The price of Lithium around the world has taken a lift, following the increasing demand for electric cars and storage batteries. Recently, Lithium Australia acquired advantage during this course by concluding a $6.55 million share placement throughout the worst weeks in the history of trading.
Such surge in price of Lithium is a sheer contrast to the dropped price of major bulk mineral commodities, including coal and iron ore. However the commodities, lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide accounted for a substantial price lift in late 2015.
As per Adrian Griffin, MD, Lithium Australia, the increasing demand for lithium would increase, only with the surge in demand for lithium-ion batteries. He also added that switching to renewables means moving to portable power, also the type of power generated in the future would require storage, while lithium provides the ability to store it.
As per Mr Griffin, the market is peckish for both lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. The spot price of lithium carbonate is about $US10,000 (AUD 14,362) a tonne, while that for lithium hydroxide is about $US14,000 (AUD 20,110) a tonne.
Lithium Australia holds prospective projects in the United States, Mexico and Australia.
Graphite price is stabilized, however demand expected to surge
The demand for modern storage batteries, is also leading to lifted demand for Graphite. .
Archer Exploration is a local company holding bankable deposit of graphite at its Caroona deposit in South Australia.
As per, Gerard Anderson, (Managing Director, Archer Explorations) graphite is a significant component in lithium-ion batteries. The company is producing very high purity graphite concentrates, ranking containing excess of 99 per cent carbon. The company has also conducted research for producing graphene from graphite obtained through Caroona deposit.
Even though graphite is abundant, only a few numbers of projects outside China have been established, during the past few decades.
As per Mr Anderson, all that is going to create various opportunities, specifically in the electronics business for the manufacturing of materials, high quality super capacitors, lithium-ion batteries, photovoltaic cells, and other products.
Mr Anderson thinks that the price of graphite has summited for now, however it’s directly dependant on quality and grade.
The price of graphite summited around 2014 and 2015, when there were number of new entrants. This market has various barriers for new entrants, which makes it evident that not all project would be able to develop.
Only the ones having substantial competitive and comparative advantage would get under production. The price of Graphite is $US600 (AUD 862) a tonne at the moment, and for flake graphite, it’s around $US12,000 to $US13,000.
Potash price to rise in 2016
As per Mr Griffin, there’s a huge potential for the development of potash resources, despite the non-occurrence of boost in price for fertiliser in 2015. The reasons for this was depression in prices due to breaking up of Russian cartel a few years back, which created a depression in the agriculture market, thus leading to low demand for fertilisers. Mr Griffin mentioned that the agricultural boom would bring changes in price.