Eye on Lithium: Is a lithium price rebound coming?
All your lithium news, Friday March 31.
Lithium prices have been in freefall for several weeks now with lithium carbonate chemical prices crashing from US$85,000/t to about US$38,000/t due to increasing global supply and a recent pullback in Chinese demand.
There is likely more room for lithium prices to continue falling in the short-term but some analysts are already forecasting a rebound in the second half of this year, though the lofty peaks that we have seen might be a thing of the past.
Australian miners are clearly feeling at least a little bullish.
Unlike the moves to slash production the last time that lithium prices dived, steps are being taken to increase output.
This is clearly highlighted by Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) approving earlier this week a plan to ultimately increase production from its Pilgangoora project to about 1Mtpa while Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) have restarted production from their North American Lithium project.
Sayona clearly has the eye on the long-term, with chief executive officer Keith Phillips saying that the project is positioned to be a key contributor to the electric vehicle and battery supply chains in Canada and the US.
After all, Tesla – unlike its Chinese counterparts – has been the recipient of an upbeat forecast by Barclays, which project the EV manufacturer delivering 425,000 vehicles globally in the first quarter of this year, just a little higher than the consensus estimate of 420,000 vehicles.
In the longer-term, Fastmarkets also expects lithium demand from EVs to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 20% to 2.28Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent in 2033, from 321,000t in 2022.
And while China is likely to boost lithium production, the market is expected to remain in deficit until 2026.
Maiden assays for Green Technology’s first diamond holes at the Root Bay prospect within its Root project in Ontario, Canada, has intersected thick, high-grade pegmatites.
Hole RB-23-001 returned 67.1m at 1.13% Li2O from 60.9m along with two other intersections of 7.3m at 1.44% Li2O from 162m and 5.3m at 1.34% Li2O from 174.3m while RB-23-003 returned 12.1m at 1.30% Li2O from 67.4m.
The third hole returned 6.6m at 1.47% Li2O from 129.2m, 4.5m at 1.34% Li2O from 140.5m and 2.1m at 1.09% Li2O from 149.0m.
Green Technology has completed 17 of the 20 holes planned for its phase one drill program with assays pending for 14 holes.
Iris has acquired the historical Longview and Beecher mines in South Dakota that are located within existing granted mining licences.
This complements its previous acquisitions of the Black Diamond Mine and Beecher Extended prospect, effectively giving it control of the historical Beecher lithium mining trend.
Additionally, the company will also acquire the historical Edison lithium mine and an additional 313 BLM claims in the Keystone and Tinton districts of South Dakota.
Together, these acquisitions make Iris the largest holder of lithium mining claims in South Dakota.
Lightning Minerals has started an infill program to test an 8km lithium-in-soil anomaly that was identified by reconnaissance soil sampling program at its Dundas South project in Western Australia.
Up to 2,200 samples will be collected within E63/2000 and E63/1993 to further refine the anomalous area and potentially define drill-ready targets.
Reverse circulation and aircore drilling is expected to start in the near-term, with drill contractor procurement still underway.
The company has completed the acquisition of the Chebogue lithium project in the emerging hard rock lithium jurisdiction in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Chebogue covers a 1,200km2 area that encompasses over 100km of prospective lithium pegmatite strike length.
Data compilation and remote-sensing data interpretation have prepared detailed layer maps for planned field work to commence in April 2023. This will in turn delineate prospective lithium-bearing pegmatite zones.
Initial exploration will focus along strike both north and south of Champlain Mineral Ventures’ Brazil Lake lithium project.