Eye on Lithium: Tesla reveals it goes straight to miners to secure raw materials
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All your ASX lithium news for Tuesday, May 10.
Electric Vehicle (EV) giant Tesla says it has a unique supply chain approach to secure critical raw materials for its battery cells – going directly to the miners who produce them.
“While cobalt, nickel and lithium go through multiple processing steps by different companies, some of the more important environmental and social risks in this supply chain are present at mine sites,” the company said in its latest impact report.
“Direct sourcing from mining companies allows Tesla to engage directly in local contexts instead of having to rely on multiple midstream companies that typically sit between EV makers and mining.
“It also enables more transparent and traceable supply chains and better environmental and social data.”
Tesla also released just how much raw material it sourced directly from nine mining and chemicals companies last year – >95% of lithium hydroxide, >50% of cobalt and >30% of nickel for nickel- containing (NCA and NCM) cells.
“As Tesla’s battery supply chain continues to scale, Tesla expects the proportion of directly sourced minerals to increase,” the company said.
The company also mentioned that 100% of refiners and mine sites in its cobalt, nickel and lithium supply chains underwent or have committed to undergo independent third-party sustainability audits.
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A total of 26 stocks were in the green today, with 23 flatlining and 69 in the red.
Drilling targeting lithium bearing pegmatites at the company’s Mt Palmer Project has been completed, with pegmatites ranging from 1 to 40 metres in drill thickness logged in eleven of the twelve holes drilled.
The lithium content is as yet unknown, with all samples at the laboratory pending analysis.
But AUN did say that Ultrafine soil samples have been returned, and they broadly align with areas previously identified from XRF Lithium Index results.
“We continue to be encouraged by the progress of our lithium exploration at Mt Palmer.The full soil sample results support our lithium targeting, and indicators remain positive at Mt Palmer and analogous to other projects in the region,” MD Brad Valiukas said.
“The fresh pegmatite samples have been sent for assaying and we look forward to the results.”
Near term miner Core has received the final assays from last year’s drilling program at its Finniss lithium project in the NT.
The drilling confirmed a spodumene bearing pegmatite extends to the south and beyond the limits of the current Mineral Resource estimate and remains open at depth and to the south at BP33.
The company says that, given the proximity to the main high grade BP33 mineralisation, even a pegmatite with modest grade and tonnes could have a significant positive impact on the Mineral Resource estimate.
Plus, intersections outside of the current Mineral Resource at BP33, Lees and Hang Gong are expected to deliver substantial extensions.
“The highly prospective nature of these new lithium drilling results reflect the confidence Core has in delivering further significant resource growth from the Finniss Project that will add to our life of mine and our capacity to materially increase lithium production from northern Australia in the future to keep up with rapidly growing global demand,” MD Stephen Biggins said.
Added to this, the new Penfolds prospect returned 11m at 1.55% Li2O from 131m downhole.
Resource drilling has now recommenced at BP33, with exploration drilling across the Finniss Project to follow in the coming month.
The company has appointed experienced lithium executive Jiahe “Gower” He as executive director of corporate development to the board.
RDT says that He is a highly regarded finance and commercial professional with over 20 years’ experience in the resource sector, holding various senior positions working for Mitsui & Co (Aust) executing various Lithium related, trading, off-take and strategic marketing initiatives.
“The Board of Red Dirt are thrilled to have someone of Mr He’s experience and calibre and look forward to his commencement on 20 June 2022,” the company says.
The appointment comes as RDT progresses its 100% owned Mt Ida Lithium project.