Eye on Lithium: Gold king Bill Beament diversifies, Argentina goes downstream, and Charger’s on the move
All your lithium news, Monday, July 3.
The big news for lithium today is Bill Beament’s Develop Global’s (ASX:DVP) diversification into lithium assets with its purchase of Essential Metals (ASX:ESS) and its Pioneer Dome project near Norseman, WA for $152.6m.
The lithium project is one of the few undeveloped JORC defined lithium resources in WA, containing 11.2Mt @ 1.16% Li2O. Nowadays anything >1% is considered project worthy at current lithium prices – which are floating up around the US$42,546/t mark (LCE).
ESS was recently a takeover target by Independence Group (ASX:IGO), however Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) blocked the move by taking a 20% stake in the junior before the deal could be struck.
Moving to South America, where Argentina will start up its first lithium battery production plant in September.
“We will start to produce the first lithium-ion battery cells in the country,” Y-TEC president Roberto Salvarezza said in a government statement, noting that the batteries will use lithium carbonate extracted by Livent at its Fenix processing plant in the countries’ north.
It’s good news for explorers and developers in the emerging lithium powerhouse who aim to find offtake partners to aid their projects.
“The development of the supply around mining activity is a priority for our government,” mining minister Fernanda Avila said.
Staying in Argentina today, mining giant Glencore is in talks to back a lithium project in Argentina being developed by French miner Eramet SA.
A positive for both companies, Glencore is apparently negotiating an offtake agreement in exchange for helping to fund the construction of the lithium processing plant that Eramet and JV partner, Tsingshan Holding Group Co are building together.
It is unclear how much Glencore will invest, nor how much lithium it will receive in the agreement. Stay tuned to this one for further developments.
38 lithium stocks leapt in price today, 66 broke even and 45 dipped.
Here’s a selection of today’s lithium movers and shakers.
CHR has been busy drilling the Enterprise target, part of its Bynoe lithium project near Darwin in the NT.
First pass RC drilling intersected “encouraging” spodumene bearing pegmatites, prompting the company to ramp up exploration.
Enterprise is ~900m along strike from Core Lithium’s (ASX:CXO) Blackbeard prospect at the 30.6Mt Finniss Lithium project.
Charger drilled 10 RC holes for 1,663m at Enterprise, on top of 14 holes for 2,045m at the Megabucks and Old Bucks prospects nearby. Intial assays are due in 4-5 weeks.
“The company will now proceed to ramp up exploration to the next phase, with a diamond rig commencing this week to test for down-plunge extensions to the intersected pegmatites at Enterprise,” CHR managing director Aidan Platel says.
“This is an important step as we have seen from Core’s spodumene deposits in the region that the spodumene content has the potential to increase with depth,” he says.
“A further ~5,000m of RC drilling is also scheduled to begin next week to test both new and existing lithium targets at Bynoe, including the high-priority 7Up prospect.”
Poor assay results for the first seven drill-holes completed at Megabucks — which encountered no economic lithium grades — saw the stock sold down Monday.
No news today, but there will be pretty soon. Wildcat is quickly becoming a market darling for 2023, constantly punching out good news to the market as it proves up the surrounds of the historical Tabba Tabba lithium-tantalum mine – a project which WA lithium giant Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) owned back in 2015.
The company said recently that maiden drilling will start this month. Previous hits from PLS included 8m @ 1.42% Li2O from 4m – which Wildcat is eager to follow up.
WC8 also recently bought out the remaining 33% interest at its Pilgangoora North lithium project in the Pilbara from Mining Equities for $200,000 worth of WC8 shares.