Lithium giant lifts forecasts by nearly 15pc on EV surge – by Petr Ker (Australian Financial Review – January 25, 2023)

Lithium giant Albemarle has raised its forecast for future lithium demand by more than 15 per cent and signalled it would expand its Australian mines to supply the lithium needed for the world to rapidly adopt electric vehicles.

But Mineral Resources swiftly provided a reminder on Wednesday that expanding mines in Western Australia is easier said than done, revealing that expansion of its Mt Marion lithium mine had been delayed by labour shortages and equipment delays, forcing a 17 per cent cut to this year’s export target.

Albemarle is one of the biggest players in the global lithium industry and is a part owner of two big Australian mines, Greenbushes and Wodgina, and also has a processing plant at Kemerton that turns spodumene concentrate from those mines into battery grade lithium hydroxide.

Albemarle expects those assets will be very lucrative in the decade ahead, predicting in Wednesday’s five-year strategy update that its global revenues from lithium would rise from $US4.7 billion in 2022 to as much as $US15.7 billion in 2027.

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