Demand for Lithium, Cobalt Expected to Grow

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October 15, 2018—The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and the subsequent need for lithium batteries is increasing the demand for two critical raw materials, lithium and cobalt.

According to a report published by McKinsey & Company, the demand for cobalt is expected to increase by 60 percent to reach 222 kilotons of refined metal equivalent by 2025, up from 136 kilotons in 2017. The demand for lithium will increase more than threefold, to 669 kilotons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) between 2017 and 2025.

The price of cobalt and lithium has spiked in recent years due to the increasing demand and its limited supply.

More than 65 percent of cobalt production is concentrated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), while the lithium supply comes from Australia, China, and Latin America.



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