Eye on Lithium: Technical grade lithium carbonate price climbs
All your lithium news, Friday May 5.
Prices of battery-grade lithium continued to slip with the Benchmark Lithium Price Index down 12.9% in the assessment period from 19 April to 3 May as international prices continue to fall in lagged response to the price decline in China across the first quarter.
Lithium hydroxide prices dived 16.9% to US$38,217/t while lithium carbonate was down 9.9% to US$35,333.
However, spodumene concentrate pricing was down just 5% to US$4,750/t with Benchmark noting that some contracts with longer lags are set to remain high throughout the quarter.
It also noted that Chinese pricing for technical grade lithium carbonate climbed 8.1% to US$24,3000/t in the week from 26 April to 3 May.
Prices also stabilised towards the end of the assessment period due to holidays in several relevant markets, including China, which subdued purchasing activity.
Benchmark added that electric vehicle sales saw strong month on month grow in March though bulk buyers in the supply chain remained cautious about purchasing material, citing uncertainty over whether lithium prices had hit their floor, or whether they could fall further.
Meanwhile, famously optimistic Albemarle, which has plans to triple production by 2027, has flagged that it is open to renegotiating its Chile lithium contract before 2043 and will even seek access to other salars (salt flats) in the country.
Reuters quoted chief executive officer Kent Masters as saying that the company had not ruled out renegotiating before 2043.
“Post-2043, or after we renegotiate, the government will be involved, probably as a partner. And we would anticipate even before that having the opportunity to perhaps get even more rights for additional resources.,” he added.
Accessing these other salars will require the use of direct lithium extraction technology, which has yet to be used in commercial operations.
Lithium closed the week on a positive tone with 52 companies making gains while another 61 were companies were essentially unchanged. The remaining 37 companies on our list were in the red.
Here’s a selection of news out from lithium plays today.
The company’s exploration team is positively giddy with excitement after the maiden drill program at its Chubb lithium project expanded mineralisation beyond prior exploration.
Initial visual estimates from this program have confirmed the presence and persistence of spodumene-bearing pegmatites within two mineralised zones at the Chubb Central prospect, substantially building on drilling results from the 2017-2022 drilling campaigns by earlier project holders.
Notably, the Main dyke has consistently returned spodumene-pegmatites with down-hole intersections ranging between 4 and 12m widths as drilling continues to test for mineralised extensions.
Initial assays from the drill program are expected in three to four weeks time.
The farm-out of up to 80% of the lithium rights at Gateway’s Montague gold project to SensOre (ASX:S3N) is now complete with SensOre moving to start exploration.
SensOre plans to use its proprietary SensOre DPT artificial intelligence tool to generate targets within the tenements to explore for lithium.
This will be carried out in parallel with Gateway’s ongoing gold exploration activities.
Recharge has started exploration work at its Express project in Quebec after completing its acquisition from DG Resource Management.
This is focused on identifying pegmatites at the 73.5km2 project ahead of a helicopter-assisted field program.
Express is just 12km southeast of Allkem’s James Bay Deposit (37.2Mt at 1.3% Li2O) and 15km northeast of Cygnus Metals’ Pontax lithium project.
Auger sampling at Woomera’s Mt Cattlin project in southeast Western Australia has defined two strong lithium anomalies.
The main eastern lithium anomaly, which is 1.5km long and open to the north, is coincident with recently reported rock chip sample that returned highly elevated pathfinder elements for lithium.
The western anomaly is about 1km long and extends north from Woomera’s southern tenement boundary.
Woomera will start the next phase of geochemical sampling later this month and will plan reverse circulation drilling to test the anomalies once the results from this sampling are received and processed.
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Burley Minerals and Recharge Metals are Stockhead advertisers, it did not sponsor this article.