Lithium must evolve twenty times by 2050 as automakers

London, Oct. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The world will need more than twenty times the amount of lithium mined last year to meet demand by mid-century, new data from Benchmark Mineral shows. Intelligence, driven by growth in energy storage and electric vehicles.

An annual production of 11.2 million tonnes of LCE will be required by 2050, with energy storage accounting for two-thirds of battery demand by that date, due to the growth of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

This is one of the central themes of Benchmark Week 2022, which will be held from November 14 to 18 in Los Angeles. Join us here.

The data highlights the challenge of increasing lithium production from new mining projects, which can take more than five years to come online. In the near term, a total of 2.9 million tonnes of LCE will be needed by 2032, more than the 2.7 million tonnes of cumulative global lithium production between 2015 and 2022, according to Benchmark’s Lithium Forecast.

“The long-term path for lithium is set, but the challenge of scaling up the supply chain has only just begun,” explained Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark. “What this data shows is that we are only at the beginning of a generational challenge, not one that will be resolved in the 2020s.”

By 2040, all the lithium mined in the last year will only meet one month’s demand, even with recycled battery supply.

“Lithium miners and refiners must not only adapt their supply base sensibly to the economy of today and the near-term future,” Moores said. “But they are also trying to plan a global lithium-ion economy an order of magnitude larger than today.”


Without recycling, we will need 234 new lithium mines by 2050 to meet this skyrocketing demand. Today, Benchmark only tracks 40 mines that produced lithium this year.

This highlights the importance of recycling to meet future lithium demand.

Benchmark predicts that by 2040, nearly 20% of lithium chemicals will be produced from recycled batteries or process waste.

In the short term, most recyclable materials will come from process scrap. However, from the mid-2030s, an increasing majority of materials will come from end-of-life batteries.


By 2050, an increasing number of countries will convert their fleets to electric vehicles. This has been the main driver of growth in recent years. In 2015, electric vehicles accounted for just 39% of battery demand, rising to 79% this year, according to Benchmark’s lithium-ion battery database assessment.

The E. 2035, while China has said it wants only “new energy vehicles”, which include hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, to be sold by that date.

“It is crucial that legacy OEMs, electric vehicle producers and battery cell manufacturers make the important and sometimes uncomfortable decisions about investing in the long-term supply of critical generational minerals, especially for lithium,” said Moores said. “Otherwise automakers won’t reach their electric vehicles, governments won’t reach Net Zero by 2050, and market volatility will be here to stay for much longer.”

By 2050, Benchmark predicts that about one-third of battery demand will come from electric vehicles and the rest from energy storage.

For a sustainable future, Moores said energy storage will be the biggest growth sector through 2050. These will be needed to balance the power grid as more and more intermittent renewable sources come into it. added.


To dig deeper into the challenges facing the lithium-ion battery supply chain, Benchmark’s flagship event returns in person this year. Benchmark Week sees back-to-back conferences spanning the entire supply chain.

Benchmark CEO Simon Moores will discuss how we can achieve a net zero future by 2050 and lithium supply chain requirements.

Alongside expert analysts from Benchmark, speakers from Rio Tinto and Allkem will deliver keynote addresses and active players from across the supply chain will participate in panel discussions throughout the week.

For a more in-depth discussion on lithium, expert panels on Wednesday, November 16 will explore lithium mining in hard rock and brine as well as new mining technologies.

About Benchmark Mineral Intelligence:
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (Benchmark Minerals) is the world’s leading voice and most trusted provider of price, data and consulting services in the lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.

Benchmark, a Price Reporting Agency (PRA), is world renowned for setting the IOSCO-compliant lithium benchmark price, which is the basis for negotiating contracts between lithium mining operators, lithium manufacturers cathodes, battery cell producers and automotive suppliers.

The company also produces regular price assessments on other battery raw materials and also tracks the capacity construction of the lithium-ion battery gigafactory.

Benchmark also provides forecasting and advisory services relied upon by a wide range of customers, including governments, electronics manufacturers, electric vehicle manufacturers, battery cell producers and mining companies.

Premium quarterly forecast reports are provided for the entire battery supply chain, including cost curves and a fully linked supply and demand model allowing for easy scenario analysis.

Our one-client advisory services provide actionable and actionable recommendations in the form of supply chain workshops, lender market reports and feasibility study contributions.

To complement its publishing activities, the company has created the industry’s leading platform to discuss the topic – The Benchmark World Tour.

The electric vehicle and battery cell supply chain is the sole focus and specialty of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.


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