Former director at Tianqi Lithium Industry Co Ltd
- Lithium recent price and Pilbara (ASX: PLS) auction price dynamics
- Lithium salt price 2023 trend outlook, plus impacts on Chinese lithium salt companies’ potential business strategies from IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) and Canadian government’s attitude
- Mid-to-long-term supply-demand landscape, plus Tianqi Lithium’s (SHE: 002466) potential business risks in Australia
Could you walk us through the rent price trends of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide?
In mid-December 2022, Pilbara Minerals (Pilbara) carried out the 13th lithium concentrate auction, with the auction price lower than that in November. The lithium salt and lithium concentrate prices have shown a declining trend since mid-November 2022 in China. What are the supply and demand dynamics of lithium concentrate for now?
You think the newly increased supply of spodumene is limited. Will the recovery of lithium and the supply of lepidolite have an impact on the procurement of raw materials such as spodumene or lithium salts?
What do you think of the prospects of lithium resources in South America’s Lithium Triangle according to the planning of manufacturers?
Do Chinese companies in the lithium industry have planning in South America’s Lithium Triangle? Which companies invested there earlier and more?
Do you think there will be some lithium resources in Southeast Asia? Will Chinese companies develop lithium resources there?
Wang Pingwei, Chairman of Sinomine, said that Sinomine is losing confidence in investing in mines in North America. It is reported that on 2 November 2022, Canada ordered Chinese companies to divest their investments in Canadian critical minerals companies in the name of national security. What do you think of the impacts of the event on the supply of the lithium and respectively on Sinomine, Chengxin Lithium and Zangge Mining?
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of the US in 2022 stipulated the trace of key battery materials, such as lithium, nickel and cobalt for NEVs. It requires that these metals need to be procured and processed in North America or countries having free trade relations with North America. What do you think of the impacts of IRA on the price trend of lithium salts? How will the geopolitical tension between China and the US and Canada influence Chinese players in the EV industry chain and how about their future development?
You said that China accounts for over 80% of the world’s lithium smelting market. Will the IRA have an impact on the supply side of lithium salts in the future because it restricts Chinese companies? Or can companies in Japan, South Korea, Europe and the US completely consume the remaining lithium salts which should have been delivered to Chinese companies?
You think that Australian mines may tend to serve European, American, Japanese and South Korean companies. However, Tianqi Lithium continues acquiring Australian mines to gain their lithium resource projects. Does it suffer risks from doing that at the moment?
Mr Wang, Chairman of Sinomine, said in a report that Central Asia, including Afghanistan, will be another promising region once the security situation stabilises. Could you please share the information about lithium resource reserves in Central Asia?
As you said, Zijin Mining also has planning in Africa. Is it less difficult for Chinese companies to exploit resources there considering its resource reserve?
What do you think of the demand for lithium salts in 2023? We once interviewed a battery specialist. He thinks that 650,000 tonnes of LCE will be needed in 2023. Do you agree with him?
In your view, the lithium carbonate price will continuously drop after remaining stable or slightly rising. Which level will it reach at the end of 2023? The aforementioned battery specialist thinks that it will reach RMB 300,000-400,000 per tonne. Do you think so?
Is there anything we haven’t discussed yet? Do you have extra information to share with us?
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