The lithium sector has over the years transformed with the surging demand of lithium from the global lithium-ion batteries. By establishing several hard-rock lithium mines Australian miners have responded well in expectations of a huge spike globally in battery consumption. More than 60% of the world’s supply of Lithium is mined by Western Australia that produces other minerals like nickel and copper which are essential to manufacture batteries. To establish a New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre, the State Government of Australia has announced provisional funding of $5.5 million in the Budget to support this bid. The value chain for lithium and its end products unlike other minerals is still liquid adequately to generate a much greater return for the minerals.
Many lithium companies are leveraging on what can potentially be a $2 trillion sector by 2025 in value. Companies like Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) are making a mark. At the Finniss Lithium Project in the Northern Territory, the company has announced a Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate of 1.3Mt at 1.0% Li2O estimate for its Sandras Lithium Deposit, and the rapidly increasing global Mineral Resource enhances the potential for the Finniss Project to deliver robust returns. Core Lithium has gone up by 5% to trade at $0.063 as at December 04, 2018. Another one is Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) that has products from its SiLeach process being successfully manufactured for lithium-ion batteries and based on steps without roasting to recover lithium chemicals from lithium concentrates without roasting. Lithium Australia is trading near its 52-week low at $0.098 as at December 04, 2018.
Yet another stock in this space is Lithium Power International Limited (ASX: LPI), which through its joint venture company, MSB has been on the exploration and development of the flagship Maricunga project for Lithium which is LPI’s primary focus. The company acquired another 1% of MSB, which takes the company’s interest to 51% showcasing the commitment to the joint venture in August 2018. LPI traded flat at $0.265 as at December 04, 2018. Another established stock is Galaxy Resources Ltd (ASX: GXY), and the company has finished drilling in 543 new drill holes which represents approximately 25,555m of grade control and resource development. To target infill in the northwest and northeast parts of the Mt Cattlin orebody as well as support mining approvals to extend mining operations east of Floater Road, was the drilling objective. Galaxy is trading at a market price of $2.710 as at December 04, 2018.
In more recent times, newer companies are also making presence in Australia, with names like Galan Lithium Limited (ASX: GLN) which has six project areas totaling approximately 25,000 Ha with potential bring coverage comprising approximately 7,800 Ha. The company is fast tracking to lithium carbonate production in Lithium triangle of South America. The stock price traded at $0.265 as at December 04, 2018. American Pacific Borate and Lithium Limited (ASX: ABR) for its Fort Cady Borate Project in California, USA, has announced an upgraded JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate. The stock price traded flat at $0.150 which is close to its 52-week low.
Lithium price has been a bit volatile lately but risen over the past two years and noted to touch about Us $14,000/t LCE few months back, which is primarily driven due to the demand for lithium batteries which is expected to increase and put further pressure on lithium prices.
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