Lithium Industry Exploration Trends 2018
In a market of shrinking exploration budgets, lithium defied the mining sector at large and stood out. Exploration budgets around the globe started coming back up in 2017 as a response to improved markets in 2016. Lithium's recovery, however, was already a year ahead: while most targets bottomed in 2016, lithium industry exploration bottomed in 2015 and began its rapid climb in 2016, thanks to rapidly swelling lithium prices.
As the need to identify more lithium sources grew, juniors flocked to the sector. In 2015, 31 companies were exploring for lithium. In only two years that number would swell to 136. The total amount invested in lithium exploration grew by a similar fourfold margin, from US$36.2 million in 2015 to US$156.5 million in 2017.
In 2018, lithium exploration has reached a new high of US$247.1 million. Despite accounting for only 2.6% of the global total, lithium remains one of the fastest-growing exploration segments with a 58% increase year over year.