World lithium reserves by country 2018

This statistic shows the countries with the largest lithium reserves worldwide as estimated in 2018. In that year, it was estimated that the United States had total lithium reserves of approximately 35,000 metric tons.

Worldwide 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 2018 by a large margin. Chile had an estimated eight million metric tons of lithium reserves. Australia came in second with reserves estimated at 2.7 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 2018, producing 51,000 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 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 to over 15 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. 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 2016 the top producers of lithium battery cells were estimated to be Panasonic Sanyo, AESC, and LG Chem. By 2025, it is projected that the global clean energy demand will account for over half of the lithium carbonate demand worldwide, with U.S. clean energy demand accounting for eight percent of lithium demand. 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 2018

Reserves in metric tons
Chile8,000,000
Australia2,700,000
Argentina2,000,000
China1,000,000
Zimbabwe70,000
Portugal60,000
Brazil54,000
United States35,000
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Source

Release date

March 2019

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

2018

Supplementary notes

All figures are estimates.

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Statistics on "Lithium"

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