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Infinity takes San Jose lithium plan underground as EU demand grows

Special Report: Infinity Lithium has unveiled an integrated underground mine and hydroxide scoping study for the European Union’s second-largest hard…

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Infinity Lithium has unveiled an integrated underground mine and hydroxide scoping study for the European Union’s second-largest hard rock lithium project.

Infinity’s (ASX:INF) 75%-owned San Jose lithium project in central-western Spain has a JORC resource of 111.2 million tonnes for more than 1.6 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent – the second largest in a region where the battery revolution is in full swing.

The project was initially planned as an open pit operation in a prefeasibility study completed 2019, but on the back of permitting challenges has been taken underground in the latest study in a move which would both reduce surface tailings and leave no material visible impact from mining operations.

It would be a case of back to the future – San Jose was previously an underground tin mine in the 1960s.

The project is fully integrated for chemical production, having successfully produced lithium hydroxide monohydrate and lithium carbonate at bench-scale. INF even has a non-binding memorandum of understanding for lithium hydroxide offtake with LG Energy Solution.

Impressive stuff.

Today’s scoping study outlines a project producing a steady-state average of 19,500 tonnes per annum of battery grade lithium hydroxide over a life of 26 years.

The project has a pre-tax net present value of $US811 million, and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 25.6% giving it a payback of just 3.2 years. Total life-of-mine revenues come in at $US7.9 billion.

The study has been completed at an assumed average price of $US17,000 per tonne with C1 cash costs of $US6,399/t including 20% contingency for underground mining operational expenditure.

The tailings production footprint for the project has been significantly reduced against Infinity’s 2019 prefeasibility study, with 55% of tailing which previously would have sat at surface now planned for paste infill underground. The reduction in the surface impact is all the more impressive due to the fact that output from San Jose increases more than 25% in the new scoping study measured against the 2019 PFS. The study outlines an average run-of-mine of 2 million tonnes per annum.

The company has mapped a timeline to production with a final investment decision scheduled for 2022/23.

Timeline to production for Infinity Lithium’s San Jose project. Pic: Supplied.

Critical time for transition

Today’s study comes at a critical time for lithium and the battery industry in Europe, where there is significant drive toward an electric future and away from fossil fuels.

Lithium is a key component of the lithium-ion battery commonly used to store energy for electric vehicles and homes.

As a result, demand for the commodity looks set to skyrocket.

Based on projected EV penetration Canaccord expects more than 1000-gigawatt hours’ worth of lithium-ion battery gigafactory capacity to come online by 2030 in the EU, and the International Energy Agency predicts global demand for 2030 to rise above 2.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.

It currently stands at 500,000t which by chance is Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s forecast supply shortfall in the EU in 2030.

Infinity
Anticipated demand for lithium carbonate equivalent from Europe’s electric vehicle industry over the years to 2030. Pic: Supplied.

Sharing the benefit

Mining underground would also increase direct and indirect employment opportunities in the Extremadura region, where unemployment was reported at 22.22% in the first quarter of 2021.

The project would create some direct jobs, with further indirect employment of 1,660 people, and Infinity is committed to generating long-term skilled labour in the area.

The region gives back too, with huge potential to align with Extremadura’s vast renewable energy potential.

Extremadura is the region with the highest installed photovoltaic power capacity in Spain – accounting for 22% of all capacity – and 100% renewable electricity is available by green energy certificates or direct from the photovoltaic source.

Infinity is also in discussions to blend hydrogen with natural gas to power its kiln and has identified hydrogen as a potential alternative power source.


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Infinity Lithium, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

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Energy & Critical Metals

Lucid Stock Languishes as Investors Wait to See Dreams Turned Into Reality

Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) combined two of 2021’s hottest trends — electric vehicle startups and special-purpose acquisition companies. The problem…

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Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) combined two of 2021’s hottest trends — electric vehicle startups and special-purpose acquisition companies. The problem was that by the time the company completed its reverse merger with Churchill Capital Corp. IV in late July, investor interest in both trends was significantly diminished. Still, LCID stock shot up as much as 20% on its first day of trading, to a high just above $29, before closing the day up 11%.

A photo of the Lucid Motors Air EV from 2018.Source: ggTravelDiary / Shutterstock.com

By Sept. 1, though, shares had plummeted 40%. A quick rebound took LCID stock back up near its post-SPAC-merger highs. But selling over the past three weeks has wiped out any progress made since July.

However, Lucid began production on its first car for customers, the Air Dream Edition, in late September. The luxury sedan is a special edition of its flagship passenger EV that will cost $169,000. Deliveries are scheduled to begin by the end of the month.

Lucid’s focus on the luxury market is part of the reason why many see the startup as the first potential competitor to Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). A true rival to the OG of EVs would no doubt be enticing to investors, so let’s take a closer look at the company and where LCID stock might be heading. 

Lucid Putting Its Best Foot Forward

As I mentioned above, the first car to roll off the assembly line in Lucid’s Advanced Manufacturing Plant, called AMP-1, in Casa Grande, Ariz., is the luxury Dream Edition of the Lucid Air. In other words, Lucid has chosen to bring out the big guns first.

This top-of-the-line EV boasts impressive performance stats. Just a few weeks prior to the start of production, the Environmental Protection Agency released its official estimate for the Air Dream Edition’s range: 520 miles on a single full charge. Tesla’s Model S Long Range falls significantly short of that, with an estimated 405 miles per charge.

Standard in the Air Dream will be Lucid’s DreamDrive Pro, an advanced driver assistance platform. According to the company, “DreamDrive employs up to 32 on-board sensors, a multi-faceted driver-monitoring system, and lightning-quick on-board ethernet networking powering more than 30 features through a clear, user-friendly interface.” Its driver-assistance features include collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assistance.

At present, the company plans to manufacture 520 of the Air Dream Edition models. (Does that number sound familiar?) By releasing its best vehicle first, I think Lucid is making a statement that it aims to attract customers away from higher-end Tesla S models. 

The company is expected to deliver the first Dream Editions to customers later this month. Production and delivery of  Lucid’s lower-tier EV models are expected to follow. The company says it has already received more than 13,000 reservations for its Lucid Air electric vehicles, with the entry-level version of its flagship sedan set to cost around $78,000.

Production Predictions 

Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson recently said the firm will build a total of 577 vehicles this year. He also said the company is on track to meet its production targets of 20,000 vehicles in 2022 and 50,000 vehicles in 2023. 

Management has plans to expand the Arizona factory by 2.7 million square feet to help meet production goals. In addition to the Lucid Air models, the company said it expects to release its first electric SUV, called the Gravity, in late 2023.

Lucid’s reverse merger raised $4.4 billion for the startup, which Rawlinson said, “sees us through to the end of 2022.” So, the company will need to raise more cash to meet its 2023 goals. 

In other words, Lucid is depending on its early production vehicles to perform well. If that indeed occurs, the company should be able to raise further capital to produce 50,000 vehicles in 2023. The key word here, of course, is “if.”

The Bottom Line on LCID Stock

LCID stock did not get a boost on news that production had started. In fact, shares sit about 13% lower since the announcement. This leads me to believe any enthusiasm for the start of production was already baked into the price. I doubt we’ll see a price spike when deliveries begin either.  

There are currently three analysts with price targets on LCID stock. They range from $12 to $30, showing the wide schism in sentiment surrounding the stock.

A move to the high end of that range would represent a gain of more than 30% from current levels. But investors are likely to wait to see if the company can turn its dreams into reality before bidding shares much higher. 

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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Guy on Rocks: Beaten down Predictive ‘a buying opportunity’, another M&A target emerges

‘Guy on Rocks’ is a Stockhead series looking at the significant happenings of the resources market each week. Former geologist … Read More
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‘Guy on Rocks’ is a Stockhead series looking at the significant happenings of the resources market each week. Former geologist and experienced stockbroker Guy Le Page, director and responsible executive at Perth-based financial services provider RM Corporate Finance, shares his high conviction views on the market and his “hot stocks to watch”.

 

Market Ructions: Stagflation, my friend

Commodities have staged a solid recovery outperforming equities, bonds, and credit for five quarters in a row through to 2Q 2021.

The 3Q21 sell-off was in response to poor economic performances in China and the US, together with the sale of Chinese stockpiles.

While many commodity commentators are bearish or neutral on the base metals, it only takes a hint of supply side tightness to turn things around. Recent smelter shutdowns (such as Kosovo’s ferro-nickel producer Newco Ferronikell) due to rising energy prices and the recent blockade of Peru’s sixth largest copper mine, Antapaccay, are examples of both foreseen and unforeseen events that can quickly turn demand-supply balances.

Citigroup Inc. recently suggested that the highest-cost Aluminium smelters in Europe might be running at production costs of as much as $2,900/ton (compared to spot prices of US$2,869/tonne-(figure 1) after the recent spike in energy prices.

Figure 1 Aluminium 3-year price chart (Source: Macquarie, Bulk Commodity Miners, 5 October 2021).

Interestingly, China is relying on coal to see itself through the winter with the government ordering its banks to ramp up funding to coal and energy companies to ease a power crunch and ensure winter supplies.

With rising input costs Citi are anticipating a period of 1970s style stagflation (that followed previous oil shocks in the 1970s) and have since downgraded Chinese GDP growth from 5.5% to 4.9%.

Base metals staged a strong recovery last week, even with less than favourable macro-economic news. Copper finished at US$4.20/pound up almost 2% on the week in response to low stockpiles and supply side pressures.

Gold closed US$1,757 down $3 for the week however platinum and palladium performed strongly up 5% and 10% respectively closing at US$1,020/oz  for Pt and US$2026/oz for Pd.

Uranium prices have fallen around 30% to US$36/lb after reaching highs of US$51/lb four weeks ago. So far the Sprott Physical Trust has only removed the overhang in the uranium spot market with approximately 30 million pounds accumulated so far.

Iron ore has bounced back strongly from its lows around US$95/dmt (62% fines) in September and is now trading at around US$135/dmt. I agree with the recent comments of Mike Henry from BHP at the Financial Times Mining Summit who considers China’s policy as remaining “pro-growth”.

The Stockhead faithful will already be aware that gold performed well during the stagflation of the 1970s (figure 2), starting its bull run in late 1976 at around US$100 and climbing to US$650/ounce in 1980, when the annualised CPI rate reached 14%:

Figure 2: Gold price (yellow line) v CPI (red line) (Source: https://www.sunshineprofits.com/gold-silver/dictionary/stagflation-gold/, 5 October 2021).

With Fed Chairman Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen doing a good impersonation of Laurel and Hardy, anything can happen.

On a final note, I have to congratulate Barnaby Joyce on his Sunday Times (October 10th, 2021) interview for a remarkable observation comparing WA with North Korea and claiming WA is akin to a “hermit” kingdom that may as well “mint its own currency”.

Well, WA could mint its currency (the “Westralian Dollar” – I already have a design) and maybe cut off the welfare funding back to the eastern states, so it’s actually not a bad suggestion.

Only problem is that the “inbred tomato” (according to Johnny Depp – figure 3) Barnaby wouldn’t be able to afford so much as a roll of toilet paper or sunscreen to stop his scone from being incinerated by the Queensland tropical sunshine.

Maybe WA could be the lender of last resort to eastern Australia, which would look more “fly-blown” than Argentina after nine defaults on its debt.

Figure 3: Limited edition Tomato Joyce.

 

Company News

Figure 4 :PDI 2-year price chart (Source: CMC Markets, 12 October 2021).
Figure 5 : Locality Plan – Bankan Project illustrating overlap with Buffer Zone 2 of the Upper Niger National Park. Note the extension of the Buffer Zone well into the regional centre, the City of Kouroussa. (Source: PDI ASX Announcement, 12 October 2021).

Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI) was off 28% on turnover of 93m shares after the company reported that  two known Bankan deposits (figure 5) and some other parts of the Kaninko and Saman permits are located within the Outer Buffer Zone of the Upper Niger National Park.

This National Park consists of three more or less concentric areas. Buffer Zone 2 of the Upper Niger National Park is a protected area where mining is not permitted; however, the Guinean Government has previously granted exemptions in similar situations.

Like most things in Africa (and Asia for that matter) there is a cost for moving boundaries, so stay tuned but I think this could be a good buying opportunity.

Figure 6 :STM 2-year price chart (Source: CMC Markets, 12 October 2021).

On a more positive note, Sunshine Metals (ASX:STM) (figure 6) closed up 23% to 4.8c on turnover of 139 million shares after reporting some very encouraging assays from its El Palmar gold-copper project in Ecuador.

Better results (figure 7) included EPDD001 with 163.55 metres at 0.71g/t gold and 0.20% copper from 52.35 metres downhole.

In addition, assays from EPDD002 over 250 to 417.5 metres downhole returned  167.50m at 0.58g/t gold and 0.26% copper  with assays from the remainder of hole EPDD002 and from hole EPDD003 are expected in ~six weeks.

The company has a strong balance sheet ($21 million in cash) and has an enterprise value of approximately $80 million, so the stock isn’t cheap but is sure to go higher if it continues to deliver these grades and widths.

The project is located in northern Ecuador in the vicinity of the 1.0Bt Llurimagua copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit, and in the same regional structural belt that hosts the 2.6Bt Alpala copper-gold deposit within the Cascabel project.

Figure 7: Cross section through EPDD001 at El Palmar. The 480.85m long intersection of porphyry gold and copper mineralisation is hosted by a quartz diorite porphyry intrusion that coincides with the southeast section of a 700m diameter magnetic intrusive complex. Surface copper and gold responses in auger soil samples (Figure 4) suggest significant portions of this magnetic complex may be mineralised (Source: STM ASX Announcement, 7 October 2021).

 

Figure 8 :VIA 2-year price chart (Source: CMC Markets, 12 October 2021).

Have a look at ViaGold Rare Earths (ASX:VIA) which is currently in a trading halt.

Up from 2 cents to $2.00 per share over the last 12 months or so.

Feel free to read their quarterly and annual reports. If anyone knows what they actually do, also feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience or the ASX who are seeking more clarification after a speeding ticket.

The company is domiciled in Bermuda with auditors based out of Hong Kong…

 

New Ideas

Figure 9: AME 2 years share price chart (Source: CMC Markets, 11 October 2021).
Figure 10: AME Sandstone Greenstone Project, (Source: Diggers & Dealers Presentation, 2-4 August 2021).

With M&A activity picking up in the resources sector, Alto Metals (ASX:AME) presents an interesting opportunity (figure 9).

The company holds 900km2 in the Sandstone Greenstone Belt in the East Murchison of WA with JORC Resources of 6.2Mt @ 1.7g/t gold for 331,000 ounces (figure 10). The project area is surrounded by numerous producing gold mines with  two RC and one diamond rig plugging away in the highly prospective Lords Belt, Vanguard, and Indomitable Prospects.

The company recently announced (ASX Announcement, 5th October 2021) excellent results from Juno, Lord Nelson, and Orion (figure 12).

Juno is believed to be an extension of mineralisation below the Lord Nelson pit, outside the current resource, that extends for over 1km strike and remains open.
Better results from Juno included:

  • 13m @ 5.1g/t gold from 162m, incl. 3m @ 17.0 g/t gold from 168m (SRC443)
  • 23m @ 1.7g/t gold from 141m, incl. 5m @ 5.4 g/t gold from 154m (SRC444)
  • 22m @ 1.6g/t gold from 135m, incl. 5m @ 5.5 g/t gold from 152m (SRC449)

Lord Nelson & Orion also delivered excellent results from deeper RC and Diamond drilling, below and to the south of the Lord Nelson pit, including:

  • 45m @ 3.2g/t gold from 161m, (SRC432) – Lord Nelson
  • 5m @ 1.5g/t gold from 192m (SDD008) – Lord Nelson
  • 24m @ 1.3g/t gold from 129m (SRC433) – Lord Nelson
  • 21m @ 3.5g/t gold from 76m (SDD003) – Orion
  • 43m @ 1.0g/t gold from 104m (SRC437) – Orion

Have a look at the news flow (figure 11). You would have to think there is more good news to follow.

Figure 11: AME CY 2021 exploration program (Source: Diggers & Dealers Presentation, 2-4 August 2021).
Figure 12: Lord Nelson, Orion, and Juno Prospects (Source: AME ASX Announcement, 5 October 2021).

On the corporate front, analyst Keith Goode pointed out (Alto Metals Limited, Research, 5th October 2021) that the period commencing early CY 2019 represented a run of continuous failed takeover offers from Goldea, Habrok and Middle Island Resources (ASX:MDI). Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX), whose share price has been surging recently (closing at $1.82 today) now holds 67 million shares (14.9% undiluted) and must surely be assembling the cavalry for a frontal assault on AME sooner than later.

Who can blame them!

 

At RM Corporate Finance, Guy Le Page is involved in a range of corporate initiatives from mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings to valuations, consulting, and corporate advisory roles.

He was head of research at Morgan Stockbroking Limited (Perth) prior to joining Tolhurst Noall as a Corporate Advisor in July 1998. Prior to entering the stockbroking industry, he spent 10 years as an exploration and mining geologist in Australia, Canada, and the United States. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the interviewee and do not represent the views of Stockhead.

 

Stockhead has not provided, endorsed, or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.

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Battery metals could rival oil in a Net Zero world: IMF

The IMF says a Net Zero by 2050 scenario would more than quadruple the revenues generated by copper, nickel, cobalt … Read More
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Decarbonisation policies could see battery metals rival the oil and gas industry, with the IMF saying a Net Zero by 2050 scenario would more than quadruple the revenues generated by copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium companies over the next two decades.

In a special feature of the latest World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund, IMF analysts say under ambitious climate reduction targets the battery metals complex could generate around US$13 trillion in revenue between now and 2040.

That would rival the oil industry and fall just US$6t short of the fossil fuel sector as a whole, signalling a radical shift in the industrial might of base metals producers.

Between 1999 and 2018 fossil fuel companies amassed a collective US$70t in revenue, against just US$3t for copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt, most of it by companies mining the red metal.

“In the Net Zero by 2050 emissions scenario, the demand boom would lead to a sixfold increase in the value of metal production — totaling $12.9 trillion over the next two decades for the four energy transition metals alone, providing significant windfalls to producers,” the IMF’s report authors said.

“This would rival the potential value of global oil production in that scenario.”

The IMF says price shocks caused by the rapid pace of change required in a Net Zero by 2050 scenario could see them “reach historical peaks for an unprecedented, sustained period.”

 

Who stands to benefit?

As the world’s dominant raw lithium producer and boasting some of the largest reserves of all four battery metals, Australia would have a competitive advantage in this economic transition, alongside copper rich nations like the DR Congo and Chile.

Australia’s GDP is heavily reliant currently on its exports of iron ore, gold, coal and natural gas.

But battery metals exporters would see huge benefits in the ambitious International Energy Agency Net Zero by 2050 scenario as global production of energy storage facilities and electric vehicles booms.

In that hypothetical future the world’s consumption of lithium and cobalt would rise by a factor of more than six, copper consumption would double and nickel demand would rise fourfold.

Pic: IMF

“The supply of metals is quite concentrated, implying that a few top producers may stand to benefit. In most cases, countries that have the largest production have the highest level of reserves and, thus, are likely prospective producers,” the report authors said.

“The economic benefits of higher prices for metal exporters could be substantial.

“Econometric analysis identifies the impact of price shocks, exploiting the different responses of GDP and government balances between the 15 largest metal exporters and importers.

“A 15 percent persistent increase in the IMF metal price index adds an extra 1 percentage point of real GDP growth (fiscal balance) for metal exporters compared with metal importers.”

 

Miners and explorers seeing increased mainstream interest

Peter Harold is the managing director of Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS), which is aiming to restart its Black Swan nickel mine and concentrator near Kalgoorlie in WA.

Nickel prices are sitting around US$19,000/t today, some 250% above the early 2016 trough of US$7600/t and a price at which low cost operations are coming out of mothballs.

Harold said the IMF report was an example of the growing mainstream awareness of the need to increase nickel supply.

“I definitely saw the article and I’m very interested in the numbers on that,” he said.

“I’ve been sort of quoting in my presentations for a while now, the increase in demand for nickel that Glencore put out, from 2.5 million tonnes in 2019 to 9Mt in 2050.

“And that’s nearly a fourfold increase in demand. So I think now people are starting to sort of focus on this a bit … that this is potentially real.

“And as a result of that, I think there’s been renewed interest in the battery metals space clearly.

“So it’s very encouraging and clearly it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of how quickly.”

 

Market diversifying away from traditional consumers

More than 70% of the market for nickel comes from stainless steel.

Traditionally a small producer like Poseidon would sell offtake to a larger company like BHP (ASX:BHP), which owns the integrated Nickel West refining business in WA, who would then supply steelmakers in Asia.

Now battery makers and EV dealers are in the market for refined nickel products as well.

Just this year Tesla inked a supply deal with BHP, Korea’s POSCO is buying a stake in the Ravensthorpe nickel mine and LG signed an offtake deal with junior Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ).

Poseidon expects to complete studies on the restart of Black Swan, which has been shut since 2008, by around April next year ahead of financing.

Harold said inquiries about its future product had come from more diverse sources than when his previous company Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN) transitioned from developer to producer in the mid-2000s.

“There’s definitely more players in the market now,” he said.

“Still the traditional smelting and trading companies are the primary discussions, but there’s lots of other groups that are popping their head up and making contact.

“There’s a lot of people trying to obviously secure nickel units, but obviously until we know exactly what we’re going to be producing and the volume it’s still a bit premature.”

 

Higher prices needed to induce supply

The IMF is one of a number of groups that has highlighted supply lags as a risk to the energy transition.

“To limit global temperature increases from climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius, countries and firms increasingly pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050,” they said.

“Reaching this goal requires a transformation of the energy system that could substantially raise the demand for metals.

“Low-greenhouse-gas technologies — including renewable energy, electric vehicles, hydrogen, and carbon capture — require more metals than their fossil-fuel-based counterparts.

“If metal demand ramps up and supply is slow to react, a multiyear price rally may follow — possibly derailing or delaying the energy transition.”

This could see prices rise several hundred per cent on 2020 levels, with historical peaks being hit for sustained periods and are expected to peak around 2030 when construction of renewable energy hits its highs.

This would induce a supply reaction, the IMF says.

While nickel sulphide mines like Poseidon’s are likely to be viable at current prices or higher, a lot of new production needs to come from more difficult laterite ore sources, which use the capital intensive high pressure acid leach process.

“You will need higher prices for the (battery) commodities to entice more material into the market, there’s no question about that,” Harold said.

“Some of the projects that are around are major numbers if you’re talking about HPAL, and some of these other big projects.

“As a result, you know, you’ve got to have higher prices for longer, especially if the grades are getting lower.”

Prices for lithium, nickel, copper and cobalt are expected to spike due to increased demand under the IEA's net zero by 2050 scenario
Pic: IMF

 

Poseidon taking a look at precursor supply

As well as exporting raw materials there could be ways for Australian miners to get a bigger slice of the battery pie.

Poseidon announced an MoU yesterday with privately owned Pure Battery Technologies to study the suitability of ore from Poseidon’s projects to supply a proposed 50,000tpa precursor cathode active material plant to be based in Kalgoorlie.

PCAM is an intermediate chemical which goes into batteries.

By selling a higher value product more of the supply chain value would be captured onshore and Australian miners could improve the revenues they receive for their end product.

While the MoU is still at a formative stage, Harold said downstream processing of battery materials made sense in Australia.

“If the investment dollars are available for investments like this, they should be built in places like Australia and especially Western Australia,” he said.

“It’s got the technical expertise to build these things, it’s got the right sort of political environment and it’s got a history from the mining side, and so it would be great to see more downstream investment here.

“And I don’t think that pure batteries are the only ones looking in the space.”

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