Saturday, February 11, 2023

China, Africa, and Lithium Production

 Reuters published on 9 February 2023 an article titled "Africa Gears Up to Keep More of the Profits from Lithium Boom" by Clara Denina and Wendell Roelf.

Much of Africa's lithium is headed for China to support the production of batteries for electric vehicles.  These countries are increasingly trying to develop local processing and refining industries to capture more profit rather than export the ore.

Comment:  China has more than half of the world's capacity for refining lithium into specialized battery chemicals.  The largest known reserves of lithium are found in Latin America (Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile).  The United States, Australia, and China also have large reserves.  By comparison, the known reserves in Africa (DRC, Mali, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Namibia) are modest.  But new reserves are being discovered each year and Africa could become a more important supplier of this highly sought after mineral.