Eye on Lithium: Lithium prices have tripled in the last year and is anyone even surprised
All your ASX lithium news for Monday, September 19
Lithium prices have tripled over the last year according to Bloomberg, with lithium carbonate prices smashing the 500,000 Yuan barrier for the first time in China.
That was around US$71,315/t on Friday, according to Asian Metal.
And research firm Rystad Energy reckons prices could stay this high for the rest of the year, after a power crunch last month in China’s Sichuan province caused two weeks of electricity cuts and hampered supply – because the province is home to around a fifth of the country’s lithium production.
If China’s power crisis returns this winter, it could lead to new power shortages and add some more pressure to the already stretched supply chain.
A total of 43 stocks were in the green, 39 were flat and 49 were red.
The company has signed a binding heads of agreement with Mars Mines to acquire up to 75% in a package of Brazilian lithium licences including the Cerro Cora and Porta D’Agua, Custodia, Juremal and Jacurici project areas.
All four projects are located in areas known to host lithium-bearing pegmatites and are along strike from and covering known pegmatite bodies.
“We are excited about the proposed acquisition of up to 75% interest in these highly prospective lithium projects in northeastern Brazil,” CEO Tim Cameron said.
“Over the last number of months, we have been reviewing a range of potential acquisition opportunities to diversify our project portfolio; we believe that, given the location and commodity, these projects offer the company the best opportunity to increase shareholder value.
“Brazil has seen increased interest from junior explorers and major mining houses, with the region being home to a number of lithium projects.”
Last week LKE admitted it was having an argument with tech partner Lilac Solutions re demonstration plant deadlines.
LKE and Lilac are using Direct Lithium Injection (DLE), which promises to produce cheaper, higher quality, and more environmentally friendly lithium than incumbent processes.
DLE has been used in water treatment for decades but its use in the lithium sector is in its infancy.
And today the company attempted to alleviate investor concern about the tech, saying today that “all parties are confident on-site operations will be successful”.
“Lake confirms that construction of the facility to house the Lilac demonstration plant is now complete,” it says.
“Dry commissioning of the demonstration plant commenced on Wednesday September 14.
“Lilac has advised Lake that, subject to completion of dry commissioning, it expects to begin wet commissioning of the plant on September 22; once wet commissioning is complete, Lilac expects to begin onsite processing of Kachi brines in the first week of October.”
The first 2000 litres of lithium concentrate produced from the demonstration plant (a smaller version of the real thing) will be converted into lithium carbonate, which will be qualified by a tier 1 battery maker.
The company says drilling at its McDermitt project in the US has returned 29.2m at 1853 ppm li from 20.8m and 18.5m at 1844 ppm li from 10.5m.
The program is designed to infill and extend the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 1.82 Bt at 1,370 ppm lithium for 13.3 Mt Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) at 1,000ppm Li cut-off.
More assay results from the completed drilling are expected to be received early October.
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