Buenos Aires — By 2030, Argentina will be the third-largest lithium producer in the world, behind only Australia and China, and ahead of Chile, while four African countries are also emerging as potential leaders in the production of the mineral, according to a report by JPMorgan.
According to the US investment bank’s report, Argentina is currently the fourth-largest lithium producer in the world, with 5% of the total, behind Australia with 44% and China with 20%, while Chile is currently in third place, with 28% of total production.
With demand rising for lithium for the production of battery cells, the number of producers by 2030 will be more diverse and with more limited domains.
Australia will produce 23% of the world’s lithium, according to JPMorgan, followed by China with 16%. Behind the Asian giant will be the Africa, with 13%, and Argentina also with 13%.
In northern Argentina there are currently two lithium projects in production, and it is expected that at least seven more projects will enter production over the coming years.
Chile’s projected production decline is interesting, whose output is expected to push it down from its current position of third place, while Argentina’s production is expected to increase over the next eight years from 44,000 tons to 487,000.
Out of Africa
Beyond Argentina’s projections, the JPMorgan report forecasts the growth of lithium production in Africa, arguing that the continent has Tier 1 lithium resources that are currently under development and that by 2030 it is projected to produce 435,000 tons of lithium carbonate from 10 assets representing 13% of the world’s supply, which would make the continent the third-largest global supplier.
The major lithium projects in Africa are in the Republic of Congo and Mali, as well as in Namibia and Ghana.