Lithium Universe

Closing the Lithium Conversion Gap in North America

Lithium Universe Limited (referred to as "Lithium Universe" or the "Company," ASX: "LU7") provides a strategic update on addressing the gap in lithium conversion capacity and enhancing the North American supply chain.


Highlights

  • Lithium Universe to play pivotal role in closing the lithium conversion gap
  • Lithium Universe to convert supply in North America.
  • Target conversion contracts with OEMs who have spodumene off take
  • Target "take or pay" agreements with OEMs to reduce market/price risks
  • Geopolitical shift to onshore the battery supply chain in North America
  • Canada emerges as next key global lithium supply chain
  • LFP batteries expected to capture 87% of the ESS market share by 2033
  • Strong Federal and Provincial government financing support within the industry
  • Lithium Universe committed to building through the lithium cycle

What is the ‘Lithium Gap’?

North America anticipates a surge in battery manufacturing, with over 20 major manufacturers planning to deploy an estimated 1,000GW of battery capacity. Canada has ascended to the top spot in BloombergNEF's Global Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain Ranking, signalling its emergence as a significant global supplier of battery materials. However, bridging the gap between the growing supply of lithium ore and the increasing demand for highly processed lithium carbonate remains a challenge and opportunity.

Lithium Universe is advancing a mine-to-battery-grade lithium carbonate strategy in Canada through the Québec Lithium Processing Hub (QLPH). The QLPH includes a multi-purpose independent 1 Mtpa concentrator and an independent 16,000 tpa battery-grade lithium carbonate refinery.

Over the past decade, numerous lithium conversion plants worldwide have encountered technical and startup challenges. Even established lithium producers have found lithium conversion to be a challenging task. Lithium Universe presents a solution to mitigate these risks. The company has formed a team, dubbed the Lithium Dream Team, comprising experts in hard rock lithium extraction and downstream conversion operations. Additionally, strategic partnerships with engineering consultants Hatch Ltd and Primero Group have been forged. By leveraging proven technology in spodumene concentration and lithium conversion design, the company aims to minimize execution risk. Notably, the Dream Team previously spearheaded the successful construction of the Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate facility, surpassing design expectations to produce the world's premier battery-grade carbonate. This project was built by Hatch Ltd. Lithium Universe intends to replicate the design and operational methodologies implemented at Jiangsu, viewing this, coupled with the expertise of the Dream Team, as pivotal in establishing conversion capacity in North America.

Figure 1: ‘The Lithium Gap’ emerging between North America’s planned conversion facilities estimated to have 100,000t LCE per annum capacityandthedownstreamdemandestimatedtototalanestimated850,000tLCEperannum.

The Emerging James Bay Supply

The Company has engaged with numerous exploration entities operating within the region of James Bay, Québec and estimate there are over 40 companies dedicated to lithium exploration in the area. Our assessments indicate a cumulative lithium resource exceeding 500Mt at +1% Li2O across eight distinct projects, which has increased over 100% within the last 12 months. This significant increase is due to the upgraded resource of 110.2Mt at 1.3% Li2O by Arcadium Lithium at the James Bay Project, the maiden resource of Patriot Battery Metals at Corvette of 109Mt at 1.42% Li2O and most recently the announcement of Winsome Resource’s 59Mt at 1.12% Li2O resource at their Adina Project.


Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from Lithium Universe Limited, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

LU7:AU
Lithium Universe

Lithium Universe Investor Kit

  • Corporate info
  • Insights
  • Growth strategies
  • Upcoming projects

GET YOUR FREE INVESTOR KIT

The Conversation (0)
Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7)

Lithium Universe


Keep reading...Show less
Lithium Universe

Analyst Firm Targets Share Price Upside for Lithium Universe as Refinery Plans Ramp Up

Description:

Australian investment research firm East Coast Research is estimating a more than 150 percent upside in the share price of Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7) over 12 months, from its current price of $0.21 per share to about $0.53 per share.

Keep reading...Show less
Lithium periodic symbol and powder overlayed with world map.

Top 4 Largest Lithium Reserves by Country (Updated 2024)

Those interested in the lithium sector and investing in lithium stocks are often curious about which countries produce the most of the battery metal, but they may not stop to consider the top lithium reserves by country.

Major lithium-producing countries are, of course, home to a large number of lithium companies. Many of the world’s top lithium producers also hold significant reserves, and their reserves can give an idea of how much room those countries have to grow. At the same time, nations with high reserves may become more significant lithium players in the future.

Looking forward, lithium demand is expected to continue increasing. That’s because, together with metals such as cobalt, lithium is a key raw material in the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles; it is also essential for the energy storage sector. However, lithium supply to meet that increasing demand is still uncertain.

Keep reading...Show less
Operations Update

Operations Update

First Batch of Concentrated Eluate Shipped for Processing


Further to the announcement of 14th May, CleanTech Lithium PLC (AIM: CTL, Frankfurt:T2N, OTCQX:CTLHF), an exploration and development company, advancing sustainable lithium projects in Chile for the clean energy transition, is pleased to announce that the initial batch of 24m3 of high quality concentrated eluate, has now left the Company's facilities and is in transit to a third-party processor, Conductive Energy, in the USA for conversion to battery-grade lithium carbonate.

Keep reading...Show less

SQM REPORTS EARNINGS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2024|

Highlights

SQM reported total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2024 of US$1,084.5 million compared to total revenues of  US$2,263.9 million for the same period last year.

Net loss (1) for the three months ended March 31, 2024 of (US$869.5) million or (US$3.04) per share, compared to net income of  US$749.9 million, US$2.63 per share for the same period last year.

Over 30% year-on-year higher sales volumes in lithium business, surpassing 43,000 metric tons in 1Q2024.

Revised and increased FY2024 lithium sales volumes guidance.

Record-high quarterly sales volumes in iodine business, over 3,700 metric tons in 1Q2024.

Concluded the acquisition of Andover lithium project in Western Australia.

Successfully completed the ramp-up of the Dixin lithium hydroxide conversion facility in Sichuan, China, with a nominal capacity of 20,000 metric tons.


SQM will hold a conference call to discuss these results on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 12:00pm ET (12:00pm Chile time).

Participant Dial-In (Toll Free): 1-844-282-4852

Participant International Dial-In: 1-412-317-5626

Webcast: https://event.choruscall.com/mediaframe/webcast.html?webcastid=qmUdFzpU

SANTIAGO, Chile , May 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today net loss ( [1] ) for the three months ended March 31, 2024 , of (US$869.5) million , (US$3.04) per share. Excluding the net effect of accounting adjustments for the payments of the specific tax on mining activities for the exploitation of lithium, the net income for the three months ended March 31, 2024 , totaled US$228.1 million ( US$0.80 per share), representing a decrease of approximately 69.6% compared to US$749.9 million ( US$2.63 per share).

Gross profit reached US$368.5 million (34.0% of revenues) for the three months ended March 31, 2024 , lower than US$1,065.6 million (47.1% of revenues) recorded for the three months ended March 31, 2023 . Revenues totaled US$1,084.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 , representing a decrease of approximately 52.1% compared to US$2,263.9 million reported for the three months ended March 31, 2023 .

SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Ricardo Ramos , stated, "We are pleased with the positive year-on-year growth in sales volumes across all of our major businesses. During the first quarter of 2024, we delivered record-high quarterly sales volumes in the iodine business, almost 9% higher when compared to the same period last year. Sales volumes in our specialty nutrition and potassium business lines were approximately 20% higher year-on-year, while lithium sales volumes were over 30% higher during the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year. This growth was offset by lower year-on-year realized average sales prices in these business lines as a result of lower market prices during the first quarter of 2024."

He continued by saying, "We believe that the strong demand growth in lithium market seen since the beginning of the year could continue for the remainder of the year, with total lithium demand surpassing 1.1 million metric tons during 2024. Given this positive trend in demand growth, especially in China which accounts for almost 75% of global lithium demand, and our updated sales volumes outlook for the year, we believe that our sales volumes could reach 200,000 metric tons in 2024."

Mr. Ramos added, "We continue with our growth plans in Chile and abroad. Our iodine and nitrates expansion project in Pampa Blanca is progressing successfully and we expect to deliver 1,300 metric tons of iodine from this new operation in 2024. In the recent months, we began the construction of a seawater pipeline which will deliver seawater to our operations, allowing us to expand our production capacity and supply freshwater to our neighboring communities.

In lithium business, as detailed below, we have completed the new expansion of our lithium carbonate facility in Chile , reaching 210,000 metric tons per year, and continued to work on a series of initiatives related to efficiency, quality and process improvements to expand this production capacity to 240,000 metric tons per year in 2025, thus adding incremental 30,000 metric tons per year of lithium carbonate capacity. Our lithium hydroxide capacity (conversion from lithium carbonate) has reached 40,000 metric tons per year and we remain on track to increase our total lithium hydroxide capacity in Chile to 100,000 metric tons per year in 2025.

After signing a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Codelco at the end of last year, we continued with the negotiations to define the definitive conditions and documents for a joint operation in the Salar de Atacama, which we expect to deliver by the end of this month."

He closed by saying, "In China, after several years of developing lithium sulfate refinery project, which consisted of redesigning and modifying of the Dixin chemical plant to convert lithium sulfate product from the Salar de Atacama into battery grade lithium hydroxide, we are proud to announce that this process concluded this month by SQM acquiring 100% of the plant. With a design capacity of 20,000 metric tons per year and the first production archived at the end of last year, Dixin plant is fundamental to our strategy to at least double our lithium hydroxide production from lithium sulfate in the coming years.

Finally, in Australia , through a 50/50 joint venture with Hancock Prospecting Pty (Hancock), we completed the acquisition of 60% of the Andover lithium project by acquiring 100% of the shares of Azure Minerals Limited for a total amount of approximately US$350 million (SQM's share). We look forward to working with Hancock on what we believe will be a  significant lithium project on a global scale. By combining our mining and lithium expertise with Hancock's experience in project development and mining operations in Australia , we expect to build a strong and mutually beneficial partnership."

The total capex for 2024 is expected to reach US$1.3 billion , including the capex associated with the abovementioned initiatives for our lithium carbonate capacity expansions of approximately US$70 million , Dixin plant acquisition of approximately US$140 million , and maintenance of approximately US$150 million . The total capex amount does not include the amount of approximately US$350 million paid for the acquisition of Andover lithium project.

About SQM

SQM is a global company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Santiago Stock Exchange (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A). SQM develops and produces diverse products for several industries essential for human progress, such as health, nutrition, renewable energy and technology through innovation and technological development. We aim to maintain our leading world position in the lithium, potassium nitrate, iodine and thermo-solar salts markets.

For further information, contact:

Gerardo Illanes / gerardo.illanes@sqm.com
Irina Axenova  / irina.axenova@sqm.com
Isabel Bendeck / isabel.bendeck@sqm.com

For media inquiries, contact:
Maria Ignacia Lopez / ignacia.lopez@sqm.com
Pablo Pisani / pablo.pisani@sqm.com

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make concerning the implementation of the MoU and potential partnership with Codelco, the development of Salar Futuro Project, Company's capital expenditures, financing sources, Sustainable Development Plan, business and demand outlook, future economic performance, anticipated sales volumes, profitability, revenues, expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or service line growth.

Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are estimates that reflect the best judgment of SQM management based on currently available information. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that are outside of our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in such statements, including our ability to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Plan. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by SQM with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent annual report on Form 20-F, which identifies other important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to SQM on the date hereof and SQM assumes no obligation to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

News Provided by PR Newswire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less
A green lithium battery next a lit up map of Africa.

Lithium Mines in Africa: Key Companies and Investments (Updated 2024)

Moving to greener sources of energy and reaching the net-zero goals set by governments around the world means more demand for key battery metals such as lithium.

In the past few years, the race to secure a steady and quality supply of lithium has heated up. The COVID-19 pandemic, paired with other factors such as the Russia-Ukraine war, revealed the vulnerabilities of the lithium supply chain and woke the western world up to its dependence on China.

Legislation such as the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU's Critical Raw Materials Act are just some examples of how governments are looking to strengthen their positions in the critical minerals sector.

Keep reading...Show less
  Charger Metals

Lithium and Niobium Anomalies Defined at Mt Gordon

Charger Metals NL (ASX: CHR, “Charger” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that results have been received for the infill soil sampling programme completed across the Mt Gordon Prospect at its Lake Johnston Lithium Project (“Lake Johnston”), in Western Australia. This work is being funded by Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Limited (“RTX”) pursuant to RTX’s farm-in agreement with Charger in relation to the project.2

Keep reading...Show less
Lithium Universe

Lithium Universe Investor Kit

  • Corporate info
  • Insights
  • Growth strategies
  • Upcoming projects

GET YOUR FREE INVESTOR KIT

Latest Press Releases

Related News

×