SHANGHAI, Feb 3 (SMM) - In 2022, the price of lithium salts soared throughout the year. The core reason behind is that the release of lithium resources has failed to meet the drastic growth of downstream demand. Looking back on 2022, Australia, the main producer of spodumene, still took the lead in terms of lithium supply. Although China is in the stage of rapid development of lepidolite production, the commissioning of most projects is scheduled in 2023 and 2023. Chile, on the other hand, benefited from the stable expansion of brine lake projects in 2022, and surpassed China and became the second largest lithium supplier.
In 2023, it is estimated that the global supply of lithium resources will reach about 1.21 million mt LCE in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 45%. According to the type of raw materials, lithium supply from spodumene, brine lakes, and lepidolite is expected to increase by 140,000 mt LCE, 80,000 mt LCE, and 110,000 mt LCE respectively. Specifically, spodumene will be the greatest contributor to supply growth, while lepidolite will post the largest YoY growth rate. Based on the project categories, most of the additional supply in 2022 came from the expansion or resumption of existing projects, while the greenfield projects will start to play a role in 2023 apart from the ramp-up of producing projects.
Looking ahead to 2023, most of the projects will be put into production in the middle of the year and the second half, and start to yield output in the second half. The projects that are worth attention mainly include:
Lepidolite: Jianxiawo, Shuinanduan, Jiabusi tantalum-niobium mine
Brine lake: Baqiancuo
Spodumene: Lijiagou, Xinjiang Zhicun
Spodumene: Sabixing Mine, Bald Hill, Arcadia, Grota do Cirilo, Greenbushes, Mt Marion, Wodgina
Brine lake: SDLA，Cauchari-Olaroz， Olaroz，Hombre Muerto
Lepidolite: Huashan Porcelain Mine, Huaqiao Dagang Porcelain Clay Mine, BYD
Spodumene: Bikita, Goulamina, Pilgangoora -Pilgan Plant