Eye on Lithium: Lithium prices hold steady off the back of LFP battery demand
All your ASX lithium news for Tuesday, July 26.
It looks like lithium is holding steady as everything else, including nickel and cobalt prices, decline in July.
Platts has highlighted that Chinese lithium prices have continued to creep upwards off the back of strong support from downstream battery markets – specifically the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) market.
Platts also added that LFP capacity expansions have been swift, making market demand even more favourable.
And they’re not alone in that opinion:
#Lithium prices continue their upward trajectory as battery demand “surges”. Some traders are now confirming strong demand to continue into next year. July maintenance shutdowns & growing #EV demand could mean new price highs in H2 2022, in our opinion #RKEquity. pic.twitter.com/27iandTjbZ
— Rodney Hooper (@RodneyHooper13) July 25, 2022
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A total of 53 stocks were in the green, 45 were flat and 33 were red.
Dart Mining was the first exploration company to discover lithium on the Australia’s east coast back in 2016.
Now the company has entered an Earn-in Agreement with Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. for its Dorchap Lithium Project in Victoria, Australia.
SQM, a world-leading lithium miner and producer with commercial offices in 20 countries, and customers in over 110 countries also has a 50/50 joint venture with Wesfarmers at the Mt Holland Lithium project in Western Australia.
Dart Mining says it has granted SQM the right, but not the obligation, to sole fund exploration expenditure totalling A$12 million over the next six years.
During the first earn in period, SQM may earn an initial 30% interest in Dorchap by sole funding exploration worth A$3million for the next three years.
SQM may then elect to sole fund exploration expenditure of a further A$9million in aggregate over two further periods totalling three years to earn a further 40% interest in the project.
DTM chairman James Chirnside says the collaboration with SQM brings world class technical and operational expertise to a very worthy exploration target.
Vulcan’s geothermal lithium exploration efforts in Germany have been boosted by approvals from eight local councils for a 3D seismic survey and the grant of a new exploration licence.
“We welcome the decision of the eight councils in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate for Vulcan to commence 3D seismic work, as we continue to experience increasing positive momentum at a local level for the Zero Carbon Lithium Project,” managing director Dr Francis Wedin said.
“So far, all local votes for Vulcan’s work plan applications in our Phase 1 area have been positive, which is a strong endorsement for our project, as well as for the reputation and professionalism for the Vulcan team; many of whom have worked in the geothermal industry and the local area for many years.”
The company has also been granted a new exploration licence, increasing the licence area in the Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field by 277km2 to 1440km2.
Some existing 3D seismic data is already available over the new Ried licence following an agreement with Rhein Petroleum in November 2021 to purchase 3D seismic and drilling data.
Zenith has reported positive initial sighter level metallurgical test work on lithium mineralisation from the Split Rocks project in WA.
The purpose of the test work was to verify the lithium bearing mineral eucryptite, and the results of the flotation test was a lithia recovery of 76% to a rougher concentrate grading 4.04% Li2O.
X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) of the concentrate samples indicate the primary diluent mineral in the concentrate was quartz, which Zenith says suggests subsequent cleaning and recleaning flotation stages should be sufficient to provide a further upgrade to achieve the high-grade market specification of 6.0% Li2O.
“Both the sighter flotation testwork and bench scale calcination-leach tests results were extremely positive and confirm the amenability of eucryptite mineralisation to conventional treatment processes and hence confirm eucryptite as a viable lithium target,” MD Michael Clifford said.
Marquee says samples have been sent for assay from 47 RC drill holes and 95 Air Core holes at its West Spargoville Lithium Project.
The company expects the first of these results to become available over the next few weeks, and will now move to Phase 3 of its exploration strategy at the project, with a further 6,000m -10,000m of RC drilling planned to begin in the second week of August plus a further 6,000m of AC drilling.
Drilling at the Kibby Basin project has been slow due to uncooperative playa sediments making drilling with the current rig difficult – the company is switching out to a more capable core rig for the remainder of the program and says “although this time delay has been frustrating and hugely time consuming, the overall potential of the project remains unchanged.”
The three-hole ~3,000m program is now expected to be completed by October 2022.
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Vulcan Energy is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.