Eye on Lithium: ‘Taxafornia’ approves Salton Sea lithium tax
All your ASX lithium news for Monday, July 4.
Late last week California approved its plan to tax lithium, despite industry concerns it would harm the sector and delay shipments to automakers.
While it was still in debate, EnergySource Minerals CEO Eric Spomer told Reuters his company had halted discussions with potential financiers and a major automaker and that the tax “would stifle our industry before it even begins.”
Controlled Thermal Resources (who have contracts to supply lithium to General Motors by 2024 and Stellantis by 2025) CEO Rod Colwell said the tax would force the company to miss those delivery deadlines.
CTR plans to produce 60,000 tonnes of lithium – enough to make roughly 6 million EVs – by mid-2024 in California, which would make it the largest U.S. lithium producer.
The California Energy Commission has even estimated that there’s enough lithium in the area to meet all of the United States’ projected future demand and 40% of the world’s demand.
But the lithium would need to be extracted via geothermal brines which hasn’t been done before at scale, and industry experts like ‘Mr Lithium’ Joe Lowry say the Salton Sea was never going to reach supply expectations anyway.
The Salton Sea was never going to meet expectations – green or volume wise even if there is ultimately some production. “Taxafornia” is giving nascent projects an excuse for bailing. $GM & @Stellantis need to make real plans for #lithium supply. https://t.co/gESFiaIYAD
— Joe Lowry (@globallithium) July 1, 2022
The tax is structured as a flat rate of $400 per metric tonne for the first 20,000 metric tonnes of lithium produced annually, $600 per metric tonne for the next 10,000 metric tonnes, and $800 per metric tonne with output of 30,000 metric tonnes or more.
It will go into effect in January and will be reviewed every year – with the possibility of switching to a percentage-based tax in future.
The reason behind the tax isn’t just to jump on the lithium money wagon while spot prices are hanging around $77,500 per metric tonne, California says some of the funds will go towards environmental clean-up in the area – which has been damaged by decades of heavy pesticide use from farming.
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A total of 60 stocks were in the green today, 35 were flat and 35 were in the red.
Balkan nabbed an exclusive option to acquire up to 100% of the Gorge lithium project in Canada which includes two prospective areas identified by historical works which are yet to be systematically explored, Nelson and Koshman.
Five grab samples from 2018 have returned values up to 3.22% Li2O (and an average of 2.24% Li2O).
Plus, the tenements are part of the larger Georgia Lake pegmatite district which is known to host late-stage pegmatite mineralised deposit types that contain rare elements including lithium, beryllium, tantalum, niobium and tin, including Rock Tech Lithium Inc’s (TSX-V: RCK) Georgia Lake project.
BMM is now raising up to $1.5m and plans to seek shareholder approval for the transaction and capital raising in August 2022.
The company has finished resource definition drilling at the Long Canyon No.2 Well at its Paradox Lithium Project in the USA.
Drilling successfully targeted the large Mississippian supersaturated brine aquifer which hosts a substantial lithium-rich zone of ~70m- 250m thickness – and it confirmed consistent high-pressures of 3,785psi.
The company says these high pressures are expected to deliver continual flow at the extraction well location over the proposed life of mine at Paradox.
The resource expansion drilling program has now progressed to high-priority Cane Creek 32-1 well, with the aim of converting a large portion of the Paradox exploration target into indicated and inferred resources.
Early last month the company and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) entered into a Farm-in and Joint Venture agreement at the West Spargoville Project in WA. The companies have now extended the due diligence period from 1 to 5 weeks.
MinRes has the right to acquire an initial 25% in the lithium rights by funding all exploration and development activities and completing a feasibility study for the Project, including a JORC compliant resource within 24 months.
If MinRes proceeds with the processing farm-in, it also has the right to acquire an additional 45% legal and beneficial interest in the lithium rights by funding the Project until the point of a final investment decision on a mine development.
And they’ll provide complete mine to port services to the JV including: mining; design, construction and operation of a processing plant; on-site power generation; haulage of product to nominated port facilities; marketing of product and shipment of product to purchasers.
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