The downstream electric vehicles are booming, the supply and demand of lithium are tightened again, and the battle of "grab lithium" continues.
In early October, foreign media reported that LG New Energy signed a lithium ore acquisition agreement with Brazilian lithium miner Sigma Lithium. The agreement scale is 60,000 tons of lithium concentrate in 2023 and 100,000 tons per year from 2024 to 2027.
On September 30, Albemarle, the world‘s largest lithium producer, said that it would acquire Guangxi Tianyuan for approximately US$200 million to increase its lithium conversion capabilities.
On September 28, Canadian lithium miner Millennial Lithium stated that CATL had agreed to acquire the company for 377 million Canadian dollars (approximately RMB 1.92 billion).
On September 27, Tianhua Super-Clean announced that Tianhua Times will invest 240 million US dollars (approximately RMB 1.552 billion) to obtain a 24% stake in the Manono spodumene project. Ningde Times holds 25% of Tianhua Times.
Under the background of strong downstream demand and insufficient industry production capacity, many listed companies have seized the development opportunities of new energy vehicles and energy storage, and recently announced cross-border entry into lithium mines.
Zijin Mining has agreed to acquire all the issued shares of Neo Lithium, a Canadian lithium salt company, for a total consideration of approximately C$960 million (approximately RMB 4.96 billion). The latter‘s 3Q project has 700 tons of LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent) resources and 1.3 million tons of LCE reserves, and the future annual production capacity is expected to reach 40,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate.
Jinyuan shares announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Jinyuan New Energy, intends to acquire 60% of Liyuan Mining in cash and by issuing shares of listed companies. The two parties agreed that the mining scale of lithium source mining should not be less than 8,000 tons/year of lithium carbonate (equivalent), and when it exceeds 8,000 tons/year, it will continue to acquire the remaining 40% of the equity.
Anzhong shares announced that it intends to acquire 51% of Jiangxi Tongan’s equity held by Qiangqiang Investment with its own funds. After the transaction is completed, the project is expected to mine approximately 1.35 million tons of raw ore and an annual output of approximately 300,000 tons of lithium concentrate, equivalent to lithium carbonate. The equivalent is about 23,000 tons.
The pace of the deployment of lithium resources by many companies further confirms that lithium supply is facing a shortage. The deployment of lithium resources through shareholding, acquisition, and lock-in of long-term orders is still the main theme of the future market.
The urgency of “buying” lithium mines is that, on the one hand, facing the TWh era, the effective supply of the supply chain will face a huge gap, and battery companies need to prevent the risk of resource interruption in advance; Stabilize price fluctuations in the supply chain and achieve core raw material cost control.
In terms of prices, up to now, the average prices of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide have risen to 170,000 to 180,000/ton and 160,000 to 170,000/ton, respectively.
On the market side, the global electric vehicle industry continued its high boom in September. The total sales of new energy vehicles in the nine European countries in September was 190,100, a year-on-year increase of 43%; the United States sold 49,900 new energy vehicles in September, a year-on-year increase of 46%.
Among them, Tesla Q3 delivered 241,300 vehicles worldwide, a record high in a single season, with a year-on-year increase of 73% and a month-on-month increase of 20%; Weilai and Xiaopeng sold more than 10,000 in a single month for the first time, including Ideal, Nezha, Zero Run, The year-on-year growth rate of sales of Weimar Motors and other vehicles all achieved significant growth.
Data shows that by 2025, the global sales of new energy passenger vehicles will reach 18 million, and the global demand for power batteries will exceed 1TWh. Musk even revealed that Tesla is expected to achieve annual sales of 20 million new cars by 2030.
According to industry judgments, the world’s main planning lithium resource development progress may be difficult to match the speed and magnitude of demand growth, and given the complexity of resource projects, the actual development progress is highly uncertain. From 2021 to 2025, the demand for lithium Industry supply and demand may gradually become scarce.
Source: Gaogong Lithium Grid