There’s a gigantic lithium storm brewing in South America.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are at the center of an up-and-coming lithium boom. EVs use lithium-ion batteries, and EV sales have grown more than 2x in the last year.
It’s projected that 90% of lithium demand will come from EVs by 2030. At the same time, the much-needed lithium is hard to come by, with only a few countries having reserves and even less mining and commercializing it. There’s an over-dependence on China’s mineral production for EV batteries — 80% of the raw materials needed to make batteries come from China.
Enter Latin America: About 2/3 of all lithium resources are concentrated in Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Mexico. The US, the world’s leading EV manufacturer, would much rather trade with its neighbors in Latin America than with China. These countries stand to win big from what is being called “white gold” mining. Prices have gone up from $10/kg of lithium in 2021 to over $50/kg, and they’re expected to continue rising.
Bolivia stands out as the country with the largest, recently discovered lithium potential. In 2019, the USGS found an additional 12M tons of lithium resources in the country, making it the largest in the world. However, Bolivia’s current lithium mining capacity is very limited, and it has more than a few hurdles to jump before companies can fully take on this opportunity:
- Lack of organization at the political level
- Opposition from rural communities groups campaigning against lithium mining
- Bolivia’s lithium is mixed with magnesium and sits on top of mountains, making the extraction more complex
At Latinometrics, we like to “visualize Latin America’s potential,” and we believe in Bolivia’s ability to become the lithium-producing capital of the world
while creating prosperity for its citizens. Big and small companies like EnergyX
are currently attempting to get past the hurdles and import the precious mineral.