Monday, June 25, 2012

Peak Lithium

Slightly off-topic, but since we had fun with the "peak copper" calculations, here are the same results for Lithium.

Lithium is often referred to as white gold and associated with a very bright future given lithium's use in battery technology. However, the reality is quite modest with Chile being the largest lithium producer (as per USGS representing about a third of global production) earning a mere USD 174 million (annual data from 2010) from lithium exports.

Nevertheless, Lithium production has nicely increased, as the following graphic visualizing the USGS time series shows.

Making the Hubbert linearization plot, you end up with almost constant production rates (as a percentage of cumulative production).

Obviously, Lithium is so early in its production cycle and reserves are so massive that the notion of peak Lithium doesn't make too much sense.

Calculation details are here.

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