High Voltage: Bottlenecks are a pain in the arse, just ask Pilbara Minerals
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Tesla is on track for another record quarter, which should shush the naysayers for a minute or two.
A tie-up between VW and Ford – to work together on EVs and automation — looks close to being finalised and could be announced as early as July.
And Honda claims it already has over 31,000 reservations for the unreleased ‘e’ model; all from Europe.
Demand for EVs is strong, and yet automakers can’t get their hands on enough batteries.
Which is why VW and BMW Group were amongst a group of investors keen to finance Europe’s first battery gigafactories in Sweden and Germany. VW alone will spend $1.47 billion on the Northvolt venture.
Lithium-ion’s supply chain issues, characteristic of fast growing industries, are far from being resolved. These ‘bottlenecks’ go all the way back to the lithium chemical production stage.
On Monday, producer Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) told investors that spodumene concentrate sales would be “constrained” in June and July.
Underlying demand for battery-ready lithium chemicals remained strong, it says. The issue is delays in the construction, commissioning and build-out of chemical conversion capacity (producing lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide) in China.
Pilbara Minerals’ managing director Ken Brinsden said it was no secret that the spodumene supply market was experiencing “short-term challenges” as the big Chinese players slowly ramped up chemical conversion capacity to meet demand.
“We remain confident that the underlying fundamentals of the lithium market remain strong – as evidenced by the growing number of agreements being made by major car manufacturers further down the supply chain in both Chinese and global markets, to shore up lithium supply to meet their long-term EV production and energy storage market targets,” Brinsden says.
“Our strategy remains unchanged, and we will continue to work to expand the project as planned and diversify our supply chain to become a fully integrated participant in the lithium raw material and chemical supply chain.”
Of the companies on our list, 81 lost ground, 60 were ahead and 50 were steady this week.
Marquee Resources (ASX:MQR) may have snagged itself a stake in an Argentinean lithium brine project – news which sent the stock up a whopping 221 per cent.
We shouldn’t be surprised though.
Every company that picks up ground in the lithium triangle – which accounts for half the world’s supply — seems to do well.
Just look at Lake Resources (ASX: LKE), BMG Resources (ASX:BMG) and Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN).
BMG’s share price, for example, has now run up 160 per cent since the start of February – and it’s all because of lithium in Chile.
For Marquee, the deal would see it get a 30 per cent project stake, with the other 70 per cent held by fellow ASX-lister Lithium Power International (ASX:LPI).
The project leases cover an area of 68 sq km in the Centenario Lithium Brine Salar, right in the centre of the lithium triangle – the place where small cap dreams are made.
Something is seriously going on over at cashed up shell company Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA), which was up another 49 per cent last week to 6.6c per share — the highest point since January this year.
As we’ve noted previously, Celsius essentially became a shell after it all but stopped evaluation work on its Opuwo cobalt project in Namibia due to the languishing cobalt price.
BUT, as per the company’s latest response to the ASX in May:
“The Company … is evaluating additional opportunities since slowing work on the Opuwo cobalt project and will update the market in due course should any of these opportunities be advanced.”
Here’s a table of ASX battery metal stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium>>>
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop: