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David Fickling

Peak Lithium? Not So Fast

The world could just as easily face a glut as a dearth.
Lithium Extraction At Uyuni Salt Flats
Photographer: Noah Friedman-Rudovsky/Bloomberg

Does the world have enough lithium? It depends who you ask.

A 2008 study by French researcher William Tahil found there were just 3.9 million metric tons of recoverable deposits globally in mineral ores and Andean salt lakes. That's little enough that the world would risk running out as demand for lithium-ion car batteries and utility-scale storage ramps up over the coming decades.