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Lithium spot price


turar
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Does anyone know where I can find lithium spot prices, preferably historical too, and preferably already charted?

 

The closest I got by googling was articles like this: http://www.mining.com/painting-a-rosy-picture-of-lithium-and-tantalum-99638/

 

"The current spot price for battery-grade lithium carbonate is $6,600 a tonne, that’s up from $5,500 a couple of years ago"

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  • 3 years later...

I don't know where you can get Lithium spot prices.

 

But keep in mind they call them lithium batteries but that's not the most important component. Other metals are. As I remember the most expensive part of the battery is the cobalt in it. Cobalt sells now sells for about $54,000/ton up from around $20,000/ton in 2016. It's traded on LMX and the biggest reserves by far are in Congo.

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I've spent some time with some battery engineers and to a fault they all told me (and this was 3 years ago).  Lithium is easy to mine and get and therefore it won't bubble as new demand will come on-line.  The problem will be the cobalt.  RB's post above confirms what these guys were saying in 2014.  If only I would have listened.

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I should add that the issue is more complicated as there are different kinds of Lithium battery. The high performance batteries use cobalt based chemistry because they have the highest energy density.

 

Apple and must cellphones use a type of battery called Lithium Cobalt Oxide that is the highest performance (and the most likely to catch fire btw).

 

As far as I know Teslas use a battery called Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide. This battery has a lot less cobalt than what is used in phones and laptops at a performance trade off.

 

Other cars like the Nissan Leaf use a Lithium Manganese oxide the. These batteries use manganese instead of cobalt which results in lowest energy density among the lithium batteries but they are also the safest and they have the longest life. But they are probably off the table if you want a 300+ mile range EV.

 

We could also make further advance and invent another Li battery that doesn't use cobalt and is more stable.

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Your old lead acid battery is mostly recycleable.  Some stats I saw were that they were 90+% recyclable and something like 95% of the batteries themselves are recycled. 

Its economically positive as you can call up your local dealership and they will pay you or give you a credit for a returned battery. 

 

For Lithium batteries its the opposite.  The chemicals are mixed together so its hard to seperate for recycling.  Simple way to check is when you return one of them you have to pay = uneconomic.  When companies say they recycle lithium batteries what they are mostly doing are seperating the packs from the rest and sending the packs to China where Chinese companies are then signing off and recyling them.  What that means in China is that they are then usually disposed off in landfills in China or sent to Africa and then disposed of.  Its not a green process by any means.  (My data is 3+ years old but when I spent a lot of time on this they said it would be very hard to recycle)

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