it with their money.

I for one applaud them. So cut them some slack, they’re supporting the move away from profligate hydrocarbon use, which is a good thing.?

The good thing is that if the price goes up, more companies will mine it and the price will eventually drop due to competition and production improvement.

Typical cycles of mineral mining…

And if it is too expensive, then we will either move to a new technology or figure out a way to recycle it.

So, no big deal.