Lithium Land: EV cost parity could be left in the dust of soaring lithium prices
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All your ASX lithium news for Tuesday, February 8.
EVs might struggle to reach cost parity with ye old gas-powered vehicles.
The cost competitive number is around $US100 a kilowatt-hour, and while lithium-ion battery prices dropped to around $US130 per kilowatt hour over the last decade, prices for raw material have soared — lithium alone is up 479% over the last year to around $US54,725 a tonne.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence chief data officer Caspar Rawles told the Wall Street Journal that what’s happening in the supply chain is casting doubt on that magic $100 per kilowatt-hour figure.
“We’re hearing [about] quite significant price increases for auto makers from cell suppliers,” he said.
“Some battery-cell makers that historically offered long-term fixed-price contracts have switched to variable-price deals, letting them pass on some of the costs of rising metals prices to customers.”
Chinese EV makers are already boosting prices. Benchmark says that BYD Co. has raised the sticker price on some models by $US1000.
The company finalised the acquisition of the Graphic Lake lithium project in Canada today.
The project is an extension of the company’s newly acquired Mavis Lake Lithium project, just a handy 180km away.
Critical Resources now holds 2,100 Ha and MD Alex Biggs said Graphic Lake presents an “exciting opportunity to conduct exploration works to further define and understand the pegmatite trend from NE to SW across the property”.
Red Dirt received maiden results from RC drilling at its Mt Ida project, with notable results from the Southern central pegmatite including:
MD Matthew Boyes said the widths and grades reported demonstrate “a real potential for RDT to grow a significant inventory of Li bearing pegmatites in a short period.”
“Our aggressive approach is bearing fruit and we intend to keep the exploration production rates moving at a very rapid pace,” he said.
“We are very encouraged to see the diamond rig intersecting widths of up to 34m in the latest diamond hole IDRCD0171, confirming the potential tonnage this system possesses.”
Diamond drilling has now commenced.
The company has kicked off the first phase of drilling at its Mt Deans project, with 3,000m RC planned to confirm the presence of a thick pegmatite pod and intersect an interpreted pegmatite chamber or ‘cauldron’.
The project is in the lithium corridor in south-east WA – which Aruma interprets as sitting within the same host rocks as the Mt Marion, Bald Hill and Buldania lithium projects.
Previous exploration has identified swarm pegmatites over a strike length of 1 kilometre and high-grade rock chip samples have previously been reported from the project area, with lithium oxide results as high as 2.1% Li2O, and tantalum as high as 555.9ppm Ta2O5.
Two drill rigs are on the ground and ready to go at LRS’ ‘Salinas’ lithium project in Brazil.
Due to kick off in the next two days, the 14-hole, 2000m program will test two target areas where sampling returned multiple high-grade results including 2.71% Li2O and 1.45% Li2O (anything ~1% Li2O and above is ore grade) “from highly weathered spodumene bearing pegmatites”.
The pegmatites have been mapped over a strike length of +1.2km within LRS’ tenure, but never drilled.
“We are extremely excited to be finally drilling our Salinas lithium projects,” managing director Chris Gale says.
“The team we have assembled on site will hit the ground running with drilling to start within a few days.
“We are very confident our exploration field work along with this drilling will deliver positive news over the next few months.”
Tempest has started fieldwork including reconnaissance field mapping and surface sampling at its Rocky Hill project.
It’s part of the company’s 108km2 Yilgarn Lithium Project (YLP) suite of exploration prospects within Western Australia.
More than 60 samples were taken across the project at strategic locations and have been submitted for high sensitivity analysis and aerial surveys are planned in the near term.
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Critical Resources is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.