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LITHIUM, LITHIUM DISCUSSION
blacksheep
post Posted: Aug 9 2019, 12:32 PM
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A couple of articles on Albemarle

Albemarle puts brakes on growing plans amid lithium market weakness

Cecilia Jamasmie | August 8, 2019
extract
QUOTE
Albemarle Corp (NYSE: ALB), the world’s No. 1 lithium producer, is delaying plans to add about 125,000 tonnes of processing capacity as an oversupply of the white metal used to make the batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and high tech devices continues to drive down prices.

The US-based lithium giant said the move would reduce its capital expenditure by about $1.5 billion over the next five years, adding it expected to become cash flow positive in 2021.

Albemarle’s decision comes as lithium prices are expected to remain subdued this year after changes to Beijing’s EV subsidy regime have injected noticeable short-term unpredictability, while undermining demand from Chinese consumers.

https://www.mining.com/albemarle-puts-the-b...arket-weakness/

AFR also carries the story
Lithium giant Albemarle slashes Australian investment plans
extract
QUOTE
The reduced spending is part of Albemarle's plan to be free cash flow positive sooner, with the company declaring it would reach that milestone by 2021 under the new, reduced spending plan.

''We're pivoting our strategy to address the major concern we hear from our shareholders, which is when are you going to be free cash flow positive,'' said Albemarle boss Luke Kissam.

''You should not view this in any way that we don't believe demand is still going to be where it is, we're still bullish on demand.''

https://www.afr.com/companies/mining/lithiu...20190809-p52ff0



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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: Aug 7 2019, 11:39 AM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Jun 28 2019, 12:34 PM

Spodumene supply surge sinks lithium prices
Frik Els | August 6, 2019
QUOTE
Despite great expectations for demand from electric vehicles where lithium-ion batteries dominate, prices for the raw material have been in relentless decline for the better part of two years.

Free-on board prices of lithium carbonate from South American brine ponds are down 22% year to date to average $10,500 a tonne in July, according to battery supply chain authority Benchmark Mineral Intelligence data. Ex-works prices in China have collapsed from a peak of $24,750 in March last year to below South America export prices.

Lithium hydroxide prices followed carbonate down, but declines have been milder and hydroxide continues to trade at a premium at $13,875 free on board North America.

Last year, output at Australia’s hard rock mines for the first time exceeded lithium carbonate equivalent from brine producers after six new mines went into production within the space of just three years.

With a few advanced projects and at least four chemical conversion plants in the pipeline, the country is set to dominate primary lithium supply for the foreseeable future, but the expansion drive has resulted in a collapse in prices.

Producers in Australia now sell spodumene concentrate (6% lithium used as feedstock for lithium hydroxide) for $550–$620 a tonne, down by a third in 2019 and “trending towards the lower end of this range throughout the month” according to UK-based Benchmark:

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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
 
nipper
post Posted: Jul 17 2019, 10:29 AM
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Challenges in Lithium Land
QUOTE
Mineral Resources has been blocked from starting the commissioning of the next stage of its $600 million Wodgina lithium mine in Western Australia after regulators found that a tailings dam at the project was seeping into groundwater.

WA’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has refused to approve the commissioning of a second train at Wodgina until MinRes can demonstrate it has reduced seepage from the tailings dam and improved the performance of the existing operation. The regulator warned there were “possibly major” risks associated with the commissioning of the tailings facility and beneficiation plant at Wodgina, and flagged its concerns over how fast the groundwater level beneath the tailing facility was rising.

It also described what it said was “the poor housekeeping” around the first train and spodumene concentrate shed at Wodgina, and said that more than three quarters of the process water generated at the project had been lost through seepage.

QUOTE
The sales process for Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora mining project could be on the go-slow, according to sources, and some are wondering whether it will live up to the success of the lithium asset deal struck earlier this year by rival Mineral Resources.

The company said in a market update on June 17 that it would offer an update on the process in the September quarter, as parties continue to carry out due diligence. But some say final bids were due at the end of last month and it has been radio silence ever since.

Investment bank Macquarie Capital helped Mineral Resources to secure an eye-watering $1.6bn for a 50 per cent interest in its Wodgina lithium project this year. However, the thinking on Pilgangoora is that the level of interest may not be quite so compelling at a time that some lithium producers are unable to sell their output....
..the Wodgina sale to Albermale and Wesfarmers’ $776m takeover bid for industry player Kidman Resources earlier this year shows there is buyer appetite in the sector by parties betting on the growing demand for electric cars powered by lithium batteries so the outcome may surprise on the upside. The problem, though, is convincing buyers to pay top dollar after lithium stocks have been hit hard over the past 18 months. This is on the back of a new wave of supply swamping the market and after major lithium players have already taken positions.

Even Pilbara itself flagged in June that it was unable to sell output from the Pilgangoora mine, with the company at the time adding that the fall in demand was temporary. This was with its Chinese offtake partners running behind schedule with their new lithium chemical plants that will process the concentrate from Pilgangoora...
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/d...17a3896f269d23a



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jul 10 2019, 08:09 PM
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Chinese refinery delays weigh on Australian concentrate shipments

QUOTE
Roskill View
The chemical-grade concentrate market is in oversupply in 2019. This has resulted from ramp-up rates of new hard rock projects outpacing that of the downstream industry plant build outs in China. Although Pilbara and Galaxy have partnerships with leading lithium compound producers, this shows even experienced players are not immune to the complexities of executing such facilities.

An abundance of mineral concentrate feedstock for Chinese converters has also led to declining prices over the previous 18 months. Despite such converters in China taking advantage of lower pricing, some producers have been unable to construct new or ramp-up existing capacity at an equal rate to that of concentrate availability. However, Roskill considers the status quo to be actively managed by miners as softening prices will impact their bottom lines. Such an oversupply may orchestrate an extended period of production curtailment in a shift by producers to return to being ‘demand responsive’, versus the current ‘demand anticipation’ state of play. Aspiring developers access to capital could also be impacted as suppressed prices will drive down feasibility study economics. Consequently, established miners may prove the swing player in dictating the opportunity/necessity for new market entrants in the short-medium term in how they manage the oversupply

read more - https://roskill.com/news/lithium-chinese-re...rate-shipments/



--------------------
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: Jun 28 2019, 12:34 PM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Mar 28 2019, 02:07 PM

Australia's lithium export 'boom' underwhelms
extract
QUOTE
Most lithium miners have also pointed to this year's changes to electric vehicle subsidies in China, which appear to have slowed adoption of the such vehicles.

The combined effect has been a virtual halving of daily market prices for lithium in China.

UBS does not expect prices for battery commodities to improve soon; the bank expects global car sales to fall 4 per cent this year, and Chinese sales to fall 8 per cent.

''Lithium and graphite prices are seen falling further in [the three months to September 30],'' said the UBS analyst team, led by Glyn Lawcock.

read more - https://www.afr.com/business/mining/austral...20190627-p521vb
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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
 
nipper
post Posted: May 29 2019, 09:35 PM
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In Reply To: triage's post @ May 29 2019, 07:25 PM

I read the MD wanted to do a buyback to get the shorts of "his back". Rather silly, or unproductive?



--------------------
"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 


triage
post Posted: May 29 2019, 07:25 PM
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In Reply To: nipper's post @ May 29 2019, 11:18 AM

nip - I don't follow Galaxy but from what I gather they announced they are doing a buy-back and also that they are going to build a downstream processing operation in China. Re the first one, that's pretty weird if you ask me, I would have thought the company would do far better putting every dollar it has into expanding its operations. Buy backs are for companies and sectors far more matured than Galaxy and lithium (???).

And re the second one, it is one thing to swim with the sharks, it is another thing entirely to stick your head in a shark's mouth. I know a number of the WA spodumene (?) miners have done sales and equity deals with Chinese firms and that all seems to be okay. But, if, as it seems, China views lithium production in the same strategic way it sees rare earth production, then it is crazy-brave in my view for Galaxy to be injecting capital into a processing plant in China.

There is more talk, there is always talk, on hc that Pilbara (PLS) is about to announce the jv with the South Korean, Posco, which will mean it is also going downstream but in South Korea. I note that Pilbara does have a couple of Chinese entities on its registry and marketing its product.

Also, Orocobre recently posted a photo of a couple of its executives meeting with a Chilean official. Orocobre is a bit exposed in that both of its projects are on the same salt lake in Argentina. I would guess both Orocobre and its Japanese backers would be concerned about the concentrated location and country risk in the current set-up. It would make sense were they to diversify by acquiring and developing a lithium brine operation in Chile (but no talk of that yet).



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"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: May 29 2019, 11:18 AM
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Lithium M&A heating up
https://www.sharecafe.com.au/2019/05/29/lit...pite-trade-war/
QUOTE
....The current M&A we are experiencing in the lithium space is interesting for the fact that it’s coming at the same time as the screws are being tightened on both the lithium and rare earths markets – US exports of both are now subjected to Chinese import tariffs.

However the trade war is really just a smoke screen for what’s actually occurring in lithium – a further locking down of lithium supplies by China – with the two latest examples occurring this week – first, an investment by Ganfeng Lithium into Bacanora Minerals, and second, an offtake agreement between Alliance Mineral Assets and a major Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer.

If things get uglier on the trade front, there’s nothing stopping China from slapping an embargo of its processed lithium, or lithium-ion batteries, on US lithium consumers, thereby hurting US companies that rely on these products.

It all points to the need to take steps to end North American dependence on foreign lithium, by exploring for and developing local mines.
... and now Galaxy GXY



--------------------
"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
nipper
post Posted: May 13 2019, 08:14 AM
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QUOTE
Albermarle has sounded a warning to Australian producers, saying it doesn’t see much margin in stand-alone lithium mines and could slow the ramp-up of its Wodgina joint venture with Mineral Resources if prices don’t support full production.

Speaking on an earnings call last week, Albemarle chief executive Luke Kissam said the company “feels good” about its $US1.2 billion ($1.7bn) offer to buy half of Mineral Resources’ Wodgina project, and still expects the deal to close this year.

But he said the flood of new lithium supply was pushing down prices, and Albemarle would not produce material it could not sell.

“We are going to market the Wodgina rock to meet the demand. If the demand is not there, we won’t run the plant. So if demand is there, we will run it to meet that demand that we can sell and get a profit on it,” Mr Kissam said.




--------------------
"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Apr 7 2019, 12:37 PM
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Lithium export boom might not be felt for five years
QUOTE
Lithium won't have any meaningful impact on Australia's mineral exports until after the mid-2020's, according to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Lithium exports will jump $500 million to $1.5 billion and increase 168,000 tonnes by 2024 thanks to the opening of new WA mines, expansions of existing ones and new lithium refineries coming online


QUOTE
Markets resistant but lithium companies are excited
When compared to iron ore exports of $74 billion lithium is still a minnow and markets have been sliding for nearly 18 months.

ASX listed lithium-exposed miners like Altura, Pilbara Minerals and Kidman Resources have all been steadily falling since January 2018.

Altura (ASX: AJM) hit a high of 48 cents in January 2018 but by the end of March had slid to 14 cents.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) was trading at $1.20 in January 2018 and had fallen to 79 cents at the end of March.

Companies are feeling the optimism however.

read more - https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy...405-p51bd4.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
 
 


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