Eye on lithium: Industry commentator smacks down lithium slow down talk
All your lithium news, Tuesday December 6.
There has been much made of a potential slowdown in the lithium market which has had an adverse effect on many lithium stocks, however Battery Metals Review managing editor Matt Fernley has some choice comments to make about these concerns.
“I’m hearing that weakness in lithium stocks is down to notes by a number of investment banks and dealers suggesting that the results of BMX auctions Pilbara Minerals are not indicative of the wider lithium (SC6) price,” he says in a LinkedIn post.
“The brokers note that the 16 November auction price of US$8575/t SC6 equivalent (on a CFR China basis) is only for a 5Kt package and is not comparable to contract tonnage.
“Nobody in the industry has ever claimed that BMX prices are in any way comparable to contract prices,” he continues.
“Only non-experts looking into the industry from outside have suggested that.”
Fernley goes on to say the key point about the BMX auctions is that they generally lead the SC6 price by a few months so if BMX is indicating prices around US$8575/t now, and contract prices are around US$5000-6000/t then the suggestion is that prices will go higher.
And the other key point is that BMX is showing the huge demand for lithium units that currently exists.
“BMX auctions are for 5.5% material, below what has traditionally been the benchmark grade, yet still in demand,” he adds.
“The fact that Core Lithium was able to get such a high price for a 15Kt DSO (direct shipping ore) package at 1.4% Li2O also attests to this huge need for lithium units.
“That’s not indicative of an industry that’s about to melt down.”
Only 26 lithium companies closed in the green today, another 46 fell flat and 62 others tumbled into the red.
Today’s biggest lithium mover is EFE after maiden drilling identified spodumene at the Trigg Hill Project in multiple holes.
The Phase 2 program has now been expanded to roughly 2,500m with assays from the maiden program pending analysis.
EFE executive director Mules Fang says this is an exciting development for the company.
HMX has also discovered gained some today following the discovery of pegmatites and lithium bearing rock chips at the Yandal project in WA’s north-eastern Goldfields region.
Results of up to 0.65% Li2O were returned from the Tapendade prospect while multiple LCT pegmatites were identified to the west of the Orelia Target-1 prospect.
An air-core drilling program is being designed for early 2023 focusing on several high-quality targets within Yandal Project, including these exciting new lithium targets.
This little ~$5.32m market cap minnow says it has identified up to 20 pegmatites at the Smokebush Gold exploration project – around 65km west of Paynes Find within the Yalgoo mineral Field.
TMX says rock chip samples are currently being taken from these pegmatites and will tested for lithium mineralisation with assay results expected by February 2023.
So far, the company is encouraged that the Smokebush pegmatites are within the so-called “goldilocks zone” being the distance between two and six kilometres from a granite intrusive, which is interpreted as being the most prospective zone within a pegmatite for lithium mineralisation.
Maiden drilling on the Muvero prospect in the Namibe Lithium project has wrapped up after confirming lithium mineralisation below the surface.
TYX says the program provides the basis for an optimised follow-up drilling program in 2023.
Metallurgical testing of the bulk sample collected earlier in the year will begin in the first week of January 2023 and results from this testing are expected to be received in early March 2023.
Exploration work is in motion at the Scotty Lithium Project in Nevada with MT geophysics underway ahead of completion in late December.
Drill contractors have been short listed with rig availability and regulatory approval to define the start date within Q1 2023.
“The Nevada lithium boom has placed increased pressure on regulatory approvals and availability of resources, however the support gained from our in-country geological partner has helped navigate these challenges,” LLI CEO Adam Ritchie says.
“We look forward to completing the MT survey with plans to commence our inaugural drill campaign in Q1 2023.”
Multiple programs are underway across the Yinnetharra, Diemals, Hines Hill and Lake Tay projects, which covers an area of 5,424km2.
The aim, WCN says, is to advance them towards drilling and to get as much information as the company can so as to order them for priority work.
“The significant exploration datasets being acquired will start being delivered this month and we will continue to be very active over the coming summer months,” WCN technical director Ed Mead says.
With a $6.1m capital raising done and dusted, RGL believes it is in a perfect position to undertake extensive exploration programs on the Tambourah and Mt Holland Lithium Projects leading into 2023.
A third drilling campaign will kick off on December 11 at Tambourah and is expected to wrap up before the new year with the third batch of samples to be sent to Perth for multi-element analysis.
Meanwhile, Ultramag Geophysics has mobilised to Mt Holland and is set to start a deep ground penetrating radar (DGPR) survey on Riversgold’s ground adjacent to Covalent Lithium’s Mt Holland lithium project this week.
LKE has appointed Howard Atkins to the board to strengthen and broaden the experience of the team and build the business for the long term.
Atkins has over 30 years of financial leadership experience, including 20 years serving as a CFO for organisations including Wells Fargo, New York Life Insurance Company, and Midlantic Bank Corporation.
His previous senior positions includes at Chase Manhattan Ban as Head of Foreign Exchange and Markets Businesses for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and head of the bank’s worldwide interest rate derivatives trading business.