Pilbara Minerals’ lithium prices race higher in BMX digital auction
Pilbara Minerals has underlined the strength of the surging lithium market with an online auction of product revealing price gains of nearly 80 per cent in just seven weeks (reports The West Australian).
16th September 2021
The Ken Brinsden-led company late yesterday revealed its recently initiated Battery Material Exchange digital auction for 8000 dry metric tonnes of 5.5 per cent lithium concentrate (spodumene) received a highest bid of $US2240/t.
That compares with the highest bid for a 10,000dmt shipment announced on July 29 of $US1250/t.
Pilbara established the BMX online auction earlier this year in a bid to provide price discovery and a spot price for what is an opaque market for lithium concentrate.
However, the company said today it expected to channel more concentrate sales through the platform given the strong margins yielded.
Product to be sold through the mechanism would include concentrate generated from the recommencement of the Ngungaju processing plant, which was acquired when Pilbara took control of the assets of collapsed neighbour Altura Mining.
Pilbara said the bidder for the 8000t cargo must now enter into a sales contract with the company in the coming days which would require a letter of credit. Ship loading is expected in November.
Lithium prices have jumped to their highest in three years on the back of booming electric vehicle sales in Europe and China, sending lithium stocks, including Pilbara, surging.
Pilbara’s BMX auction highlights the scramble for lithium raw materials amid a looming deficit of supply.
Spot prices for battery ingredient lithium carbonate in China have climbed 170 per cent so far this year to 142,000 yuan ($US22,000) a tonne, their highest since April 2018.
Meanwhile, the price of lithium concentrate has climbed 144 per cent this year to just shy of $US1000/t.
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