The global lithium-ion battery materials industry is projected to reach USD 26.45 billion by 2025 driven primarily by the end-user industries such as automotive and consumer electronics. The lithium-ion battery is witnessing the highest growth amongst all the battery type and is expected to show a similar trend over the estimated period. Lithium-ion battery chemistry is already competing comprehensively with traditional battery type, such as lead-acid battery type.
Furthermore, currently, lithium-ion battery accounts for 60%-70% of the total battery market and is projected to reach 80% by the end of 2025.
Zimbabwe will in coming weeks sign agreements on the development and value addition of lithium lead batteries as the country seeks to transform the mining sector into a $12 billion industry in the next 4 years, the mines minister said.
Lithium is – as the name indicates – the key element of all lithium-ion batteries. As it turns out, this lightest metal is sourced in volume from just a few countries.
According to the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, some 91% of all lithium comes from Australia (44%), Chile (34%), and Argentina (13%) – data for the year 2017. And Zimbabwe is in the top 10 countries which has lithium.
“Government will be signing an agreement by the end of October which will entail consumption of lithium at home side modular plant as well as value addition of lead batteries and Zimbabwe will be the first country in Africa to put lithium in lead batteries,” Winston Chitando told a breakfast meeting recently.
Currently,Prospect Resources is one of the companies focusing on the extraction of lithium through its Arcadia Lithium Project located 38 kilometres out of Harare.
Some key materials used for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries are lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and natural graphite, which come from more than 30 different countries. In 2017, Australia, Chile, and Argentina produced 91% of all lithium while the rest of the world supplied the remaining 9%. The Democratic Republic of Congo produced 59% of the world’s cobalt. Other lithium-ion battery materials, such as nickel, have a more even distribution of production throughout the world.