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Magical metal? The price of lithium batteries, the demand for rapidly growing

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    Lithium as one of the few commodities more expensive quickly. Metal price increases significantly for several months in a row. This is probably an increased demand for batteries and more efficient energy storage.

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    With lithium are traded mainly in the form of carbonate or hydroxide, wherein the hunger after both variants. Lithium carbonate in January sold at a price of $ 10,000 per tonne, the price of lithium hydroxide in the same period hovered around $ 14,000 per tonne.Both commodities experienced significant price increases in late 2015. For example, even at the beginning of December 2015, lithium carbonate sold for the price of seven thousand dollars per ton.

    "I think there is a change of thinking about energy," says Adrian Griffin, head of the company autralské Lithium Australia, with the world looking for the most efficient energy conservation. "Lithium gives us the best way to store energy," says Griffin.

    Which countries have the largest reserves of lithium (in percent)


    (The volume of global reserves of lithium is about 40 million tons Source: The Economist)

    Lithium is an essential element of all batteries, powering smartphones, notebook computers, but also electric. Interest in the metal as manifested primarily manufacturers of consumer electronics. The largest volume of lithium processed the South Korean company Samsung and LG, Japanese companies Panasonic and Sony and Hong Kong ATL.

    Development of prices of lithium carbonate (in thousands of dollars per ton)


    Demand also increases the automotive industry, says The Economist . Its role should be to market electric cars in China, while 171,000 units sold still represents less than one percent of the Chinese market. The key can also be Toyota's decision to install its hybrid lithium-ion batteries.

    Read also: The prototype of the new lithium-air batteries in the efficiency of catching up with petrol

    Another great source of demand may be an attempt to more efficient storage of electricity. The automaker Tesla will begin next month to distribute their batteries Powerwallhomes. Italian Enel plans to offer similar facilities in South Africa, where they face frequent power outages.

    Read also: The Coming Boom battery storages electricity, grow mainly in US and Japan

    Oilprice.comestimates that by 2020 the market could increase six-fold. With increasing demand for more power, electric vehicles and cleaner electricity from lithium soon become a "new spirit" notes Goldman Sachs.

    It is expected that the price of lithium considerably influence also the upcoming giant battery factory , which builds Nevada in the US car maker Tesla Motors. How calculates the web Oilprice.com, the factory will process 15,000 tons of lithium annually.

    "Around lithium is now so enormous hype.People look at it as if it were a magical metal, "said JB Straubel, CTO carmaker Tesla.

    But as The Economist points out, the problem may be the fact that the business of lithium is highly concentrated. Most of the lithium supply only four companies - Albermarle, SQM, FCM and Tianqi. Additionally, the extraction of metal is a complicated process, says the weekly. Higher sales prices may not automatically stimulate the growth of supply.

    Read also:

    Cínovecká lithium heading to the stock exchange in London. Looking for European investors

    A prototype of the new lithium-air batteries in the efficiency of catching up with petrol

    Mining lithium in Zinnwald can compete with the giant deposits in the Americas

    Author of the article: pav

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