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The rise of Albemarle, the world’s largest lithium producer

Demand for lithium, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, is anticipated to grow from 500,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate in 2021 to a few to 4 million metric tons in lower than a decade, in accordance with McKinsey & Company.

Albemarle, the world’s leading producer of this critical metal and operator of mines in Australia, Chile and the US, says it plans to open one other national lithium mine by 2027 in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. It is already operating in Silver Peak, Nevada.

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Albemarle can be constructing a $1.3 billion processing facility in South Carolina where it can process battery-grade lithium hydroxide. The plant will handle the production of two.4 million electric vehicles per yr and can have the ability to process lithium from recycled batteries.

Despite this growth, Albemarle faces many potential headwinds, including a possible economic slowdown that might slow demand for electric vehicles, recent battery chemistries that might reduce lithium demand, battery recycling and extra competitors. Tesla began construction of a lithium refinery in Texas in 2023.

To higher understand how lithium, generally known as “white gold,” is mined, the challenges involved, and where production will shift, CNBC looked behind the scenes at Albemarle’s operations in Chile and the U.S.

Watch the video to learn more.

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