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USA: Lithium Prices 2012

Lithium is not traded on an international exchange, which means that buyers often negotiate directly with producers on an individual basis. There may be as many as 90 different varieties of lithium, and as volumes and purities vary according to demand, pricing them is not a simple exercise. Purchases can also depend on long-term supply contracts between lithium producers and customers. A new customer inquiring about a price quote would be required to complete a relatively long checklist of specifications regarding purity, particle size, delivery method, packaging, and delivery date.
Lithium carbonate
Lithium carbonate is used in the manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cathodes, and is a good glaze for ceramics and ovenware, as the compound forms a low-melting flux when combined with silica and other materials. It is also used for specialized processes in the production of aluminum and can help tile adhesives and cement set more rapidly. In addition, it can be used to produce pharmaceuticals that treat mood disorders and as an active material in carbon dioxide sensors.
In an interview with Lithium Investing News, Vijay Mehta, lithium, potash, and magnesium chemicals consultant, indicated, “the price range as of today for lithium carbonate varies depending upon volume, customer, and contract commitments between a range of approximately $4,500 to $5,200 per tonne.” He added that “the price of very high-purity, battery-grade lithium carbonate, which is equivalent to high-purity lithium hydroxide in terms of impurities, would be a premium product almost at the same price of battery-grade lithium hydoxide (high purity) for battery customers.”

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