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Minerals 2012, 2(1), 65-84; doi:10.3390/min2010065

Lithium Resources and Production: Critical Assessment and Global Projections

1,2,* , 1 and 2
1 Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Clayton,VIC 3800, Australia 2 Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 January 2012 / Revised: 20 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 19 March 2012
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This paper critically assesses if accessible lithium resources are sufficient for expanded demand due to lithium battery electric vehicles. The ultimately recoverable resources (URR) of lithium globally were estimated at between 19.3 (Case 1) and 55.0 (Case 3) Mt Li; Best Estimate (BE) was 23.6 Mt Li. The Mohr 2010 model was modified to project lithium supply. The Case 1 URR scenario indicates sufficient lithium for a 77% maximum penetration of lithium battery electric vehicles in 2080 whereas supply is adequate to beyond 2200 in the Case 3 URR scenario. Global lithium demand approached a maximum of 857 kt Li/y, with a 100% penetration of lithium vehicles, 3.5 people per car and 10 billion population.
Keywords: lithium resources; lithium supply; electric vehicle demand lithium resources; lithium supply; electric vehicle demand
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Mohr, S.H.; Mudd, G.; Giurco, D. Lithium Resources and Production: Critical Assessment and Global Projections. Minerals 2012, 2, 65-84.

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