Eye on Lithium: 51.9% monthly increase in European EV sales has carmakers counting stacks
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All your lithium news, Wednesday, June 7.
According to the European body of all things automotive, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), electric vehicle registrations are on a tear.
April EU registrations of new battery EV’s recorded a significant 51.9% increase over the previous month, reaching 94,561 units, the ACEA reported.
It also represents an increase of EV market share to 11.8%, 3% up compared to the same period last year.
“Most EU markets recorded double- and triple-digit percentage gains, including the two largest: France +34.8% and Germany +34.1%.
“This amounted to a cumulative increase of 45.1%, with 415,579 units sold in the first four months of 2023.”
While carmakers like Volkswagen and Stellantis are buying up lithium from producers around the world, transport costs are hitting their bottom line and may prove to slow down EV uptake on the old continent in the near future.
“[EV makers] will need a lot of lithium, not only the lithium may not be enough, but the concentration of the mining of lithium may create other geopolitical issues,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in March.
But hey, an increase is an increase, right? And what about Europe’s own lithium production?
The question for EV makers in Europe is whether they can successfully reduce – or even eliminate altogether – dependence on lithium from China.
It seems like Europe’s EV industry got a major boost just last week as london-listed Savannah Resources(LSE:SAV) announced plans for a lithium mine in Portugal were approved by the government.
Its Barosso lithium project is projected to produce 175,000t of spodumene concentrate per annum, and with approvals in place, the miner looks to accelerate a definitive feasibility study and get into production ASAP.
ASX-listed European Lithium (ASX:EUR) is also making headlines in Europe with the announcement of its merger with SPAC Sizzle Acquisition Corp [SZZL], which will see the miner list on the NASDAQ.
Once completed, European Lithium will receive $750m-worth of shares in the newly-formed entity Critical Metals Corp, which will help it to advance its Wolfsberg lithium mine in Austria.
“In order to support the rapidly growing EV supply chain in Europe, [Wolfsberg] is expected to become the region’s first major source of lithium concentrate, filling a critical gap in the European EV battery supply chain,” EUR stated in a presser.
50 lithium stocks jumped up today, while 62 stayed flat and 37 dropped into the red.
LRS has just completed an enormous ~40km resource definition drilling at the Colina deposit, part of its Salinas lithium project in Brazil, for a total of 135m drill holes and says a mineral resource estimate is imminent.
Results from the drilling include 8.16m @ 1.36% Li2O from 318m, 13.8m @ 1.35% Li2O from 283m and 22m @ 0.98% Li2O from 309m.
LRS expects the drilling to “significantly expand” the existing 13.3Mt at 1.2% Li2O resource (2.08Mt at 1.21% Li2O Indicated and 11.17Mt at 1.21% Li2O Inferred) by incorporating new high-grade pegmatite swarms encountered to the west and southwest of the Colina deposit.
“With all the planned drilling for our MRE upgrade now complete and assay results received, SGS has commenced the resource estimation process and this is on track to be released in June,” LRS VP Tony Greenaway said.
“We are all eagerly awaiting the outcome of this process, as we believe that we will see a significant expansion in the JORC resource for Colina, given the exceptional results we have been seeing in our drilling this year.”
Another 25km of drilling is expected to be completed later this year, with eight diamond drill rigs constantly spinning until then.
The explorer said it continue to focus on proving up resources in and around the Colina deposit where high-grade mineralisation remains open and where regional teams have identified multiple new targets to map out.
LRS says results from the program will be reported to market as they arrive.
After the MRE update this month, the company will further define its preliminary economic assessment of the Colina project and intends to move directly into a definitive feasibility study immediately after.
Ontario-focused GT1 is having to re-shuffle its deck after tripling resources at the Root Bay deposit at its Root lithium project in Ontario.
The addition of the 8.1mt Root Bay Resource, which also features a higher grade of 1.32% Li2O, takes the total resource across the Root deposit up to a solid 12.6mt @ 1.21% Li2O and also increases the company’s resource base across its Ontario projects up to 22.5mt.
The company reckons that with the enormous uptick in resources at Root it now makes sense to treat it as its own stand-alone project.
“We still have a lot of untested ground to cover and with time we hope to continue to grow our quality hard rock spodumene lithium resource base in Ontario,” CEO Luke Cox said.
“The mineral resource base at Root has now reached critical mass and is transformational for GT1, as it allows us to assess the potential for Root to become a stand-alone project hosting its own concentrator in line with our corporate strategy.”
Resource definition drilling is now underway at Roots Bay to test open mineralisation trends and add to the spodumene resource base.
Infill drilling will also be undertaken to improve resource confidence – to the Indicated category or better – for future economic assessment.
PUR has commenced a transient electromagnetic (TEM) survey to determine optimal drilling targets at its Rio Grande Sur (RGS) lithium project in the Salta region, Argentina.
The focus of the TEM survey will be on confirming the proven shallow lithologies from historical and existing geophysical and drilling data, as well as to interpret the underground geology and hydrogeology of the tenement area in the range of 250m to 300m to assist with identification of the best drilling locations for the proposed campaign later this year.
“With the commencement of the TEM survey, we are excited to start a comprehensive and aggressive exploration and appraisal program, which will culminate in a maiden JORC resource following drilling at the RGS project,” Pursuit COO Aaron Reville said.
“Building upon significant historical exploration efforts, the TEM survey will play a vital role in in determining optimal locations for the near-term drilling program in Q3 2023.”
“Further, the exploration and appraisal program will provide new data on the deeper potential of the salar, potentially demonstrating significant upside to the resource.”
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