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World lithium reserves by country 2020

In 2019, it was estimated that the United States had total lithium reserves of approximately 750,000 metric tons.

Lithium reserves by country

Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal within the alkali metal group on the periodic table. In nature, lithium occurs only in compounds due to its high reactivity. Chile had the largest lithium reserves worldwide in 2020 by a large margin. Chile had an estimated 9.2 million metric tons of lithium reserves. Australia came in second with reserves estimated at 4.7 million metric tons. Mineral reserves are defined as those minerals that were extractable or producible at the time of estimate. Australia was the top country in terms of lithium mine production in 2020, producing 40,000 metric tons of lithium that year.

Lithium is used primarily in batteries, glass and ceramics, with other uses including rocket fuel and lasers. The global lithium battery market is projected to grow substantially in coming years, from 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to over 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. The electric vehicle market will propel the growth of the lithium market as the number of hybrid and electric vehicles powered by rechargeable lithium batteries picks up. In 2018 the top producers of lithium battery cells were estimated to be Panasonic Sanyo, CATL, BYD, and LG Chem. It is expected that Germany, China, Japan, and France will be leading electric vehicle producing countries.

Countries with the largest lithium reserves worldwide as of 2020

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Release date

February 2021



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

All figures are estimates.

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Statistics on "Lithium industry worldwide"

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