Eye on Lithium: Investors shelter in lithium stocks from market storms
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All your lithium news, Monday October 17.
It’s a sea of red out there but lithium stocks were one of the safest places to be today as the ASX took a nosedive and closed roughly 1.4pc lower after Fridays gains.
According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI), the price of Chinese battery grade lithium carbonate rose by 1.7% last week following the country’s National Day holiday to reach a record high of RMB 532,000 per tonne ($74,475) – a rise of 108% year-to-date.
“Lithium prices have followed an almost consistent upward trajectory for 24 straight months fuelled by growing demand for electric vehicles in China as well as the rest of the world,” BMI says.
“Global sales of electric vehicles hit one million for the first time in September, an increase of 18% compared to August.
“China’s EV sales have also led the world this year and remained robust despite continued Covid-19 lockdowns across the country.”
No sign of #lithium prices falling – all of @benchmarkmin‘s price data is collected first hand from players in the market, under IOSCO certification – not relying on 3rd party info or publicly available data which can be skewed by bias or transfer pricinghttps://t.co/kTpgJZmDw6 https://t.co/2QQ37Wb57V
— Daisy Jennings-Gray (@daisy_benchmark) October 13, 2022
Daisy Jennings-Gray, an analyst at Benchmark, says the higher prices in China’s spot lithium market will feed through to longer-term pricing contracts between automakers and lithium producers.
Most lithium is sold via opaque contracts between miners and buyers. These prices have traditionally been lower than spot, but are making up ground.
“There’s still some catching up to do in long-term pricing contracts,” she says.
“How the spot market is behaving now might not necessarily be the prices being absorbed by much of the downstream but they will be soon for most consumers.
“Especially given the restructuring of pricing mechanisms we have seen in lithium supply contracts over the last year, putting further pressure on automakers and adding to cost difficulties in achieving their electrification targets.”
32 lithium companies finished in the green, 49 fell flat and 50 tumbled into the red zone.
Planning for phase-3 drilling to increase the Niobe resource has kicked off after ARN received receiving $2.47m in funding via a placement to bolster cash reserves.
The company also intends to use funds to support feasibility work and geophysical surveys across the Narndee nickel-copper-PGE Project in Western Australia.
Participants to the placement will be issued one free unlisted ARN option for every two new placement shares subscribed.
The unlisted options will have a $0.30 strike and a September 9, 2024 expiry date with strong support received from Aldoro’s main shareholders.
CXO managing director Stephen Biggins has officially resigned.
“The Finniss Lithium Mine official opening was the culmination of 12 years of rewarding dedication to achieve this rare milestone and I feel that now is the right time to step down as managing director,” Biggins says.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Board, management, employees and shareholders of Core as well as the stakeholders in the successful Finniss Project’ both in the NT and around the globe for their support over the years.
“The business is now in great shape, the financial performance is strong, and at the Finniss Lithium Project, we have built a platform for sustainable growth for many years to come.”
On field mapping and sampling of numerous pegmatites at the Brunswick Project in the southwest of WA has identified 11 targets so far.
Kula also continues to progress discussions to secure new opportunities in the lithium sector that would complement the existing project.
Neighbouring tenement holder, Riversgold (ASX: RGL) has completed a Heritage survey over their property which was needed to facilitate Infinity’s access into its Tambourah South tenement.
This means IMI can set out complete its maiden drilling program during this calendar year.
Approvals have already been received from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety for POWs covering drilling on Tambourah South’s 36 pegmatite dykes, which have returned grades up to 2.635% Li2O.
The identified surface pegmatite dykes make up over 2.6 kms of strike length.
Currently, two fertile pegmatite zones have been located in the South-western and the North-western parts of the tenement
“We will shortly be in a position to mobilise our earthmoving equipment to commence drill site preparation,” IMI CEO Joe Groot says.
Ragusa’s locked in regulatory approval from the Northern Territory’s Mining Operations of the variation to the current mining management plant for exploration activities (MMP), allowing for additional drilling sites to be included.
Up to 38 new sites will be included within tenements EL28462, EL29731 and EL30521 – part of the company’s NT Lithium Project.
RAS will enlarge its current drilling program, planning up to ~4000m from the approved sites, with drilling to continue until the wet season prohibits further site access and operations, and then re-commence in 2023.
Drilling will target lithium bearing pegmatites beneath the weathering profile – evident at the Core Lithium’s Finniss Project located to the north, targeting the most prospective pegmatites with a view to defining a maiden mineral resource for the project.
Eastern Resources has received a $2m strategic investment from China’s Yahua, followed by a subscription agreement executed in September.
The issue of more than 68.9m shares will be undertaken without shareholder approval using the company’s existing placement capacity under Listing Rule 7.1.
On completion of the placement, Yahua will hold 10.28% of EFE’s issued shares, and becomes a substantial shareholder.
Positive results a Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) geophysical survey at the Rincon salar have been received at the Company’s Salta Lithium Project in the lithium triangle of north-west Argentina.
The VES survey was conducted over seven geophysics stations on the northern portion of Power’s license area at Rincon and have confirmed the potential for the salar to host additional lithium brines.
These positive results highlight the resource expansion potential in this yet to be drill tested area of the Rincon license, PNN says.
Eastern Metals has acquired the Neutral Junction Project from Bowgan Minerals and is now the registered holder of five tenements with a ~75% joint venture interest in a sixth tenement held by Mithril Resources (ASX: MTH).
The acquisition covers 155 blocks across six exploration licences, spanning 504km.
All tenture withn the highly prospective Arunta Pegmatite Province holds direct exposure to the Barrow Creek Pegmatite Field in the north and the Alcoota Pegmatite District in the south and is prospective for LCT pegmatites as well as lithium bearing mineralogy.
Several companies including Core Lithium, Askari Minerals, TNG, and Australasian Gold have commenced exploration for lithium in the pegmatites in the Arunta pegmatite province.