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LITHIUM, LITHIUM DISCUSSION
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 13 2018, 09:42 AM
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Germany secures access to world's second-largest lithium deposit
QUOTE
Germany and Bolivia today sealed a partnership for the industrial use of lithium , a key component in the batteries that power electric cars and cell phones.

ACI Systems will work with state-owned Bolivian Lithium Deposits (YLB) on installing four lithium plants in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats, which hold the world's second-largest lithium deposit.

The joint venture also plans to build a factory for electric vehicle batteries in the country.

While more than 80% of the lithium extracted will be exported to Germany, the company is said to be in talks with other European companies.

The partners expect to produce up to 40,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year, beginning in 2022, over a period of 70 years.

read more - http://www.mining.com/germany-secures-acce...ithium-deposit/
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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 12 2018, 07:41 PM
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Producers, consumers of lithium differ over 2019 contract prices
By MARTIM FACADA
QUOTE
The fall in Chinese spot lithium prices has been at a faster pace than the fall in US and European prices, throwing up differences in opinion about contract prices in supply deals for 2019.

Lower lithium prices than a year ago have led to differing price expectations between producers and consumers of lithium compounds in their negotiations for 2019 supply contracts.

In light of lower spot prices in China, lithium consumers are seeking to lock in lower contract prices for 2019 by referencing the Chinese spot market price in their deals. But lithium producers are trying to keep prices unchanged year on year due to expectations of strong demand for lithium compounds over the coming years.

"Lower Chinese prices are being used by consumers to obtain lower prices for next year," a lithium producer told Fastmarkets IM. "It is undoubtable that Chinese prices affect the rest of the world prices… we will [therefore] start next year with softer prices than the ones achieved in 2018."

"The Chinese domestic spot price has an important influence on rest-of-the-world prices," an Asian lithium distributor said. "Despite the expected huge increase in demand for lithium compounds for 2019, global contract prices are going down and that is mainly because consumers with business partners in China are aware of the lower prices in China."

Chinese spot prices have fallen further than US and European contract prices from this time last year.

Fastmarkets IM assessed the battery grade lithium carbonate min 99.5% (Li2CO3) contract price on a cif China, Japan and Korea basis at $13-16 per kg on Wednesday November 28, down by 21.62% from $17-20 per kg on November 29 last year*.

The battery grade lithium hydroxide min 56.5% (LiOH.H2O) contract price cif China, Japan and Korea was $16-18 per kg on November 28, down by 15% from $18-22 per kg on November 29, 2017.

The European and US battery grade lithium carbonate min 99.5% (Li2CO3) contract price on a ddp basis was $13-16 per kg on November 28, a drop of 19.44% from $17-19 per kg on November 29 last year.

In the same comparison, the battery grade lithium hydroxide min 56.5% (LiOH.H2O) contract price at $16-18 per kg ddp Europe and US was down by 8% from $17-20 per kg.

While some market participants cited lower spot prices in China and a supply glut as the main reasons that contract prices should fall, lithium suppliers are adamant that China has a limited influence on prices in the rest of the world.

"Until now, the market dynamics observed in China have not spread to the rest of the market, except India perhaps [for lithium hydroxide]," a second lithium producer told Fastmarkets.

"Japanese and Korean cathode manufacturers have strict qualification procedures so we only see a reduced number of Chinese producers supplying those markets and still at reduced quantities," the producer added. "This will probably change in the medium term only, not in the coming months."

Slow spot consumption and excess supply have pushed down the battery-grade lithium carbonate spot price in China by 55.14% to 74,000-83,000 ($10,638-11,932) yuan per tonne as of November 29 from 180,000-170,000 yuan per tonne on November 30 last year.

The battery grade lithium hydroxide spot price in China has fallen by 24.65% to 105,000-115,000 yuan per tonne from 142,000-150,000 yuan per tonne over the same period.

Since the demand shock at the end of 2015, lithium contract prices had trended higher toward the level of spot prices in China (see graph below) until the fourth quarter of this year.

FM, Spot vs Contract
Source: Fastmarkets But contract prices have softened recently, falling month on month throughout the fourth quarter of 2018. This highlights China’s influence on prices elsewhere and especially in contracts signed with companies that have direct relationships with Chinese battery makers.

While market participants believe the Chinese spot market has become overheated, lower spot prices there and excess supply have progressively pushed down contract prices elsewhere - they are following the trend a year later.

Contract prices across the globe should soften slowly and catch up with spot market trend, reflecting growth both in Chinese production and consumption of lithium compounds. This makes the Chinese spot market a decent indicator of the direction in Chinese contract prices.

Lithium producers and consumers have since 2015 increasingly signed quarterly, half-year or annual contracts that use the trend in the Chinese spot price and market fundamentals as reference points to determine the lithium price for those contracts.

Volumes are typically locked in but the formulae can include floor and ceiling prices subject to spot market movements; or fixed prices throughout the term of the contract. Before the price spike in 2015, contracts were typically for more than one year at a fixed price.

Still, some larger producers and consumers - with contracts of at least 300 tonnes per year - have retained the longer-term approach by locking volumes for between one and three years.

Another growing trend - mainly in Asia but increasingly in Europe and the US - has been a willingness to mix thing up, buying both on spot and on contracts.

"We could save up to $8 per kg if today we buy material in the spot market in China compared to our current contract prices," the Chinese cathode maker said. "We have increased the amount of material purchased on a spot basis and this could be an increasing trend if prices in China remain low."

https://www.indmin.com/Article/3847509/Prod...ract-prices.htm



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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 12 2018, 07:19 PM
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Lithium has further to fall: Bernstein
Bernstein has forecast an even lower lithium price after this year’s falls.
QUOTE
Since the start of 2018, the price for various forms of lithium has fallen steeply as supply comes online and structural changes to the Chinese market squeezed prices all the way to the finished lithium-ion batteries.

Bernstein analyst Paul Gait said in a note lithium producers' margins were far too high for a sustainable supply chain.

"Despite the price fall … lithium prices still imply astonishingly high returns on any investment in lithium production capacity," he said.

"Current lithium carbonate prices are in the range of US$10,000-15,000 per tonne depending on the exact price series one selects to look at, but according to our analysis, these prices would still imply IRRs of between 46% and 74% based on our representative list of 20 lithium projects from around the world."

Gait said looking at other market factors, a "fair" long-term lithium price was $8,000/t, as it would generate "appropriate investment" in production and meet rising demand while maintaining IRR levels for miners

This is well down on his ‘fair' price from last year of $12,900/t..

read more - https://www.mining-journal.com/research/new...-fall-bernstein



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 12 2018, 02:26 PM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Dec 11 2018, 09:26 AM

Coalition reveals plan to make lithium batteries 'in our own backyard'
QUOTE
Australia must not squander the “once-in-a-generation” opportunity presented by the booming demand for lithium-ion batteries and should build a dedicated manufacturing sector instead of sending the nation’s vast amounts of locally mined lithium offshore, federal government ministers have said.

The Morrison government on Tuesday released an Austrade report on lithium – a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electric vehicles, electronic devices like mobile phones and laptop computers, and to store renewable energy.

Australia is well-positioned to capitalise on the “lithium-ion battery era”, the report said. Australia has the third-largest reserves of lithium in the world and is the largest producer of hard-rock lithium spodumene.

“At the moment Australia produces about half of the world’s lithium, but once it’s mined out of the ground, it’s shipped offshore, with all of the value-creation activities such as processing and battery manufacturing occurring overseas,” Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said. “Now is the time to accelerate the development of a high-tech lithium manufacturing sector in our own backyard.”

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/c...211-p50ljg.html



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 11 2018, 09:26 AM
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Lithium-rich Australia seeks to lure battery cell manufacturers
extract
QUOTE
Senator Birmingham said that through Austrade's resources team, the government was ramping up efforts to attract overseas investment in the sector and highlight Australia's comparative advantages.

That work is understood to be close to yielding results, with a significant investment by an overseas player in the sector expected to be announced before Christmas.

The report, to be released on Tuesday, found that local lithium producers are beginning to move into new areas of the supply chain, while feasibility studies are under way for local battery production, including a 15-gigawatt-hour "Gigafactory" in Townsville.

read more - https://www.afr.com/business/mining/lithium...20181210-h18xma



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 6 2018, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE
SANTIAGO/HOUSTON (Reuters) - Albemarle Corp (ALB.N) has launched an aggressive lobbying campaign after Chilean regulators denied its request to boost lithium output, stressing the company’s importance to Chile’s economy and workers, according to records reviewed by Reuters

The behind-the-scenes moves come even as Albemarle has publicly brushed off worries from analysts and investors about rising regulatory pressure in Chile, home to the world’s largest reserves of lithium, a crucial ingredient in electric car batteries and mobile phones.

Ellen Lenny-Pessagno, who became Albemarle’s Chile country manager in October, met with the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN) on Nov. 23 to discuss the rejection, according to filings with Chile’s lobbyist transparency website that have been previously unreported.

The nuclear agency, which oversees lithium sales and export from Chile, had rejected Albemarle’s request in September to increase its quota to sell lithium. That effectively stunted the long-term expansion plans of the world’s top producer of the ultralight metal..


read more - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-al...s-idUSKBN1O42N5



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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 


blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 5 2018, 10:32 PM
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In Reply To: nipper's post @ Dec 5 2018, 09:04 PM

Yes - 2004 I believe. Production could commence by 2023/2034 they say

Here's a bit of history and info.

QUOTE
History – A Rio Tinto Discovery
The deposit was identified in the mid 2000’s, by Rio Tinto, in an exploration search for industrial minerals,
focussed on borates. The discovery of Jadarite led to initial studies to develop ore body knowledge and
preliminary testing to understand the potential of this unique mineral. Pilot plant work, in particular at our
Boron operations in California, enabled us to confirm the mineral chemistry and demonstrate a viable
process route. Between 2013 and 2015, more extensive drilling and a 3D seismic survey clarified the
resource characteristics, tonnage and grade. The project entered pre-feasibility shortly thereafter with a
resource declared in 2017
. Today, we have an extensive on the ground exploration team at Jadar, and
project management offices in Belgrade and at the site.

Resource Profile and Mineralogy
Within the deposit we find Jadarite together with other borates minerals. It does not outcrop and lies in
three zones, the upper, middle and lower, each with thicknesses of about 4 to 50m at depths from 100 to
700m. Jadarite’s key characteristic is the presence of both B2O3 at grades similar to those found in
traditional borates ores and Li2O at grades similar to those found in traditional lithium rich minerals. The
Jadar deposit indicated and inferred resource amounts to some 136 million tonnes, containing some 2.5
million tonnes of Li2O and 21 million tonnes of B2O3, giving the potential for a multi decade mine life.

Operating Cost Implications
The graph shows an indicative lithium carbonate cost curve for 2025 and it is intended to highlight the
broad positions of higher operating cost hard rock versus lower cost brine producers. Clearly there are
exceptions, but this is a distribution that we have come to expect. What is exciting about Jadar is that it is
a hard rock underground resource, but its borates by-product brings it down the cost curve on a net cash
cost basis. We will have to wait for further feasibility work to tell us where more accurately, but the
prospects are attractive. Particularly when you overlay the range of potential demand trajectory estimates
that we are seeing from established lithium industry players and the advantages to being on the left hand
side of the cost curve.

Jadar project overview
Rio Tinto’s strategy is to invest in long life, low-cost, expandable operations. Jadar is a greenfield project
that has that potential. It is expected to be an underground mine, with decline access, mined by selective
methods including cut and fill stoping, suitable for this type of ore body. An onsite processing plant will
produce battery grade lithium carbonate and boric acid. The markets for lithium carbonate are now well
known including rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and power storage, but also heat resistant
glass and ceramics, and high strength aircraft alloys. Rio Tinto is already a major producer of borates
which serves producers of insulation fibreglass, speciality glass for TV and telephone screens, ceramic
glazes and agricultural micro nutrients.

The final scope of the project will have to await the completion of a definitive feasibility study. Rio Tinto
follows a disciplined approach to project development and when we make capital allocation decisions, we
focus only on the best projects. At this point in the pre-feasibility work, we anticipate the mine and plant to
be potentially in production in the early 2020’s and have the potential to produce about 50,000 tonnes per
annum of lithium carbonate equivalent, subject to study outcomes. Taking into account the scale of the
orebody and favourable location, our planning will seek to allow for future expansion.




--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
triage
post Posted: Dec 5 2018, 09:20 PM
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In Reply To: nipper's post @ Dec 5 2018, 09:04 PM

Yeah the big miners do often arrive at the party just as the beer runs out.


Interesting that Rio is getting back into borate mining, if only by accident. They had a significant borate / borax operation in Argentina but considered the borax market to be in a long-term downturn so they sold it off to Orocobre (which is mainly a lithium producer from brine). To date it has not been a good buy for Orocobre so Rio got that one right.

Speaking of Orocobre, they recently finally announced that a final investment decision had been made for the stage 2 expansion of their Olaroz lithium brine operation (they hold about 66% in a jv). They intend to produce about 25,000 tonnes a year at the expansion plant.




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"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." John Maynard Keynes

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nipper
post Posted: Dec 5 2018, 09:04 PM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Dec 5 2018, 06:41 PM

This Jadar deposit has been on the cards for a while. Rio must either be confident of lithium market, or unknowingly ringing the bell at the top?



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blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 5 2018, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE
Rio Tinto is seen as another major investor in Serbia as it seeks to develop technology to extract lithium and borate from a 136 million-tonne reserve of jadarite, a mineral named after the Jadar River in the West of the country.

The company has not said how much it might invest in the country but Antic said it could be as high as $1 billion.

"It is not good for us, as the state, to speculate about private investments (by Rio Tinto) … but one could expect total investments of up to $1 billion," Antic said.

Officials of the Rio Sava, a Rio Tinto subsidiary in Serbia, could not be immediately reached for comment. On its corporate website, Rio Tinto says that the jadarite project is currently in the pre-feasibility stage.

"Significant investment is necessary to continue the technical analysis and planning which is required to move from pre-feasibility to feasibility, then to construction and operation," it said.

The production of lithium from jadarite, expected to start in 2023, would amount to 10 percent of the global consumption of the metal crucial for the production of batteries, Antic said.

http://www.mining.com/web/serbias-mining-s...-2023-minister/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
 


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