Lithium is a soft alkali metal of silvery-white color. Under the standard condition, it is the lightest metal and solid element. Lithium, like other alkali metals, is flammable and highly reactive. It is extracted from different sources like brine and hard rocks.
Lithium is known for properties like high energy density, long durability, and thermal resistance. Owing such properties, lithium has found a number of applications such as in batteries, air conditioning equipment, glass, and grease. This has increased the need for extracting or mining more lithium.
The global Lithium Mining market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% by 2025. The growth of the market will be mainly fuelled by the increasing use of lithium-ion batteries in laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets and devices. As mentioned already, lithium has high energy density and hence, it can be used to store high amount of energy. The demand for lithium-ion batteries has been growing due to this reason.
Further, the use of lithium in glass and grease is increasing, which will also boost the growth of the global market. The market is expected to receive another major boost from the growing demand for air-conditioning and energy storage systems made from lithium. Among various segments, the battery segment is going to register the highest growth in the market.
However, the growth of the Lithium Mining market may be restricted by factors like inadequate workforce and environmental issues related to Lithium Mining. During Lithium Mining, lithium dust and alkaline lithium composites are exposed in the air, which can cause health problems like irritation in lungs and can increase the risk of conditions like pulmonary edema.
Moreover, mining activities require a huge amount of water. For example, Lithium Mining activities in Chile have adversely affected water supply of the region. As mining activities consume about 65% of water, the local farmers who grow quinoa and herd llamas are facing a shortage of water for these activities.
Geographically, the North America region is exhibiting significant growth in the Lithium Mining market due to increasing production of lithium-ion batteries for electrical & electronics industries. The European market has also witnessed remarkable growth, mainly due to government rules and regulations favouring the use of lightweight products in end-use industries.
Some of the major players operating in the global Lithium Mining market include, Albemarle Corporation, SQM, MGX Minerals Inc., Tianqi Lithium Corporation, FMC Lithium, Galaxy Resources Limited, Wealth Minerals Ltd, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd., Nemaska Lithium, LITHIUM AMERICAS, Orocobre Limited, Neometals Ltd., and Lithium Americas Corporation, among others.