Eye on Lithium: Argentina flags $4.2b investment in its lithium sector, Chinese carmakers swoop in to secure supply
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All your ASX lithium news for Thursday, May 12
Chinese miners and battery makers are forging closer ties as the accelerating shift to electric vehicles highlights the shortage of lithium.
Not to mention the fact that price has jumped more than 400% in China over the last year which has sparked a “a flurry of deals from Argentina to Zimbabwe” according to Bloomberg.
Like Chinese battery maker Gotion High-tech Co. who’ve just announced plans to construct a lithium carbonate refinery with Argentina’s state-owned miner Jujuy Energía y Minería Sociedad del Estado.
“Much of the new developments involve smaller players in China looking to secure resource supply overseas, a strategy that China has employed to gain control of the supply chain,” BloombergNEF analyst Allan Ray Restauro said.
“Nationalization in some countries may pose a risk to that strategy.”
There are already a bunch of major players active in the country – like Gangfeng Lithium and Lithium Americas who’s Caucharí-Olaroz project is expected to produce 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) a year.
The region is thought to contain nearly 56% of the world’s lithium resources. pic.twitter.com/7b9Y4FVrVK
— QUATRO International Inc. (@QuatroInc) May 11, 2022
Last week Argentina’s Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, highlighted that the lithium sector projects investments of more than $4.2 billion over the next 5 years.
At a meeting in the city of Salta, he highlighted the “joint work between the provinces and the Nation to consolidate Argentina as a world reference in the production of high-quality industrialized lithium, incorporating the great challenges of the present, science and technology, and the future.”
Kulfas also highlighted the importance of public policies for Argentina to be among the world’s leading producers of lithium.
“Mining, well done and with the proper controls, can be one of the pillars for this productive development of the country,” he said.
“Count on the government of the Nation to advance and deepen these policies.
“This is the Argentina we want, an Argentina where we stop discussing minor issues and the axis is the development, growth and development of the technologies that will allow us to move the country forward.”
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A total of 19 stocks were in the green today, with 25 flatlining and 75 in the red.
Kairos has appointed a new chairman in Klaus Eckhof and MD in Dr Peter Turner in a move which it says will unlock the full value of its WA gold and lithium projects.
Notably, Eckhof was founder and executive chairman of AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) who are focused on developing the Manono Project, one of the world’s largest undeveloped lithium deposits.
And along with his extensive gold exploration experience, Dr Turner was recently advising a private lithium and nickel explorer in WA on its lithium strategy.
Dr Turner said he’s excited by the lithium potential of Kairos’ Roe Hills project in what is “a highly prospective place for find fertile LCT (lithium-caesium-tantalum) pegmatites.”
“We have a huge land holding with promising lithium-in-soil anomalies waiting to be drilled,” he said.
A recent geophysical survey at the company’s Mavis Lake project in Canada has confirmed the project’s growth potential, with 28 new drill targets identified across the property.
Of the targets, 11 are considered high priority with an expansion of the current 5,000m drilling program planned.
The company has announced a collaborative agreement with the Association of Transport Entrepreneurs of Extremadura (Asemtraex) to promote economic development opportunities within the freight sector in the community of Cáceres and Extremadura in Spain through support for the integrated lithium chemical conversion project.
It’s the latest in a series of agreements with the local community and business groups around the company’s San José Lithium Project.
“The Extremadura New Energies project will boost both direct and indirect activity in freight and other industrial initiatives, with both parties collaborating to support the creation of a transport logistics centre in Cáceres,” Asemtraex president Miguel Ángel Sánchez Bravo said.
The company said that transportation logistics relating to raw materials and products will be an important element in the successful development of the project.
Eastern Resources has wrapped up Phase II mapping and sampling at its Trigg Hill lithium-tantalum project with results sent for analysis.
The results from the Phase I rock chip sampling program are due shortly.
The company is planning to complete an initial 2,000m drill program in July – pending Program of Work approval.