Countries with the largest lithium reserves worldwide as of 2017 (in metric tons)

World lithium reserves by country 2017 This statistic shows the countries with the largest lithium reserves worldwide as estimated in 2017. 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 2017 by a large margin. Chile had an estimated 7.5 million metric tons of lithium reserves. China came in second with reserves estimated at 3.2 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 2017, producing 18,700 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.
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Reserves in metric tons
Chile7,500,000
China3,200,000
Australia2,700,000
Argentina2,000,000
Portugal60,000
Brazil48,000
United States35,000
Zimbabwe23,000
Reserves in metric tons
Chile7,500,000
China3,200,000
Australia2,700,000
Argentina2,000,000
Portugal60,000
Brazil48,000
United States35,000
Zimbabwe23,000

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This statistic shows the countries with the largest lithium reserves worldwide as estimated in 2017. 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 2017 by a large margin. Chile had an estimated 7.5 million metric tons of lithium reserves. China came in second with reserves estimated at 3.2 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 2017, producing 18,700 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.
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Release date
February 2018
Region
Worldwide
Survey time period
2017
Supplementary notes
All figures are estimates.

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