Nemaska Lithium has announced that a further C$375M (US$283.4M) would be required to fully-fund construction, commissioning, working capital and reserve funds for their Whabouchi mine and Shawinigan conversion plant. The additional funds would be needed on-top of an existing C$1.1Bn (US$831.4M) finance package announced in May 2018.
Pilbara Minerals and Altura Mining have both announced the first shipment of spodumene concentrate to their off-take partners in China. The vessel departed Port Headland in W. Australia carrying 8,800t (wet) spodumene concentrates from Pilbara Minerals grading 6.1% Li2O and 1.2% Fe2O3. Altura Mining reported loading of 5,000t spodumene concentrates grading >6.0%Li2O and 1.05% Fe2O3 at Port Headland, which is destined for its off-take partner Lionergy in China.
Ganfeng Lithium agreed the purchase of SQM’s 50% stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in Argentina. Minera Exar, the joint venture company formed between Lithium Americas and SQM in 2016, will remain the operator of the Cauchari-Olaroz project.
German automotive giant BMW has signed a contract worth more than US$1.16Bn with Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). Under the terms of the agreement, CATL will provide lithium-ion battery cells for use in the BMW i range of hybrid and electric vehicles.
The first production plant to manufacture cathode active materials for the European automotive market will be build in Nysa, Poland, close to existing and expanding battery plants. The plant will build upon proprietary production technologies targeting most likely NMC precursors. The first phase of this investment is due to start deliveries at the beginning of 2021.
Albemarle announced to increase lithium production in Chile to as much as 145,000 metric tons LCE, enabled by the company's deployment of innovative technology without the need for additional brine pumping at the Salar de Atacama. A simple calculation shows that this is physically not possible.
The Czech government has canceled a deal that could have given Australian company European Metals Holding (EMH) the right to mine a huge deposit of lithium, a key component in electric batteries. Trade and Industry Minister Tomas Huner said Thursday he had informed the European Metals Holdings company he considered the deal invalid.
BMW's head of supply told the FAZ newspaper that the company is close before signing 10-year supply contracts for critical raw materilas, like cobalt and lithium.
Martin Steinbild will represent Savannah Resources at Roskill's Battery Supply Chain Europe 2018 Conference, taking place at 13. to 14. March 2018 in Düsseldorf, Germany. He will give a speech on "Perspectives of the lithium value chain in Europe".
SQM fosters its strategic position significantly. This could ease the expected tight supply/demand situation and bring prices down. All junior miners with low cost positions are faced with decreased NPV, which could make financing more difficult. The "big four" SQM, Tianqi, Albemarle and Ganfeng will dominate the business in the future.