Lithium Producer SQM is on track to become the world’s No1 Lithium Producer by 2022.
SQM Vice President Daniel Jimenez says capacity increases at SQM’s Chile operations, together with new projects in Australia (Mt Holland Lithium Project), will help put the company in the top slot.
SQM and Kidman Resources Joint Venture Company “Covalent Lithium” looks set to deliver additional capacity from the Mt Holland Lithium project in 2021.
Covalent Lithium is using an Integrated Mine model to deliver 44,000tpa of Lithium Hydroxide and Lithium Carbonate from their soon to be built Kwinana Refinery. Both are key ingredients in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
SQM’s current capacity is 23 percent of the world’s total production while Albemarle has 16 percent.
Jimenez also said that global production capacity for lithium, will more than triple in four years, reaching 735,000 tonnes by 2022 (currently 212,000tpa).
For now Australia remains the world leader in lithium production.