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Iron Road (ASX:IRD)

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Iron Road snapshot

Iron Road (ASX: IRD) has a vision to become a trusted and reliable supplier of premium iron concentrates to the Asian marketplace.

The flagship project in achieving this vision is the Central Eyre Iron Project (or CEIP) in South Australia. CEIP is a large scale development expected to produce 20Mtpa of iron concentrate. CEIP will require an industry partner to finance and develop associated rail and port infrastructure. Iron Road is in the final stage of Definitive Feasibility Study for the CEIP. Mineral Resources already top 2.5 billion tonnes, providing for 30+ years of production.

Alongside the CEIP, Iron Road is progressing a scoping study on the smaller scale Gawler Iron Project (Gawler). Gawler has the potential for 1-2 Mtpa development that can provide early sustaining cash flows. Gawler is close to established rail infrastructure with port access and can potentially provide product to gain early market acceptance for concentrates similar in specification to the larger expected CEIP output.

Iron Road’s development pathway will recognise market constraints and seek to utilise the common product specifications of CEIP and Gawler to enable a flexible development strategy.

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Ranked: The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

Three countries account for almost 90% of the lithium produced in the world.

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Voronoi graphic showing the top lithium producers in 2023.

The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—accounted for 88% of lithium production in 2023.

In this graphic, we list the world’s leading countries in terms of lithium production. These figures come from the latest USGS publication on lithium statistics (published Jan 2024).

Australia Leads, China Approaches Chile

Australia, the world’s leading producer, extracts lithium directly from hard-rock mines, specifically from the mineral spodumene.

The country saw a big jump in output over the last decade. In 2013, Australia produced 13,000 metric tons of lithium, compared to 86,000 metric tons in 2023.

RankCountryLithium production 2023E (metric tons)
1🇦🇺 Australia86,000
2🇨🇱 Chile44,000
3🇨🇳 China33,000
4🇦🇷 Argentina9,600
5🇧🇷 Brazil4,900
6🇨🇦 Canada3,400
7🇿🇼 Zimbabwe3,400
8🇵🇹 Portugal380
🌍 World Total184,680

Chile is second in rank but with more modest growth. Chilean production rose from 13,500 tonnes in 2013 to 44,000 metric tons in 2023. Contrary to Australia, the South American country extracts lithium from brine.

China, which also produces lithium from brine, has been approaching Chile over the years. The country increased its domestic production from 4,000 metric tons in 2013 to 33,000 last year.

Chinese companies have also increased their ownership shares in lithium producers around the globe; three Chinese companies are also among the top lithium mining companies. The biggest, Tianqi Lithium, has a significant stake in Greenbushes, the world’s biggest hard-rock lithium mine in Australia.

Argentina, the fourth country on our list, more than tripled its production over the last decade and has received investments from other countries to increase its output.

With all the top producers increasing output to cover the demand from the clean energy industry, especially for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the lithium market has seen a surplus recently, which caused prices to collapse by more than 80% from a late-2022 record high.

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