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Lithium Availability - Market Economy Countries. a Minerals Availability Appraisal.
MISSING :23 pages
The Bureau of Mines determined the costs associated with lithium production (in various products) from demonstrated resources in seven market economy countries (mec's). This analysis evaluated the relative economic and resource position of 16 mines or deposits, including 6 producers and 1 (Bernic Lake) operating at pilot scale. The demonstrated resource of recoverable lithium within the deposits studied is approximately 2.2 million metric tons. Virtually all known mec resources and production were covered, including resources in Chile (59 pct of the total), the United States (13 pct), Australia (11 pct), Canada (10 pct), and Bolivia, Zaire, and Zimbabwe (combined 7 pct). In addition, the large potential of lithium-enriched brines is assessed, especially those in the Atacama Basin, Chile, where production began in 1984. The lithium resource consists of lithium in spodumene, brines, and to a small extent lepidolite and petalite. Most mec lithium trade originates from the United States, though development of brine deposits in Chile, and potential development in Bolivia, could threaten the U.S. position. Economic analysis indicated that all lithium being recovered from producing properties could be produced at less than the published market price, and that mec resources from these properties are adequate to supply any foreseeable demand.
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Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division