Ukraine possesses 1% of the world's lithium reserves, a key component in battery production. In 2022, lithium prices surged to record levels of $80,000 per tonne, only to drop by half in 2023. In Ukraine, two companies are getting close to lithium mining, though years and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments separate them from the first tonne sold. What are entrepreneurs counting on?
"Ukraine has the largest lithium reserves in Europe, as well as significant deposits of other minerals," wrote Yulia Svyrydenko, the First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, on Facebook during the London URC summit.
Lithium is a vital component in the production of batteries for smartphones and electric vehicles. In 2022, electric car production increased by 55% to 10.5 million units, according to the consulting firm EV volumes.
The electric car boom is driving the lithium market upwards.