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LITHIUM, LITHIUM DISCUSSION
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



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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, 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



--------------------
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

"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought." Rudiger Dornbush

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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
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 2 2018, 01:03 PM
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Moody’s sees weak lithium prices in 2020 due to projects frenzy
QUOTE
Spot prices for lithium could be pushed down in the early 2020s despite increasing demand from electric vehicle (EV) batteries makers, a new report from Moody’s Investor Services warns.

The analysts came to this conclusion after carrying out a mine-by-mine analysis projecting lithium supply build-up to 2025 based on company statements, including potential risks.

Effects of spot price weakness resulting from oversupply are expected to be minimal for major lithium producers, such as Albemarle and FMC (Livent), as those companies rely mainly on long-term contracts with minimum prices and other protective terms that mitigate low spot prices and protect margins.

Moody's also predicts a major structural shift in the industry over the next decade. The sector, the report says, will move from a few majors producing battery grade lithium from low cost brine in Chile and Argentina, as well as low cost ore from the Greenbushes rock mine in Australia, to a more diverse industry with new rock-based entrants mining ore in Australia and selling spodumene to Chinese converters, as well as new rock and brine-based suppliers in Brazil, Canada and the US.

The analysts, however, did not consider unexpected difficulties to either expand production or kick-start new lithium projects, such as issues faced recently by Chile’s Soc. Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM).

In August, SQM Chief Executive Officer Patricio de Solminihac was expecting prices for the second half of the year to be lower than in the first six months.

But last week, the world’s second-largest lithium producer changed its mind. It now expects lithium prices to remain firm in the fourth quarter at about similar levels to earlier this year because of strong demand and supply issues.

The forecast came as the company reported third-quarter revenue and net income that missed analysts’ estimates due to unforeseen hitches in ramping up an expansion project, which hit sales volumes.

Moody’s also warns about the supply of other commodities supply could affect lithium prices: "Nickel and copper availability is likely to constrain the ability to produce electric batteries. This will dampen lithium demand growth until ample nickel and copper is available — which may take a while," the report concludes.


http://www.mining.com/moodys-sees-weak-lit...rojects-frenzy/




--------------------
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 2 2018, 12:55 PM
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Limits to lithium
QUOTE
Lithium-ion prices are jolting upwards, it’s time to take a second generation storage solution seriously. Craig Irwin of ROTH Capital Partners says his company has been a long-term skeptic on both the lithium-ion battery cost curves shared by major OEMs and price forecasts presented by industry consultants.

DECEMBER 1, 2018 PV MAGAZINE

QUOTE
Postive sentiment vs reality

Twenty years on Wall Street, almost entirely in CleanTech, has taught me how during periods of market enthusiasm, estimates will be pro-cyclical, tracking largely with sentiment. Positive sentiment for lithium storage is undeniable, and we too are bullish (small “b”). Where things break down, is when discussion of market pricing and volumes separates from reality. We can’t fault OEMs for wanting to share a competitive outlook when a neighbor suggests an overly optimistic view on how prices are heading lower, but only a few iterations can start a much wider game of liar’s poker.

We closely follow the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry (METI) for quality data on lithium battery cell volume and price trends (see graph below). METI data often diverges widely from pricing estimates shown by analysts and consultants. This data shows consumer lithium battery pricing as sometimes volatile, yet mostly flat for the past three years, after the prior five years of moderate cost reductions.

Looking at METI’s data series for automotive also shows some impressive medium-term price improvement, as expected, but more recently prices seem to be increasing. This differs greatly from the conventional wisdom where many believe costs are dropping by over 20% a year and expect significant cost reductions to continue to the horizon.
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https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/12/01/the-...its-to-lithium/
Attached image(s)
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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
 
 


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