The li-ion battery (LIB) market is growing because of a rapid increase in product demand. The demand that was once driven by consumer electronics is now booming as a result of the development of electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage systems (ESS).
Global Annual Electric Vehicle Sales Forecast ('000s)
In 2016, the LIB manufacturing capacity (as produced from megafactories) was 29 GWh and consumed 9,200 tonnes of cobalt chemical, 23,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and 34,800 tonnes of flake graphite anode.
By 2020, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecast that the LIB market will become the key demand sector for both cobalt and lithium. If the megafactories development announcements alone are considered, i.e. 269 GWh in total, the raw material demand to support such capacity will by itself become the primary demand driver.