Lithium is often dubbed as “white gold” for its use in electric vehicles (evs). It is a lightweight metal used in the manufacturing and production of batteries and electric cars nowadays.
India has recently discovered a 5.9 million tonnes of Lithium deposit in salal-Haimana area of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir. This now puts India in the list of the countries holding deposits of critical mineral Lithium.
List of countries with largest Lithium reserve 2023
Here is a list of top Lithium reserve countries in 2023.
- Chile – 9.3 million tonnes
Chile has the maximum reserve of Lithium. It is economically extractable and many countries look for Chile for exploration and extraction of the critical minerals including Lithium.
- India – 5.9 million tonnes
India has recently found the reserves of Lithium in Jammu and Kashmir, and it is economically viable to extract. Earlier, India also found 1,600 tonnes of Lithium in the state of Karnataka, however it may not be commercially viable to extract according to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
- Australia – 3.8 million tonnes
Australia is the largest producer of Lithium metal accounting for 52% of global production. The country has some of the largest reserves of white gold. Among the popular mines is Greenbushes lithium mine which has been operational for the last 25 years. In 2021, Australia produced 55,000 tonnes of Lithium.
- Argentina – 2.7 million tonnes
Argentina along with Chile and Bolivia forms a Lithium triangle. It has the fourth largest reserve of Lithium in the world. In 2021, Argentina produced 6% of total global output of Lithium.
- China – 2.0 million tonnes
China holds the fifth largest reserve of Lithium. However, it is the third largest producer of Lithium. It produced around 19,000 tonnes of Lithium in 2021. China’s consumption of Lithium is also very high due to the government push for electric vehicles and manufacturing of mobiles, batteries. Thus, despite having such a huge deposit of Lithium, China meets a good portion of its Lithium requirements through imports from Australia.
Other major countries that produce a significant amount of Lithium include the following.
- Brazil – 1,500 tonnes
- Brazile – 1,200 tonnes
- Portugal – 900 tonnes
- United States – 900 tonnes
Use of Lithium
Lithium is a critical mineral which means it is not available easily, but very useful for modern economies. Battery manufacturing has maximum consumption of Lithium at present followed by ceramics and glass. It is also used in the air treatment and lubricating greases.
In future, the demand for Lithium is expected to increase manifold due to increased use of clean energy based equipment and electric vehicles. As a result, the global production of Lithium will also increase.