One of the few lithium miners expected to come into production this year is Core Lithium (ASX:CXO).

It’s a pretty big deal considering the “extreme” deficit Citigroup analysts are forecasting – equivalent to 6% of supply during 2022 (equivalent to an oil market deficit of ~6md/d and a copper deficit of >1mt) which is expected to last until 2030 when supply catches up to fill the gap.

CXO shares gained some today after two deep diamond holes hit broad, high-grade spodumene-rich intersections up to 57.35m at 1.83% lithium, including 11.51m at 2.37% and 10.48 at 2.05% at the BP33 deposit, part of the $89 million Finniss Lithium mine near Darwin in the NT.

The mine is expected to hit first production in the December quarter, producing at a rate of 175,000tpa.

Core began construction of Finniss in October last year, with 80% of its production sold under four-year deals to Chinese lithium giants Ganfeng and Yahua.

Managing director Stephen Biggins said these results reflect the confidence Core has in delivering resource growth from the project in the midst of a “very high lithium price and high operating margin environment.”

The China benchmark lithium carbonate price recently hit a new high of 375,000 RMB/tonne (~US$50k/t) after soaring 500% over the past 12 months as EV sales reach record levels.

Nickel Mines nabs 10% interest in Indonickel project

With nickel prices at 11-year highs, reaching up to US$24,000/t last month on the back of the global electric vehicle thematic, one company well placed to grab the bull by its horns is Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) – launched by well-known mining investor and now executive deputy chairman Norm Seckold in 2007.

NIC directors revealed the completion of its 10% acquisition in the Oracle Nickel Project this morning, which is currently under construction within the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Interest has been secured in the project through a payment of US$23m to its collaboration partner Shanghai Decent.

This is on top of the previously paid deposit totalling US$30 million and satisfies the required US$53 million.

Earlier this month NIC revealed a US$225m capital raise to fund the acquisition of a 30% interest in the Oracle Project which it said provides the next wave of growth for the nickel company and defined a “clearly defined growth path” to it becoming a top-10 global nickel producer.

READ: The growth story that could make Indonickel producer Nickel Mines the battery metal’s answer to Fortescue