China, USA and the Geopolitics of Lithium

In terms of lithium, China so far dominates the global new Great Game for control. Chinese entities now control nearly half of global lithium production and 60 percent of the electric battery production capacity. Within a decade, Goldman Sachs predicts China could supply 60 percent of the world’s EVs. . . in Feb 2019 Bolivia, with the largest lithium reserves in the world, signed an agreement with China’s Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd who will hold a 49 percent stake in a planned joint venture with Bolivia’s state lithium company YLB.

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Global Research, November 18, 2019

For several years since the global push to develop mass-scale Electric Vehicles, the element Lithium has come into focus as a strategic metal. Demand is enormous in China, in the EU and in the USA at present, and securing control over lithium supplies is already developing its own geopolitics not unlike that for the control of oil. 

China Moves to Secure Sources

For China, which has set major targets to become the world’s largest  producer of EVs, developing lithium battery materials is a priority for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. Though China has its own lithium reserves, recovery is limited, and China has gone to secure lithium mining rights abroad.

In Australia Chinese companyTalison Lithium, controlled by Tianqi, mines and owns the world’s largest and highest grade spodumene reserves in Greenbushes, Western Australia near Perth.

Talison Lithium Inc. is the…

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2 thoughts on “China, USA and the Geopolitics of Lithium

  1. No worries, Jesi. In my mind, one of the biggest problems with relying on large quantities of lithium to run electric vehicles is making sure that it’s ethically sourced. Most available lithium lies in third world countries and it is rare that these countries are paid fairly for either the lithium itself or the labor required to extract it.

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