The main lithium producers in the world

The main lithium producers (brines) in 2020 were Chile, Argentina and China, while the main producers of lithium ore were Australia and China.

Lithium is produced primarily from two sources: concentrated brines and minerals.

With total sales of approximately 64,600 metric tons of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, SQM‘s lithium chemicals market share was approximately 19% in 2020.

One of its main competitors is Albemarle Corporation (Albemarle), which produces lithium carbonate and lithium chloride in Chile and the United States, along with lithium derivatives in the United States, Germany, Taiwan and China, with a market share of approximately 22 percent.

Albemarle also owns 49% of Talison Lithium Pty Ltd. (Talison), an Australian company, which is the largest producer of concentrated lithium minerals in the world, based in Western Australia.

The remaining 51% of Talison is owned by Tianqi Lithium Corp. (Tianqi), a Chinese company that produces basic lithium chemicals in China from concentrated lithium minerals.

According to SQM, Talison sells a part of its concentrated lithium ore production to the direct-use market, but Tianqi and Albemarle convert most of their production, which represents approximately 21% of the total demand for lithium chemicals, into products. basic lithium chemicals in China.

Lithium producers

Tianqi currently plans to start production at its lithium hydroxide plant in Australia, which is expected to be operational during 2021.

Tianqi is also a significant shareholder of SQM, with approximately 25.86% of its shares. Albemarle plans to start production at its lithium hydroxide plant in Australia in late 2021.

Another major lithium producer is Livent Corporation, with an estimated market share of about 6 percent.

Livent has production facilities in Argentina, through Minera del Altiplano S.A., where it produces lithium chloride and lithium carbonate.

In addition, Livent produces lithium derivatives in the United States, the United Kingdom and China.

Argentina-based Orocobre Ltd. produces lithium carbonate, with a market share of about 3 percent.


Redacción Opportimes

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