FOTW #1099, September 16, 2019: In 2017, Australia, Chile, and Argentina produced 91% of the World’s Lithium

September 16, 2019

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Some key materials used for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries are lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and natural graphite, which come from more than 30 different countries. In 2017, Australia, Chile, and Argentina produced 91% of all lithium while the rest of the world supplied the remaining 9%. The Democratic Republic of Congo produced 59% of the world’s cobalt. Other lithium-ion battery materials, such as nickel, have a more even distribution of production throughout the world. Learn more about U.S. efforts in lithium here.

Map of the world showing global production shares of selected lithium-ion battery materials by country in 2017
MaterialTotal Tons
Produced
CountryShare of
Production
Lithium43,000Australia44%
  Chile34%
  Argentina13%
  Rest of World9%
    
Cobalt110,000Democratic Republic of Congo59%
  Russia5%
  Australia5%
  Rest of World31%
    
Nickel2.1 millionPhilippines11%
  Canada10%
  Russia9%
  Australia9%
  Rest of the World61%
    
Manganese16 millionSouth Africa33%
  China16%
  Australia14%
  Rest of the World37%
    
Natural graphite1.2 millionChina67%
  India13%
  Brazil8%
  Rest of the World12%

Source: Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center, “Are there enough materials to cover li-ion batteries?” August 15, 2018.

Fact #1099 Dataset

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