This data-file approximates the production costs of battery-grade lithium from brines, both via traditional salars, and via the emerging technology of direct lithium extraction.
Costs are c40-60% lower than mined lithium production in ($/ton of lithium carbonate equivalent). CO2 intensity is 50-80% lower (in kg/kg).
The data-file is informed by capex and opex disclosures from companies, and data from technical papers, which also cover the ionic composition of different brines.
Note: compared to other models we have constructed, there are more uncertainties and rounding in this model, because precise chemistries vary brine by brine, and because direct lithium extraction techniques are still not fully mature. Hence we have only attempted a high-level model.
To read more about battery-grade lithium from brines and to compare and contrast our lithium mining/refining and salar/DLE brine models, please see our article here.