Cornwall throws the hat back into the ring, should ASX lithium players be worried?

  • Sep 07, 2020 AEST
  • Team Kalkine
Cornwall throws the hat back into the ring, should ASX lithium players be worried?

Summary

  • The U.K. government is pushing for the development of its lithium and EV industry.
  • Cornwall is now trying to bring its lithium-mining industry to live once again with the government pushing for developing its lithium industry to supply the white gold for its carmakers.
  • A Cornwall-based Company received EUR 500,000 funding from the government to develop some local mines that could provide lithium for Giga factories, attracting them to open in the U.K.
  • The shift in stance from relying on the global supply to in-situ development to pose strong headwinds for the Australian lithium industry.

Cornwall is now trying to bring its lithium-mining industry back to life with the government pushing for developing lithium industry to supply the white gold for its carmakers.  

To Know More, Do Read: Climate Change, Reduced Engine Cost, High Subsidy – Throttles The EV Industry

Recently, the government decided to fast track its ban on diesel engines to promote the EV vehicle, which aligns with its target of achieving a net-zero emission by 2050.

To Know More, Do Read: U.K. Fast Tracks Ban on Petrol and Diesel Engines, ASX Lithium Stocks Top Gainers

After fast-tracking the ban on diesel and petrol vehicle from 2040 to 2035, U.K. is now throwing its hat into the ring for developing its own supply of lithium for the domestic EV industry to avoid any possible bottlenecks of the lithium supply chain.

The lithium supply glut, which once remained the major problem for the global lithium industry, has been addressed by lithium players across the globe with many, especially Australian miners, adjusting the production in line with the demand and putting many projects on hibernation to conserve resources.

To Know More, Do Read: Lithium Charter, Domestic Miners, And Global Stance- KDR, MIN, A40, GXY, And PLS

Moreover, recently, British Lithium Limited – a Cornwall-based Company, received EUR 500,000 funding from the government to continue its work in the St. Austell area with the government backing on the development of local mines that could provide lithium for Giga factories, making the U.K attractive for investments.

The Company won the grant on the basis of its preliminary economic assessment (or PEA), leading to the declaration of JORC classified Ore reserves and Mineral Resource, making it the first Company in the U.K. to have established resource.

Though the U.K. has been slow to respond to the growing demand for EV and lithium; however, with newer mining technology extracting the white metal in Cornwall could be a game-changer for the U.K.

New extraction technologies being looked by Berkshire Hathaway, backed by Breakthrough Energy Venture by Bill Gates , could help Cornwall unlock its lithium potential; however, one major question which remains paramount is, if the state holds enough resources to cater to the growing lithium demand.

Furthermore, many nations are now focusing on more in-situ development of the supply chain with the United States and the United Kingdom both coming into the limelight over their recent actions and policies concerning in-situ development.

The Global Production Scenario

As per the estimation of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (or DIIS), the global lithium production reached 486,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent in 2019, which is further estimated to fall to 466,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent in 2022.

Furthermore, DIIS anticipates that post adjusting demand for the lead time in battery manufacturing of 12 months and mine production for refinery losses over the supply glut and COVID-19 outbreak; stockpiles at mines, ports and warehouses could fall to an equivalent of around six months of supply.

However, DIIS also noted that the gap between production and consumption might be smaller.

The production across the globe has taken a considerable hit due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which, along with the strategic importance of the white metal is now prompting many nations to take on in-situ development.

Ahead of the supply curve, global production is forecasted to decline to 373,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, in 2020 over weak lithium prices.

Are Australian Miners at Risk?

The growing stance for in-situ lithium production across the globe and falling prices possess strong headwinds for the Australian mining industry.

Many of local miners are now focusing more on cost-saving with prominent names such as Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY), Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE), coming into the limelight over various cost-cutting measures undertaken.

In a nutshell, Cornwall has now thrown its hat into the ring with the U.K. focusing on in-situ development for attracting Giga factories investment.

However, over the tumbling prices and in tandem the production, many nations are focusing on developing an in-situ lithium supply chain to avoid any future bottleneck in the supply chain.

Though growing stance for in-situ lithium production across the globe and falling prices possess strong headwinds for the Australian mining industry, a majority of domestic miners are covering their risk via keeping the production in line with the offtake demand and adopting cost-cutting measures.

To Know More, Do Read: Galaxy- Future Ready With Low-Cost, Value Production, and Lithium Downstream?

 


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