Australia can save the global lithium industry from the Chinese state


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The lithium market structure hasn’t changed in over a decade. Most of Australia’s lithium-containing spodumene ore is still processed in China. There is no spodumene hedging or storage outside China. If China is short term oversupplied, Australian miners can’t store their ore and wait for the market to improve, or sell it through futures contracts and finance it in the interim. The lack of a sophisticated financial market for lithium has contributed to mine closures and corporate failures, including Alita Resources, which went into a controversial administration in 2019. Its assets were finally sold in 2023. It is time for...