Eye on Lithium: We’re on track to reach $1 trillion of lithium-ion battery investment by 2024, Benchmark says
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All your ASX lithium news for Monday, May 16
Benchmark Minerals Intelligence (BMI) Boss Simon Moores says we’re on track for $1 trillion of lithium-ion battery committed investment by 2024 – but for lithium mining to keep pace and build for the future it needs $15% or around $150b of that amount.
— Snow Lake Lithium (@SnowLakeLithium) May 16, 2022
And around $42 billion of new capital investment is needed if the lithium industry is to meet Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) demand which is expected to reach 2.4 million tonnes by 2030.
That’s almost 1.8 million tonnes more than the 600,000 tonnes of lithium Benchmark forecasts will be produced in 2022.
Benchmark says that works out at approximately $7 billion a year between now and 2028 if the industry is to meet lithium demand by the end of the decade.
But Moores says that target has already been missed – considering most lithium mines take between 7-10 years to come online.
“Accounting for misfires on new lithium supply this $42bn will be closer to $70bn,” he said in a tweet.
In reality that target has already been missed considering timelines to build new lithium mines
Accounting for misfires on new lithium supply this $42bn will be closer to $70bnhttps://t.co/DXYXAEVSrO
— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) May 15, 2022
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A total of 61 stocks were in the green today, with 26 flatlining and 34 in the red.
CZL is the latest ASX stock to pivot to lithium, locking in a deal to buy WA-based Westoz Lithium for $740,000 in cash and shares.
Global Lithium Resources’ (ASX:GL1) Marble Bar Lithium Project (MBLP) is also nearby.
WA is one of the safest jurisdictions in the world, a refreshing change of pace for CZL which has struggled to make a go of its ‘Plomosa’ zinc mine in Mexico.
Late last year, bandits allegedly stole ~90 tonnes of zinc and lead concentrate from the mine (valued at around US$90,000) after locking security guards and employees in a sea container.
March quarter results were also disappointing, with CZL posting a small loss on the sale of 200t of zinc and 42t of lead concentrate due to the “cumulative impact of several incidents”.
The company is also buying a lithium project, this time in Angola, West Africa.
The company says the occurrence of spodumene, the large size and number of pegmatites and limited historical exploration is encouraging and the potential to rapidly discover economically significant hard-rock lithium mineralisation is “very high”.
The plan is to commence drilling ASAP to examine previously identified pegmatites, and define drill targets.
Initial 44-hole RC drilling program testing the Manindi Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (Rubidium) (LCT) pegmatites has been completed at the Manindi project in WA. Rockchip results of up 2% to 2.30% Li2O and 0.70% Rb were previously reported from this zone.
“The company continues to produce thick intersections of lithium bearing pegmatite from both the Foundation and Mulgara pegmatites at the Manindi Project,” chairman Mike Scivolo said.
“It looks like the company is onto a significant LCT pegmatite discovery at Manindi and we can now start to build a substantial lithium resource at the Project.”
Assay results are expected shortly.
The company has kicked off drilling at its 100% owned Dalgaranga critical metals project in WA, which has an Exploration Target, based on historical drill holes of between 1,470,000 to 3,185,000 tonnes with estimated grades of Rubidium (500-2000ppm), Lithium (50-300ppm), Niobium (100-500ppm), Tantalum (25-100ppm), Tin (50-700ppm) and Tungsten (10-100ppm).
“With buoyant prices of the project’s critical and tech metals fuelled by demand, we look forward to announcing the nature and extent of this potential maiden resource,” CEO Mark Major says.