Eye on Lithium: Biden bestows $3 billy to boost US battery output
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All your ASX lithium news for Wednesday, May 4
US President Joe Biden has announced that $3 billion from its $555 billion infrastructure fund will be used to make more electric vehicle (EV) batteries and components in America and bolster domestic supply chains.
“President Biden’s historic investment in battery production and recycling will give our domestic supply chain the jolt it needs to become more secure and less reliant on other nations,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said.
It’s part of the administration’s goal to have EVs make up half of all vehicle sales in America by 2030, and is the latest in a series of funding announcements for the US sector.
Last month, Biden invoked the Defence Production Act to boost domestic production of the battery metals like lithium.
The Department of Energy says up to 30 companies could benefit from the funding, which will support the creation of new, retrofitted, and expanded commercial facilities as well as manufacturing demonstrations and battery recycling.
But the whole recycling angle is bit of a bone of contention for some lithium analysts.
Recycling will not make a difference, not in the next 20 years. The #USA requires a much more ambitious strategy to meet @POTUS‘s goal of 50% of US auto sales being electric by 2030.#Lithium https://t.co/1zCyADVrJq
— Juan Carlos Zuleta (@jczuleta) May 3, 2022
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Red day. Only 9 stocks were in the green today, with 21 flatlining and a massive 87 in the red.
The company is progressing with permitting applications over the Campagnano and Galeria prospects in Cesano, Italy, which are highly prospective for lithium in geothermal brines.
The Regione Lazio (Lazio regional government) has published a determination that both of the EL applications are excluded from the requirement to undergo a VIA procedure (environmental impact assessment) for the scopes of work that Altamin has proposed.
As a result, the Regione Lazio will now proceed with processing the applications – and assuming they are successful – the company will immediately commence its work program starting with a review of all available historical information and assessment of the borehole logging.
The company also told shareholders to take no action on an unsolicited takeover offer from its largest shareholder today.
The 9.5c per share offer is an 8.7% discount to AZI’s 52 week high of 10.4c per share.
The company signed a binding Strategic Partnership Agreement with YONGXING to collaborate on the identification, acquisition and development of lepidolite projects in Australia.
YONGXING is one of the most experienced lithium carbonate producers in China, with unique technology to use lepidolite concentrates to produce battery grade lithium carbonate.
Chairman Eddie King said the agreement further validates the company’s lithium credentials, with the partnership part of EFEs strategy to achieve a low-cost operation and to be a long-term player in lithium industry.
The partnership will provide a solid framework for joint acquisition and development of projects – which extends to establishing for YONGXING a first right of refusal for an offtake agreement for lepidolite concentrates products.
CRITICAL RESOURCES (ASX:CRR)
Visual spodumene has been observed in four of the five holes drilled to date at the company’s ‘Mavis Lake’ project.
This includes a standout 18.1m interval from a down-hole depth of 159.1m in the fifth hole (MF22-64) that is estimated to contain about 20% spodumene-bearing pegmatite and represents an at depth extension of the Pegmatite 6 ore body.
MD Alex Biggs said the intersection was the largest the company had seen so far during its 2022 drill campaign.
“An 18.1m intersection with a high mineral content of ~20% represents a significant milestone in what are still the early stages of our inaugural drill program,” he said.
“Furthermore, to intersect visual spodumene in four of the five initial holes is an excellent outcome.
“The story of Mavis Lake is beginning to unfold and we see this drill campaign as a potentially transformational catalyst for both the project and the company.”
Results from initial sighter testwork on a pegmatite sample from RDT’s ‘Mt Ida’ Project has returned 74% recovery to 6.2% Li2O concentrate using DMS (Dense Media Separation) Flotation flowsheet.
The results also resulted in a low iron impurity of 0.04% Fe2O3 in concentrate, and the company is now planning follow up testwork.
“One of the major risks in any mining project is the quality of the ore and its amenability to utilising standard extraction technology to produce a saleable product,” MD Matthew Boyes said.
“With this first round of sighter testwork RDT has taken a massive step forward in mitigating that risk and demonstrating the Mt Ida pegmatites contain a significant portion of the Lithium bearing Spodumene which is recoverable into a high-quality and high-purity concentrate.
“A comprehensive follow up testwork program designed to better delineate and optimise the DMS and flotation response to our ore will be underway shortly and the results will form an integral part of our PFS and resource estimation work scheduled to commence in Q3 this year.”
RC drilling is expected to kick off at the ‘Wyemandoo’ critical metal pegmatite project in the next 5 days, weather permitting.
During surface sampling last year Aldoro identified additional pegmatite loop structures which it intends to test in this program.
The aim is also to confirm thickness, depth and orientation of surface exposed pegmatites in addition to potential mineralisation content at depth.
The company has raised $4m to accelerate exploration at its ‘West Spargoville’ Lithium Project, ‘Kibby Basin’ Lithium Project, ‘Clayton Valley’ Lithium Project and ‘Redlings’ REE Project.
Originally the plan was to raise $2m via a share purchase plan but due to strong demand MQR increased the size of the issue and allowed shareholders “to acquire a meaningful allotment”.
Drilling at the Kibby Basin Lithium Project was previously impacted due to delays in securing a drill rig but now the company expects to begin drilling around the 10th of May.
Today, the company’s share price soared 18% … and then fell 20% after a convoluted announcement.
The DRC Minister of Mines has signed the ministerial decree to award the Mining Licence for the Manono Lithium and Tin Project to Dathcom Mining SA (Dathcom) – which AVZ holds a 75% interest in via its wholly owned subsidiary.
Focusing on the positive news, AVZ’s MD Nigel Ferguson said the Ministerial Decree paves the way for the company to start developing the project. That’s a big deal.
“The company is advancing its early works program ahead of a Final Investment Decision to commence major works and first SC6 production toward the later months of 2023,” he said.
“We have maintained a strategic approach to developing our world-class Manono Project and we will continue to tick every box that will deliver long-term value to what we believe is the largest global hard- rock lithium resource, based on current Proved and Probable Ore Reserves.”