Salt Lake lithium extraction revival -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

Salt Lake lithium extraction revival -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

What is the most expensive in the 21st century? talent. What is the most expensive in 2021? Lithium price.

According to data from Shanghai Nonferrous Metals Network, as of November 17, the average price of domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate was 197,500 yuan / ton, an increase of 273% compared with the beginning of the year; the average price of domestic battery-grade lithium hydroxide was 194,500 yuan / ton, compared with It was up 293% at the start of the year. In just ten and a half months, lithium prices have nearly tripled, and there is still no sign of a correction.(Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment)

The unexpected rise in lithium prices has triggered a chain reaction:

On the one hand, OEMs such as Tesla have begun to bypass battery manufacturers and directly purchase battery cathode raw materials such as lithium hydroxide;

On the other hand, leading battery manufacturers such as CATL started the battle for upstream lithium resources. In order to control costs, they hand over the purchased raw materials to the cathode material factory for processing, which essentially becomes a foundry.

The fundamental reason for the rapid rise in lithium prices is the mismatch between supply and demand: the penetration rate of new energy vehicles is rising, and the positive news of electrochemical energy storage continues, but the stable lithium production is actually limited. The price was thus pushed up overall.

Since the price increase of batteries is lower than the cost increase, most of the profits of the industrial chain flow upstream, and the profitability of battery companies is increasingly under pressure. They also have to continue to enter the field of raw materials through acquisitions of lithium mines or joint ventures.

As the most active and lowest potential metal known in nature, lithium mainly exists in three forms: lithium ore, lithium salt lake, and lithium clay.

According to the "2021 Global Lithium, Cobalt, Nickel, Tin and Potash Mineral Resource Reserves Assessment Report" released by the my country Geological Survey in October, lithium salt lakes have the largest lithium reserves in the world, accounting for 59% of the total. Lithium ore and lithium clay accounted for 26% and 7%, respectively. In my country, the proportion of lithium salt lakes is even higher, reaching 79%.

In contrast to the above-mentioned resource stocks, for many years, due to various factors such as technical level, environmental restrictions, and talent shortage, the extraction of lithium from salt lakes has not played an important role in the supply of lithium resources. According to the Minmetals Securities Research Report, in 2020, the world's output of lithium extraction from salt lakes will account for about 46%, and more than half will still be occupied by ore extraction.

In recent years, the technical progress of lithium extraction from salt lakes has been obvious.

In fact, in the 1980s and 1990s, lithium extraction from salt lakes was once an important supply method of lithium salts worldwide.

Looking to the future, is lithium extraction from salt lakes expected to revive?

big change in wind direction

If there is one biggest beneficiary of this rise in lithium prices, it is likely to be Tianqi Lithium.

Over the past year, lithium prices have risen sharply, which has revived Tianqi Lithium, which was once on the verge of bankruptcy. The chairman Jiang Weiping, who was often questioned in the past, was also called "YYDS" by investors again.

Tianqi Lithium, which has recovered from the crisis, said that in the next 20 years, international operation will become the key word of Tianqi Lithium.

Chilean conspiracy

On October 22, a group of four including Tianqi Lithium President Xia Juncheng and Vice President Wan Yu made a special trip to Beijing to visit Chilean Ambassador to China Luis Schmidt. According to the author's reasonable guess, the purpose of their trip is to pave the way for winning the domestic lithium salt lake resources in Chile.

Just 10 days before their departure, on October 13, the Chilean Ministry of Mines announced that it would invite global investors to tender for 400,000 tons of domestic lithium metal contracts in Chile.

Behind the announcement is a big move that Chile has not done in decades.

According to data from the United States Geological Survey, Chile has the largest lithium resources in the world in terms of countries, with confirmed reserves of 9.2 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), accounting for 43.8% of the earth's total reserves, most of which are stored in lithium salt lakes among.



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