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The epidemic is putting a pause on the expansion of the lithium industry

2020/5/28 12:14:07

The covid-19 pandemic has forced lithium producers to decrease production, suspend expansion or sell their major assets in order to survive. This has largely delayed the EV revolution which was considered to be around the corner.

The global economic has suffered great downturn since the outbreak of covid-19. EV industry has been undoubtedly affected as well. Investors are now not interested in mine developers that are looking for funding for lithium projects.

Albemarle Corp has slowed downed it is plan for expansion in Chile and Australia. Tianqi Lithium is selling its shares in the world’s largest lithium mine. SQM may suspend its lithium expansion plans as well.

However, some analysts have warned a possible shortage for the raw material of EV battery if the markets rebound in the future given the situation that investors are reluctant to spend money on lithium at this moment while the two biggest EV market, EU and China seem to be still firm and ambitious in the EV regulation and incentives.

An increase of 15-20% in the white metal was expected at the beginning of this year. However, it is now estimated that the total annual demand would decrease by 5%-10% instead.