• Chinese ministries are encouraging domestic companies to sign long term supply contracts
  • Lepidico says it’s on track to complete the FEED for its Phase 1 chemical plant in November
  • Argosy says rotary drilling and resource expansion exploration is progressing well at Rincon


All your ASX lithium news for Friday, September 23


Amid continuously rising lithium prices, four Chinese Gov ministries had a meeting last week, low-key packing their collective dacks because spot market supply continues to be outweighed by sustained demand from the downstream electric vehicle (EV) sector.

Benchmark Minerals Intelligence (BMI) recorded lithium carbonate EXW China (Technical) prices as high as US$69,450, lithium carbonate EXW China (Battery) at US$71,575 and lithium hydroxide EXW China at US$71,275 last week.

And China is worried, with the ministries encouraging domestic companies to sign long term supply contracts, as well as promote policies which support lithium resource development in a bid to stabilise pricing and limit sales prices from notably deviating from production costs.

“Nonetheless, contacts reported to Benchmark that lithium feedstock purchasing prices from ex-China markets remain high, and domestic feedstock supply remains impacted by COVID-19 testing regulations on vehicles leaving and entering Qinghai Province with shipments of industrial grade lithium carbonate, limiting flexibility on sales prices to end users,” BMI said.

This comes as the Chinese Yuan continues to weaken against the US dollar, softening prices marginally in dollar terms.


Here’s how ASX lithium stocks were tracking today:

Wordpress Table Plugin

Only 16 stocks were in the green, 37 were flat and a whopping 78 were red.


Who has news out today? 


LPD wants to build a lithium mine and concentrator in Namibia, and a chemical conversion plant in Abu Dhabi.

The Phase 1 chemical plant is due to fire up in 2023 – and the company says it’s on track to complete the Front End Engineering & Design (FEED) in November.

The company is also updating its Measured & Indicated Mineral Resource estimates for the Helikon 4 project in Namibia, which is expected next month and could extend the Phase 1 operating life to 20 years.



The company says rotary drilling and resource expansion exploration diamond drilling works are progressing well at the Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina, with production well PRP-03 completed to a depth of 350m and production well PRP-04 in progress at a current depth of 253m. 

The plan was to conduct pump testing and associated works to facilitate the preparation of a brine Ore Reserve estimate and completion of an upgraded feasibility study. 

Argosy is encouraged with the extended depths of the production well drilling and lithium brine pumping test works conducted to date, which it says “may enhance the outcomes and provide scope for improved results for the next stage estimation and feasibility works”. 



ESS has kicked off exploration at its Arunta project in the NT, focused on mapping outcropping granites at Barrow Creek that may contain pegmatites and to identify where these may also be under transported cover. 

Exploration will also be conducted on and about Home of Bullion where pegmatite float specimens were identified around old workings and in the vicinity of the nearby core yard. 



The company plans to raise $2.1m to fund lithium exploration in the Pilbara where the company has a large landholding of ~1,400km2 of exploration licences (1,000km2 granted and 400km2 in application).

Geological mapping and comprehensive follow-up sampling/assaying is planned on the higher priority areas which the company expects will be defined by a hyperspectral survey and initial reconnaissance. 

The aim is to locate and sample LCT pegmatites that contain spodumene lithium mineralisation which will be followed up by a maiden drilling program to follow target generation in the dry season of March/April 2023. 


LPD, AGY, ESS and CZL share prices today: