A record number of mining companies are exploring for lithium in Australia’s Northern Territory this year, as the price for lithium hits new highs as reported by ABC News.
Ian Scrimgeour for the Northern Territory Department of Mines and Energy said the level of exploration was remarkable and 2016 is touted as the year of lithium in the Northern Territory. Over the last year, there has been a significant increase in the price of lithium and it’s tripled its price.
This boost is all being driven by the growth of renewables specifically batteries for electric vehicles and renewable storage. According to Mr. Scrimgeour, the renewable energy industry is booming in china and that’s what driving a lot of demand. He also said that up to a dozen companies’ were currently exploring lithium in the Northern Territory, with many focusing on the Bynoe region, near Darwin. Other areas of interest also include Barrow Creek and Harts range in central Australia. He also stated that it was still early to say if the exploration frenzy would result in the construction of a Northern Territory lithium mine.
The lithium boom can last for 12 months or it can last for a decade as stated by Mr. Scrimgeour. He also added that they don’t know what’s going to happen in terms of advancements battery technology and whether the soft metal will continue to be the element of choice for batteries. Thus it’s a very positive outlook for lithium at the moment but the future is very hard to predict where it’s all going to go.
Image credit: abc.net.au