Australia’s lithium boom underwhelms

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 25 : 28-Jun-19

Lithium prices have fallen in 2019 as analysts had predicted, but not necessarily just for the reason that they had forecast. Analysts had suggested that a surge in supply would "crush" lithium prices, but reduced demand in China and a delay in developing and commissioning new capacity in China for converting Australia’s spodumene concentrate into battery-grade lithium have also been cited as factors. Australian lithium exports are certainly growing more slowly than expected.

CORPORATES
GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS, ALLIANCE MINERAL ASSETS LIMITED – ASX A40, ALTURA MINING LIMITED – ASX AJM, OROCOBRE LIMITED – ASX ORE

Banks might be warming to lithium

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 16-Nov-18

Patrick Cocquerel of Westpac says the lack of a benchmark price for lithium has made banks somewhat reluctant to provide financing for Australian lithium producers. The nation’s burgeoning lithium industry has instead been largely financed via debt, equity, specialist lenders and payments from forward sales of the metal. Foreign banks have also been more willing to provide financing for lithium projects, but Cocquerel notes that local banks – including Westpac – are becoming more active in the sector.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS, GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, BNP PARIBAS SA, KIDMAN RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX KDR, SOCIEDAD QUIMICA Y MINERA SA, S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE, ALBERMARLE CORPORATION

Orocobre rises on record profit

Original article by Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 22 : 29-Aug-18

Australian-listed Orocobre has posted a 2017-18 underlying profit of $US25.7m, compared with $US13.8m in 2016-17. However, impairment charges and tax law changes saw the lithium miner’s statutory net profit fall from $US4.6m previously to $US1.9m. Orocobre benefited from a 29 per cent rise in the lithium price, and MD Richard Seville expects the price to remain strong in the first half of 2018-19. Orocobre’s shares rose 5.8 per cent to $4.37 on 28 August.

CORPORATES
OROCOBRE LIMITED – ASX ORE, GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, SOCIEDAD QUIMICA Y MINERA SA, POSCO, TOYOTA TSUSHO CORPORATION

RBA tips lithium, copper export boom

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 : 13-Aug-18

Australia accounts for 12 per cent of the world’s copper reserves, along with around 25 per cent of global lithium reserves. The Reserve Bank of Australia predicts that exports of these commodities will increase to meet rising demand for renewable energy generation and electric vehicles. The RBA forecasts that lithium exports will triple over the next five years. However, the outlook for iron ore is not so clear, with demand from Chinese steel makers viewed as being somewhat mixed.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Lithium past its peak as price slides

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 18-Jul-18

Galaxy Resources has advised that the price of lithium carbonate exported to China fell by 18 per cent in the June quarter, while the price of lithium hydroxide was down four per cent. The price of lithium carbonate sold into China had fallen by 10 per cent in the March quarter, and lithium hydroxide fell by three per cent. Galaxy Resources had attributed that decline to seasonal factors. Galaxy has now suggested that the Chinese price for lithium is converging with global prices.

CORPORATES
GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, OROCOBRE LIMITED – ASX ORE, CANACCORD GENUITY (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, TIANQI LITHIUM CORPORATION, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS

POSCO offtake deal for Pilbara lithium

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 26 : 1-Mar-18

Pilbara Minerals has struck a deal for South Korean steelmaker POSCO to buy at least 80,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora lithium mine each year. The offtake agreement includes provision for POSCO to buy up to 240,000 tonnes each year, which means that the bulk of Pilgangoora’s output for the next several years has been contracted. POSCO will also acquire a 4.75 per cent stake in Pilbara Minerals for $A79.6m, while the two companies propose to establish a downstream processing joint venture in Korea.

CORPORATES
PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS, POSCO, TAWANA RESOURCES NL – ASX TAW, GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, OROCOBRE LIMITED – ASX ORE, GREAT WALL MOTOR COMPANY LIMITED, GANFENG LITHIUM COMPANY LIMITED, GENERAL LITHIUM CORPORATION, TOYOTA TSUSHO CORPORATION

Lithium aspirant readies first sales to China

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 32 : 14-Nov-17

Altura Mining is on target to commission its $170 million Pilgangoora lithium project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region during the March 2018 quarter. Altura has contracts with J&R Optimum Energy and Lionenergy that will see both firms take at least 100,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate per annum for an initial period of five years. J&R Optimum Energy is Altura’s major shareholder. Altura is targeting initial annual production of 220,000 tonnes, with plans to double output to 440,000 tonnes.

CORPORATES
ALTURA MINING LIMITED – ASX AJM, J & R OPTIMUM MINING, LIONENERGY, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS, BLACKROCK INCORPORATED, NEW HOPE CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX NHC

Dakota chief tips Tesla’s end within 10 years

Original article by Tess Ingram
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 8-Sep-16

Dakota Minerals has bought a tenement package in Portugal in anticipation of a rise in demand for lithium in Europe. David Frances, the CEO of the Australian-listed lithium explorer, expects strong demand for lithium from European manufacturers of electric cars. In contrast, Frances is sceptical about the popularity of electric cars in the US, where buyers are likely to show limited interest in such cars.

CORPORATES
DAKOTA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX DKO, TESLA MOTORS INCORPORATED, MERCEDES-BENZ AG, VOLKSWAGEN AG, BENCHMARK MINERAL INTELLIGENCE

Explorers hoping to say the L-word

Original article by Tess Ingram
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 26-Apr-16

A growing number of Australian-listed resources groups are expanding into the lithium sector or shifting their focus to lithium in order to capitalise on demand for electric vehicles and rechargeable batteries. However, Andrew Shearer of PAC Partners cautions that many prospective lithium players are unlikely to advance to the development or production stages.

CORPORATES
PAC PARTNERS PTY LTD, PETRA CAPITAL PTY LTD, DAKOTA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX DKO, SEGUE RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX SEG, PIONEER RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX PIO, BIRIMIAN GOLD LIMITED – ASX BGS, CAENEUS MINERALS LIMITED – ASX CAD, ARDIDEN LIMITED – ASX ADV, CAZALY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX CAZ, ARGONAUT RESOURCES FUND PTY LTD, CRUSADER RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX CAS, HANNANS REWARD LIMITED – ASX HNR, EVERLIGHT RESOURCES PTY LTD, KIDMAN RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX KDR, WESTERN AREAS LIMITED – ASX WSA, PATERSONS SECURITIES LIMITED

Battery boom heats lithium gains for Australian miners

Original article by David Stringer, Martin Ritchie
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 28 : 19-Feb-16

Shares in Australian-listed lithium miners have rallied on the strength of the rising price of lithium carbonate and growing demand for lithium ion batteries. General Mining Corporation’s share price has risen by 1,000 per cent over the last 12 months, while Pilbara Minerals has gained about 1,200 per cent since mid-2014. Citigroup expects both demand for lithium carbonate and the price of the commodity to keep rising beyond 2016.

CORPORATES
GENERAL MINING CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX GMM, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX FTN, CITIGROUP INCORPORATED, CHENGDU TIANQI INDUSTRY (GROUP) COMPANY LIMITED, ALBERMARLE CORPORATION, TESLA MOTORS INCORPORATED, NISSAN MOTOR COMPANY LIMITED, RENAULT AUTOMATION SA, VOLKSWAGEN AG, AUDI AG, BENCHMARK MINERAL INTELLIGENCE, NAVIGANT CONSULTING PTY LTD