Eye on Lithium: Is a lithium price correction on the way?
All your lithium news, Thursday November 10.
Despite the bullishness in the lithium market so far this year, delegates at the annual Antaike Nickel and Cobalt conference expressed concern on the sidelines about a looming price fall, Fastmarkets says.
According to the London-based agency, comments were made on the upward trend of lithium prices, suggesting the likelihood of a sharp fall in 2023.
“It’s a cyclical thing – no price can stay on the uptrend forever,” one trader said.
A lithium producer pointed to multiple spodumene projects set to come online in 2023, such as the Wodgina spodumene mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara, which would “significantly add to supply”.
“Lithium salts production will also be ramped up, which will to a great extent ease the tightness seen currently in the lithium market, leading to a decrease in lithium prices.”
Fastmarkets’ research team forecasts demand of 698,900 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) for 2022, increasing to 884,400 tonnes in the following year.
Fastmarkets reckons supply will increase from 679,400 tonnes of LCE in 2022 to 895,900 tonnes in 2023, leaving the market in a slight surplus.
However, it’s important to note that not all this predicted new supply will come online, on time. In fact, history tells us that it hardly ever does.
Only 29 companies closed in the green today, 41 fell flat while another 63 crashed into the red zone.
QXR has secured a drill rig to begin a maiden 1,500m RC drilling program – set to take off in the last week of November – at the Turner River hard rock lithium project in WA’s Pilbara region.
Drilling will target three areas including one in and around the recently reported rock chip samples of 1.6% Li2O, 1.1% Li2O and 4.9% Li2O at the Carbonate Hill prospect at Turner River.
This prospect covers an area 350 metres x 200 metres which now extends under cover.
QXR managing director Steve Promnitz says results will be used to plan more detailed works with further surface sampling and detailed geophysics.
A maiden reverse circulation (RC) drilling program has kicked off at North Moolyella comprising around 40 drill holes for 2,700m testing outcropping pegmatites along strike and at depth.
Drill targets are testing highly anomalous lithium assays results from sampling undertaken by BCI Minerals in 2017, yielding up to 265ppm lithium (477ppm lithium oxide).
As well as drilling, the company has delineated extensive stacked sheeted pegmatites on the western and eastern zones of the southern portion of E45/5873 hosted within extensive lithium geochemical zones – which will be the first to be drill tested.
North Moolyella is about 5km west of Global Lithium’s (ASX:GL1) 10.5Mt at 1% Li20 Archer deposit and has the same pegmatite trending north – northwest pegmatite in stacked swarms hosting the lithium and tantalum in the Archer Deposit.
Sensore has entered into an agreement with Lightgold Minerals where S3N will spend a total of $2.5m over for years for a 51% interest in the non-precious mineral rights and the opportunity to earn another 29% by completing a bankable feasibility study at the Gecko North Project.
The agreement includes a minimum spend of $270,000 over 18 months at the site, where LithtGold has identified a lithium and associated element lithium index geochem anomaly in ultra-fine soil sampling near SensOre’s own AI generated predicted target.
Another significant intersection of spodumene-bearing pegmatite has been returned at the Mavis Lake Lithium Project.
CRR says 31.75m of well mineralised spodumene-bearing pegmatite has been intersected in and will be included in the maiden resource estimate, which is due for release in Q1 2023.
pXRF analysis of soil geochemical samples has identified a 1.5 km target at the Pinnacle Well lithium prospect, within the wider Talga Lithium Project, with all samples submitted for laboratory analysis.
Multiple additional pegmatite targets have been identified with seven priority areas targeted for field assessment.
While these results are only indicative, OCT managing director Bevan Wakelam says they are certainly very encouraging and allow the company to accelerate exploration activities towards a drill testing program.