Core-nundrum: CXO suspends mining as lithium prices hit rock bottom
Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) will “temporarily” suspend mining at its Finniss project in the NT in efforts to keep the lights on amidst low lithium prices.
As part of an ongoing review into its high-cost operations, Australia’s newest spodumene miner will stop mining of the Grants open pit, with processing to continue from existing stockpiles.
As previously announced, development of the 10.5Mt BP33 underground mine will be put on ice, and discretionary spend including studies, exploration and corporate costs will be reduced.
The cash would’ve provided another 5.6 quarters of funding, pre strategic review. CXO is hoping to make it last a while longer.
“While suspending mining operations is a difficult decision, processing of ore stockpiles will continue to generate revenue and we will focus on managing our cash reserves prudently,” CEO Gareth Manderson says.
“We are working to put the business in the best position possible to recommence mining and proceed with BP33 when market conditions improve.”
Sayona (ASX:SYA) completed a strategic review of its own on 9 November, which culminated in a ‘5 pillar strategy’ light on details.
Unlike CXO, SYA says it will continue to ramp up towards nameplate production at the North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Canada “with a strong focus on cost management and resolving process limitations”.
The historically troubled NAL hard rock operation bankrupted previous owners in 2014 and 2019 but, like CXO, SYA had a comfy $233m cash cushion and no/very little debt at the end of September.
The CXO and SYA share prices have been hammered over the past year, down 79% and 70% respectively.
Market turmoil hasn’t stopped heavy hitters piling into the ASX’s newest listing, Goldfields/ Pilbara focused Kali Metals (ASX:KM1).
The spinout of gold explorer Kalamazoo Resources (ASX:KZR) counts $1bn capped gold miner Karora Resources (TSX:KRR) and MinRes boss Chris Ellison as major shareholders.
It hits the bourse 12pm eastern on Monday. Stay tuned.