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21/06/2024
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The top seven global lithium producers in 2023, ranked by market capitalization

1. Albemarle Corporation (Market cap: $26.42 billion)

Albemarle Corporation has operations in the USA, Chile, and Australia. Its acquisition of Rockwood Holdings in 2015 strengthened its foothold. They are permitted to produce 145,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year in Chile until 2043. Additionally, they are currently looking to negotiate further in the wake of Chile’s National Lithium Strategy. The company’s expansion plans include increasing its Kemerton lithium hydroxide production to 100,000 tonnes per annum and a lithium hydroxide plant in South Carolina.

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2. SQM Company (Market cap: $19.18 billion)

SQM is a global corporation with five business areas and key lithium operations in Chile. Despite a dispute with CORFO over a lease in the Salar de Atacama, the company reached an agreement in 2018. Their lithium sales in 2022 surpassed forecasts, reaching 157,000 tonnes and earning revenues of $8.15 billion.

3. Ganfeng Lithium Industry Company (Market cap: $16.65 billion)

Ganfeng Lithium is a major lithium producer in China. The company increased its stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium salt project to 51% in 2020 and established significant supply agreements with Tesla, BMW, Volkswagen, and LG Chem. They recently acquired a 49% stake in the China Salt Lake project for $1.47 billion.

4. Tianqi Lithium Industry Company (Market cap: $15.93 billion)

Tianqi Lithium, the world’s largest hard rock lithium producer, has assets in Australia, Chile, and China. After selling its 49% stake in Talison to Rockwood Holdings, the company increased its stake in SQM to 23.77% for $4.07 billion in 2018. Its Kwinana production line is expected to have an annual capacity of 48,000 tonnes by 2024.

5. Pilbara Minerals (Market cap: $10.29 billion)

Pilbara Minerals operates the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum asset in Western Australia. After acquiring Altura Lithium for $155 million, the company is now seeking a partner to build a $1 billion lithium hydroxide processing plant. Expansion projects include increasing spodumene production capacity to 1,000 tonnes per annum.

6. Mineral Resources (MinRes) companies (Market cap: $9.64 billion)

MinRes is a leading lithium and iron ore miner in Australia. It manages 50% of the Marion Hill Lithium Mine and 50% of the Wagina mine, which restarted production in May 2022. With Albemarle, the two companies have negotiated lithium supply and conversion agreements and will acquire a 50% interest in the Qinzhou and Meishan plants.

7. Allkem Company (Market cap: $7.07 billion)

Formed in 2021, Allkem operates lithium, potash, and boron projects in the Puna region of northern Argentina. Its Olaroz lithium salt facility produced 13,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate in 2022. Additionally, it manages the Mt. Cattlin Mine, which is expected to produce 75,000 to 85,000 dry metric tonnes of spodumene concentrate in 2023.

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