Lithium production: the economics?

This data-file quantifies the economics of producing lithium carbonate from spodumene in mined pegmatites, via the usual process of comminution, flotation, calcination and then acid-leaching.

We estimate a price of $12,500/ton lithium carbonate price is likely needed for a 10% IRR in today’s China-heavy value chain, which emits 50kg of CO2 per kg of lithium.

The data-file allows you to quantify how rising energy and CO2 prices would likely flow through to increase lithium costs, as well as other variables such as ore grades, capex and opex. Mass balances, useful data-points and notes follow in subsequent tabs.