Eye on Lithium: Aussie EV sales could surge as Labor’s discount tipped to knock $2000 off the price
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All your ASX lithium news for Monday, May 23.
Our new Federal Labor government has made some big promises when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), with plans to introduce an Electric Car discount from July 1.
The discount aims to make electric cars cheaper so that more families who want them can afford them, and to reduce emissions.
Some EVs will be exempt from 5% import tariffs and the 47% fringe benefits tax on electric cars that are provided through work for private use.
The exemptions will be available to all electric cars below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel efficient vehicles ($77,565 in 2020-21), with the aim to encourage car manufacturers to import and supply more affordable electric models in Australia.
Currently only 1.5% of our cars are electric and plug-in hybrids, and out of 15 million cars on Aussie roads, only 24,000 are EVs.
The problem is the price — they’re not affordable for most Australian’s when you consider that there are none under $40,000 and just 5 models going for under $60,000.
The Electric Vehicle Council estimates that a $50,000 model (like the Nissan Leaf) will be more than $2,000 cheaper as a result of removing the import tariff.
Not to mention that EVs are cheaper to run and maintain, with Nissan estimating a commuter in NSW can save $30 a week by switching from a petrol car to its Leaf model.
Plus, if a $50,000 model is provided through employment arrangements, Labor’s fringe benefits tax exemption will save employers up to $9,000 a year.
The new government is also working to develop a National Electric Vehicle Strategy focusing on Australian manufacturing of electric car components – especially batteries – and potentially EVs themselves.
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A total of 32 stocks were in the green today, with 41 flatlining and 51 in the red.
The former gold explorer is now all in on lithium, snapping up an additional 570sqkm on the ‘Litchfield’ pegmatite belt in the NT.
It complements a previous acquisition announced mid-March.
Ragusa intends to start exploration works to target outcropping pegmatite rocks identified from prior exploration, to develop a more comprehensive lithium exploration program.
“The company has secured extremely strategic and highly sought-after lithium prospective tenements in the centre of a well-renowned lithium district,” Ragusa chair Jerko Zuvela says.
“This is a significant opportunity to combine Ragusa’s existing NT lithium projects to create a combined ‘supergroup’ project area comparable to neighbours Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) and Lithium Plus (ASX:LPM), and utilise our exploration and development experience to rapidly progress our NT Lithium Project in a Tier 1 jurisdiction close to major infrastructure.
“With four currently granted tenements and considerable historic works to reference, Ragusa is in a strong position to rapidly accelerate the development of our project at a time of record lithium prices and within a proven high quality lithium district.”
DAF is busy proving up the lithium potential of its ‘Coal Creek’ prospect – part of the Chulitna Project in Alaska – after finding widespread lithium mineralisation in old drill core.
Today, it announced that handheld analyser readings confirm the presence of lithium in 12 historical Coal Creek drill holes, selected as initial priority.
The company believes lithium was never assayed at Coal Creek prospect, where multiple drill programs have been conducted over the past 40 years.
Most of the drill core from these campaigns – possibly over 5000m worth — is stored at the Alaska Geologic Materials Center warehouse, and available for the company to utilise. Bonus.
A maiden resource is now in the works.
Anson has hit a key milestone in resource expansion drilling at its Paradox project, hitting the target depth of 2,334m at Long Canyon No.2 Well.
The aim of the program is to target the large Mississippian supersaturated brine aquifer in this unit, with the aim of converting the previously identified exploration target into an indicated and inferred resource.
The company says its planned JORC resource upgrade will support the development of the Project into a substantial lithium producing operation in Utah, the neighbouring state of Nevada, home to Tesla’s Gigafactory 1.
The company is acquiring a hard rock lithium project, which comprises the Dewy and Custer sub-projects, in South Dakota that has an abundance of mapped pegmatites and historical lithium-bearing mines.
“After methodically assessing numerous projects to complement our suite of Australian assets, the board has achieved an agreement that has met its key investment criteria of geographic and commodity diversification in a mining friendly jurisdiction,” executive director, Tal Paneth says.
“The acquisition of the highly prospective hard rock lithium South Dakota Project sees IRIS join the green battery revolution at a time when the US President has recently enacted legislation to encourage domestic lithium production.”
Recently acquired gravity data has identified a highly prospective channel for brine and clay hosted lithium at the company’s Clayton Valley project.
Drilling is planned to test high-priority targets in Q3-2022 and the company kicked off drilling at its Kibby Basin Lithium Project (located 10km east of ASX-listed Ioneer Ltd (ASX: INR) flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project) last week.
“We have two fantastic lithium brine Projects in Nevada and are well placed to take advantage of the surge in demand for lithium that is anticipated over the coming years,” executive chairman Charles Thomas said.
Reedy Lagoon Corporation Limited has successfully staked 298 placer claims over an area of 1,998 hectares to form the Alvord project in the Northern McDermitt Caldera in Oregon, USA.
The project is targeting lithium brine deposits associated with geothermal hot springs and playa lakes which coincide with the axis of a rifted valley along the margin of the Northern McDermitt Caldera.
Notably, the Northern McDermitt caldera is 25 kilometres north west of the McDermitt Caldera1 where Lithium Americas Corp (NYSE:LAC) is evaluating the Thacker Pass lithium-clay deposit and Jindalee Resources Limited (ASX:JRL) is evaluating the McDermitt lithium-clay deposit.
Zenith has nabbed a new lithium project at Mt Ida North which will be explored in conjunction with the EV Metals Group under the Australian Lithium Alliance (ALA) – in a separate arrangement to the existing Zenith Lithium joint venture with EV Metals Group.
“With widespread outcropping pegmatites located close to the Copperfield granite contact we see a strong similarity to the setting of a recent lithium pegmatite discovery at Mt Ida by ASX listed Red Dirt, some 15km along strike to the south,” Executive chairman David Ledger said.
“We are well advanced in preparation for initial drill testing and look forward to updating the market as the further assessment of this project progresses.”
The company has flagged high grade zinc, copper, lead and silver assays from its Halls Peak project in NSW.
CRR says step out holes 02A and 07A at the Gibsons prospect – a historical mine at the project – further demonstrate the increased potential of the mineralised extent of the Halls Peak system.
“As our drill program continues, we are excited to see significant grades and intersections that provide increased confidence that Halls Peak could be a transformational asset for the company,” MD Alex Biggs said.
The company says that rock chip and sampling results confirm South Iron Cap East and Bannon – part of its flagship Forrestania Project – as high priority targets for further pegmatite exploration.
Results from South Iron Cap East included a tantalum soil anomaly peaking at 30.52ppm, and at Bannon, assay results complement the existing data and reinforce previous indications of specialised LCT.
Sayona has announced a positive pre‐feasibility study (PFS) for its flagship North American Lithium (NAL) Project in Québec, Canada – confirming the NAL operation’s technical and financial viability over the 27-year life of mine.
Pre‐tax net present value (NPV) (8% discount) estimated at approx. A$1 billion, with pre‐tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 140% and capital payback within two years.
Plus, the NAL restart has a modest capex of around A$100M, with upgrades to improve operational efficiency, grade, quality and recovery; long‐lead equipment already ordered to facilitate Q1 2023 restart.
At NAL, the overriding development objective is for the restart of production, with the benefit of supplementary ore feed from Sayona Québec’s (SYQ) wholly owned Authier Lithium Project, located just 30 km from the NAL site.
Initially, NAL will produce a lithium concentrate for general market conversion, however NAL will become a primary feed source for SYQ’s integrated downstream refined lithium products.
“We have been modest with our pricing assumptions, but as the sensitivity analysis indicates, there is potential for significant upside in the NPV projection given recent trends in spodumene prices,” MD Bretty Lynch says.
“Notably, there are several options to move downstream, including completing the existing carbonate plant at NAL, which would provide for a low capex and accelerated pathway to market.”