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2019-09-23 11:26:29

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of the junior lithium miner news. I have categorized those lithium miners that won't likely be in production before 2020/21 as the juniors. Investors are reminded that most of the lithium juniors will most likely be needed in the mid-2020s to supply the booming electric vehicle [EV] and energy storage markets. This means investing in these companies requires a higher risk tolerance, and a longer time frame.

September saw lithium prices move lower; however, major supply cuts have now been made to address the oversupply problem.

Lithium spot and contract price news

During July, 99% lithium carbonate China spot prices were down 4.15%. Spodumene (5% min) prices were down 2.17%.

Fastmarkets (formerly Metal Bulletin) reports 99.5% lithium carbonate battery grade spot midpoint prices cif China, Japan & Korea of US$10.00/kg (US$10,000/t), and min 56.5% lithium hydroxide battery grade spot midpoint prices cif China, Japan & Korea of US$12.00/kg (12,000/t).

The charts below courtesy of Fastmarkets show lithium prices have fallen further in recent months.

Lithium hydroxide, battery grade, cif China, Japan & Korea

Lithium carbonate, battery grade, cif China, Japan & Korea

Source: Fastmarkets

Lithium market news

For a summary of the latest lithium market news and the major lithium company's news, investors can read my Lithium Miners News For The Month Of September 2019 article. Highlights include:

Market participants say lithium miners could recover towards the middle of next year, Benchmark Minerals Simon Moores says the wait could be longer, but still earlier than market consensus of 2021. Moody's - Electric car boom to turbocharge battery metal producers.VW claims it's buying $100 kWh battery, moves forward to build new battery gigafactory.Junior lithium miners company news

Bacanora Lithium [LSE-AIM:BCN] [GR:2F9] (OTC:BCLMF)

No significant news for the month.

Investors can view the company's latest presentation here.

Catalysts include:

2019 - Project financing announcements for Sonora, and/or Zinwald.H2 2020 - Plan to commence Sonora production ramping to 17,500 tpa, and in stage two 35,000 tpa.

Core Lithium Ltd. (formerly Core Exploration) [ASX:CXO] [GR:7CX] (OTCPK:CXOXF)

Core 100% own the Finniss Lithium Project (Grants Resource) in Northern Territory Australia. Significantly they already have an off-take partner with China's Yahua ($2.4b market cap, large lithium producer). The company states they have a high potential for additional resources from 500km2 covering 100s of pegmatites.

On September 10, Core Lithium Ltd. announced: Finniss Lithium Project exploration and resource growth drilling update. Highlights include:

High grade spodumene mineralisation intersected in multiple drill holes in recent exploration and Mineral Resource growth drilling at the Finniss Lithium Project, located near Darwin in the NT.Assays from first round of reverse circulation [RC] and diamond drilling [DDH] expected within two weeks......Drilling to target discovery and increase Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves over coming months.

Investors can read my article - An Update On Core Lithium (Formerly Core Exploration), and a company presentation here.

Catalysts include:

2020 - Production planned to begin.

Sayona Mining [ASX:SYA] (OTC:DMNXF)

On September 17, Sayona Mining announced: Sayona expresses interest to bid for North American Lithium. Highlights include:

Sayona plans to participate in bidding for North American Lithium [NAL] mine in Québec, Canada, following court ruling commencing asset sale process.Company and partners offer experienced, world-class management to turnaround NAL and achieve sustainable and profitable operation.Potential synergies with Sayona’s emerging Authier Lithium Project, pending securing the necessary regulatory approvals.

Investors can read the company presentation here, and my Trend Investing CEO interview here.

Upcoming catalysts include:

2019/20 - Authier permitting, project financing and off-take.

Critical Elements [TSXV:CRE] [GR:F12] (OTCQX:CRECF)

No news for the month.

Upcoming catalysts include:

2019 - Rose Stage 2 Feasibility Study due. Project financing announcements.2022 - Possible producer.

Lithium Power International [ASX:LPI] (OTC:LTHHF)

No news for the month.

Investors can read my article: Lithium Power International Has A Very High Grade And Expanding Lithium Project In Chile , as well as my ex-CEO interview on Trend Investing here.

Upcoming catalysts:

2019 - Possible off-take partner and funding announcements for Maricunga Lithium Brine Project in Chile. Drill results from the Tabba Tabba Lithium Project.2022 - Possible producer.

Wesfarmers [ASX:WES] (took over Kidman Resources)

The Mt Holland Lithium Project is a 50/50 JV between Wesfarmers (OTCPK:WFAFF) and SQM, located in Western Australia. There is also a proposal for a refinery located in WA. Wesfarmers recently acquired 100% of the shares in Kidman for A$1.90 per share, or a US$545 million in total.

On September 12, Kidman Resources announced:

Federal court approves scheme of arrangement. Kidman Resources Limited announces that the Federal Court of Australia (Court) has today made orders approving the scheme of arrangement under which Wesfarmers Lithium Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wesfarmers Limited, will acquire all of the issued ordinary shares in Kidman [Scheme].

You can view the latest company presentation here.

Upcoming catalysts include:

Late 2019 - FS due for the Mt Holland Lithium Project.H2 2021 - Plan to commence lithium production.

Mali Lithium Limited (ASX:MLL) (Formerly Birimian Ltd)

On August 27, Mali Lithium Limited (OTC:EEYMF) announced:

Goulamina Lithium Project obtains final approval. Mali Lithium Limited is pleased to announce its world-class 100% owned Goulamina Lithium Project (‘Goulamina’) has been granted an Operating [Mining] permit by the Malian government, completing the final regulatory hurdle for the project.The permit is granted under the 2012 Malian Mining Code, covers the Company’s entire Torokoro Permit for the Exploitation of Lithium and has been granted for a period of thirty (30) years, renewable in intervals of ten (10) years until depletion of the reserves within the permit area.

On September 3, Mali Lithium Limited announced:

China Minmetals Corporation expands relationship with Mali Lithium. Chris Evans, MD of Mali Lithium, commented: “China Minmetals is a Chinese government–owned US$470 billion company with considerable research, funding, offtake, engineering and construction capability. “They have completed extensive due diligence and analysis of the Goulamina Lithium Project and it is testament to the quality, scale and potential of the project, and a vote of confidence in our management that they want to further our relationship. “Minmetals hosted Mali Lithium at their facility in Changsha in May and their presentations to us confirmed that China is thinking long term when considering the future of the electric vehicle and power storage industries.

On September 10, Mali Lithium Limited announced: Financial report for the half-year ended 30 June 2019.

On September 17, Mali Lithium Limited announced:

Excellent metallurgical testwork results.....Results have exceeded expectations with 80% overall recovery achieved from a combination of High Pressure Grinding Rolls [HPGR] and flotation.

You can view the latest company presentation here.

Catalysts include:

Q1, 2020 - DFS due for the Goulamina Lithium Project.

Millennial Lithium Corp. [TSXV:ML] (OTCQB:MLNLF) (OTCQX:MLNLF)

Millennial has tenements at the Pastos Grande Lithium Project and the Cauchari East Lithium Project, in Argentina.

No news for the month.

You can view the company's latest investor presentation here.

Upcoming catalysts:

2019 - Feasibility Study results due for Pastos Grande.

Neo Lithium [TSXV:NLC] (OTC:NTTHF)

On September 16, Neo Lithium announced: Neo Lithium produces 99.1 % Lithium Carbonate in the first batch from its Pilot Plant. Highlights include:

Lithium carbonate pilot plant fully operational in Fiambalá using 3Q Project brine.Achieved high purity of 99.1% in the very first batch of lithium carbonate production.First batch of battery grade lithium carbonate expected in early Q4 2019.

Investors can read my February 2019 article Neo Lithium Is Just Too Cheap Too Ignore.

Investors can read the latest company presentation here, and an excellent video here. My CEO interview is available on Trend Investing here.

Upcoming catalysts include:

2019 - Project partner/funding announcements.By end 2019 - Environmental Impact Assessment and permitting approval expected.H1 2020 - Feasibility Study due.Late 2021 or 2022 - Potential to start production.

AVZ Minerals [ASX:AVZ] (OTC:AZZVF)

On September 13, AVZ Minerals announced: Site operations update. Roche Dure dewatering accelerating. Pumping continues at Roche Dure with Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) fieldwork commencing.

On September 16, AVZ Minerals announced: Metallurgical testwork update on Roche Dure Resource. Samples Phase 1 metallurgical characterisation testing essentially complete as Phase 2 confirmatory testwork gets underway.

Upcoming catalysts include:

H2 2019 - PFS for Manono.Q1 2020 - DFS for Manono.

ioneer Ltd [ASX:INR] (OTCPK:GSCCF) (formerly Global Geoscience [ASX:GSC])

No significant news for the month.

Upcoming catalysts include:

H2 2019 - DFS.2020 - Off-take and project financing discussions.

Argosy Minerals [ASX:AGY][GR:AM1] (OTCPK:ARYMF)

Argosy has an interest in the Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina, targeting a fast-track development strategy.

On August 27, Argosy Minerals announced: Argosy elects to purchase strategic Tonopah Lithium project in USA. Highlight include:

Argosy exercises option to purchase the Tonopah Lithium Brine Project in Nevada, USA.The Project lies~4km from Albemarle’s Silver Peak lithium brine operation–the only lithium carbonate producer in the USA, having been in production for over 50 years.Significant opportunity to leverage Argosy’s lithium brine processing expertise over an expanded asset base.With the Rincon Lithium Project operational and being further de-risked, Argosy has secured a strategic foothold in a world class mining jurisdiction.Lithium included in the USA’s list of ‘critical minerals’ and actions are being prepared to further support US lithium domestic resource development.

On September 16, Argosy Minerals announced: Interim financial report for the half-year ended 30 June 2019.

Investors can view the company's latest investor presentation here.

European Metals Holdings [ASX:EMH] [AIM:EMH] [GR:E861] (OTC:ERPNF)

No news for the month.

Upcoming catalysts include:

H2 2019 - Off-take discussions.2019/20 - Bankable Feasibility Study to be released.

Advantage Lithium (OTCQB:AVLIF) (OTCQX:AVLIF) [TSXV:AAL]

No news for the month.

Upcoming catalysts:

2019 - Cauchari JV Pre-Feasibility Study due to be released.

Eramet [FR: ERA] (OTC:ERMAF) (OTCPK:ERMAY)

On September 11, Eramet announced: Eramet, BASF and SUEZ partner to develop an innovative closed-loop process for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, responding to the strong growth of the market in the coming years. Highlights include:

The battery recycling project ReLieVe, led by Eramet, with BASF and SUEZ, has been selected by the European Union [EU].€4.7 million will be committed by the EU and the three members to develop the process and to structure a well-integrated recycling industry.Growing market for electric vehicles will create a massive recycling needChimie Paris Tech and Norwegian University of Science and Technology will provide academic support.

On September 17, Eramet announced: Eramet–Renato Torres appointed as Setrag CEO.

Sigma Lithium Resources [TSXV:SGMA](OTCQB:SGMLF)

Sigma is developing a world class lithium hard rock deposit with exceptional mineralogy at its Grota do Cirilo property in Brazil.

On August 29, Sigma Lithium Resources announced: Sigma Lithium Resources Corporation second quarter 2019 financial statements.

On September 13, Reuters reported:

Brazilian lithium producer Sigma in talks with Tesla, other automakers. Sigma, which recently received its license to begin hard rock lithium mining in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, met with Tesla supplier Ganfeng Lithium (002460.SZ), at the automaker’s request. But it is holding off on a deal because of the terms the Chinese company is demanding, Chief Executive Calvyn Gardner said in an interview..... Sigma, which would be among the world's lowest-cost suppliers of the mineral, has also held informal talks with German automakers Volkswagen and BMW.

Catalysts include:

2019 - PFS due.2020 - Commissioning.2022 - Plan to be a 220ktpa lithium spodumene producer.

Wealth Minerals [TSXV:WML] [GR:EJZN] (OTCQB:WMLLF)

Wealth Minerals has a portfolio of lithium assets in Chile, such as 46,200 Has at Atacama, 8,700 Has at Laguna Verde, 6,000 Has at Trinity, 10,500 Has at Five Salars.

No news for the month.

Investors can view the company's latest presentation here.

Upcoming catalysts include:

Plateau Energy Metals [TSXV:PLU] [GR:QG1A] (OTCQB:PLUUF)

Plateau Energy Metals Inc. (formerly Plateau Uranium) is a Canadian lithium and uranium exploration and development company focused on its properties on the Macusani Plateau in southeastern Peru.

No significant news for the month (just a C$1.5m private placement).

Upcoming catalysts include:

Mid-2019 - Complete PEA for the Falchani Lithium Project.

Cypress Development Corp. (TSXV:CYP) (OTCBB:OTCQB:CYDVF)

Cypress Development owns tenements in the Clayton Valley, Nevada, USA.

On August 29, Cypress Development Corp. announced:

Cypress Development achieves processing milestone at Clayton Valley Lithium Project in Nevada. Cypress CEO Bill Willoughby commented, “A critical step for us at Clayton Valley is the separation of solids and liquids. A viable process is dependent upon the ability to separate the process leach solution [PLS] from the leached residue whether by thickeners, filters, or other means. Significant test work has allowed Cypress to identify a commercially viable process, based on filtration, to take the solid-liquid separation from the laboratory benchtop to the operational scale.”

On September 12, Cypress Development Corp. announced:

Cypress Development announces changes to Nevada property option agreement with Pasinex Resources. Cypress Development Corp. announces that it has agreed to extend the terms of the 2017 earn-in option agreement with Pasinex Resources Limited (“Pasinex”) and Caliber Minerals Inc. (formally Silcom Systems Inc.) on the Spur (formally Gunman) zinc exploration property in Nevada, USA. The agreement changes the date of the $100,000 option payment, payable to Cypress, to December 11th, 2019. It also defers the 2019 exploration obligations into 2020, bringing the exploration obligations to $1,600,000 USD for 2020. The underlying licenses are in good standing until September 2020.

Upcoming catalysts include:

Piedmont Lithium [ASX:PLL] (PLL)

Piedmont Lithium stated they are the only US lithium spodumene project , with their 100%-owned Piedmont Lithium project in North Carolina. The company has already identified a 4+ kilometers of strike length in Phase 1 drilling.

No news for the month.

Upcoming catalysts include:

August 2019 - Updated Scoping Study to be completed. Resource update.2019/2020 - Definitive Feasibility Study and permitting approvals.

You can view the company's latest presentation here.

Liontown Resources [AS:LTR] (OTC:LINRF)

Liontown Resources 100% owns the Kathleen Valley Lithium spodumene project in Western Australia.

On August 28, Liontown Resources announced: Major new resource expansion drilling program to commence at Kathleen Valley as Liontown sets key strategic objectives for 2019/20. Following $18M raising, Liontown now fully-funded to expand Kathleen Valley Mineral Resource and complete feasibility studies within next 12-18months. Highlights include:

On September 17, Liontown Resources announced:

Liontown on track for maiden Resource at Buldania following receipt of further high-grade lithium assays. Geological modelling well advanced with maiden Mineral Resource Estimate due November 2019. Latest intersections from recently completed RC drill program include: 14m @ 1.7% Li2O from 45m [BDRC0142], including: 2m @ 2.6% Li2O from 48m and 5m @ 2.2% Li2O from 54m.

You can view the company's latest presentation here.

Upcoming catalysts include:

Q4 2019 - PFS on Kathleen Valley

Frontier Lithium [TSXV:FL] (OTC:HLKMF)

Frontier Lithium owns the PAK Lithium (spodumene) Project comprising 6,976 hectares and located 175 kilometers north of Red Lake in northwestern Ontario. The PAK deposit is a lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) type pegmatite containing high-purity, technical-grade spodumene (below 0.1% iron oxide).

No news for the month.

E3 Metals [TSXV:ETMC] (OTC:EEMMF)

On September 18, E3 Metals announced:

Livent Corporation to contribute up to US$ 5.5 million to advance E3 Metals’ direct lithium extraction process on the Alberta Lithium Project. E3 Metals Corp. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Joint Development Agreement (the “Agreement”) with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Livent Corporation (“Livent”) to advance E3 Metals’ proprietary Ion-Exchange Direct Lithium Extraction process. The ultimate goal of the Agreement is to develop a process to produce battery quality lithium products from the lithium enriched brines located in the Leduc Formation in Alberta.E3 Metals’ Alberta Project boasts a total of 6.7 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent [LCE] inferred mineral resources1within the Leduc Reservoir Formation in Alberta....Under the Agreement, Livent will deploy its technical expertise to assist in the accelerated advancement of E3’s lithium extraction process towards commercialization. Livent will contribute up to US$ 5.5 million to the Joint Development Project, with an initial US$ 1.5 million contribution to be made shortly upon closing of the Agreement and following TSX Venture Exchange acceptance.

Nano One Materials [TSXV:NNO] (OTCPK:NNOMF)

On August 28, Nano One Materials announced: Nano One receives $845,625 from early warrant exercise incentive program.

Other lithium juniors

Other juniors include: ABE Resources (Vision Lithium Inc.) [TSXVABE] [GR:1AJ2] (OTCQB:ABEPF), AIS Resources [TSXV:AIS] (OTCQB:AISSF), Ardiden [ASX:ADV], American Lithium Corp. [TSX-V: LI] (OTCQB:LIACF), Anson Resources [ASX:ASN] [GR:9MY], Argentina Lithium and Energy Corp. [TSXV: LIT] (OTCQB: OTCQB:PNXLF), Avalon Advanced Materials [TSX:AVL] [GR:OU5] (OTCQX:AVLNF), Carnaby Resources Ltd [ASX:CNB], Far Resources [CSE:FAT] (OTCPK:FRRSF), Force Commodities [ASX:4CE], Hannans Ltd [ASX:HNR], Iconic Minerals [TSXV:ICM] [FSE:YQGB] (OTCPK:BVTEF), Infinity Lithium [ASX:INF], Kodal Minerals (LSE-AIM: KOD), Lake Resources [ASX:LKE] [GR:LK1], Latin Resources Ltd [ASX: LRS] (OTC:LAXXF), Lithium Australia [ASX:LIT] (OTC:LMMFF), Lithium Chile Inc. [TSXV:LITH][GR:KC3] (OTCQB:LTMCF), Lithium Energi Exploration Inc. [TSXV:LEXI] (OTC:LXENF), MetalsTech [ASX:MTC], MGX Minerals [CSE:XMG] (OTC:MGXMF), Noram Ventures [TSXV: NRM], NRG Metals Inc. [TSXV:NGZ] (OTCPK:NRVTF), One World Lithium [CSE:OWLI] (OTC:OWRDF), Portofino Resources Inc.[TSXV:POR] [GR:POT], Prospect Resources [ASX:PSC], Pure Energy Minerals [TSXV:PE] (OTCQB:PEMIF), Rock Tech Lithium [CVE:RCK], Savannah Resources [LSE:SAV] (GR:AFM], and Standard Lithium [TSXV:SLL] (OTC:STLHF).

Conclusion

September saw lithium spot prices fall lower but some signs of recovery as lithium supply is being reduced.

Highlights for the month were:

Market participants say lithium miners could recover towards the middle of next year, Benchmark Minerals Simon Moores says the wait could be longer, but still earlier than market consensus of 2021. Moody's - Electric car boom to turbocharge battery metal producers.Sayona expresses interest to bid for North American Lithium.Federal court approves scheme of arrangement for Wesfarmers to acquire all of Kidman Resources.Mali Lithium - Goulamina Lithium Project obtains final approval (mining permit). China Minmetals Corporation expands relationship with Mali Lithium.Neo Lithium produces 99.1% Lithium Carbonate in the first batch from its Pilot Plant.Argosy Minerals elects to purchase strategic Tonopah Lithium project in USA.Eramet, BASF and SUEZ partner to develop an innovative closed-loop process for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.Brazilian lithium producer Sigma in talks with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), other automakers (Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) and BMW(OTCPK:BMWYY).Liontown Resources - Major new resource expansion drilling program to commence at Kathleen Valley.

As usual all comments are welcome.

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Disclosure: I am/we are long NYSE:ALB, JIANGXI GANFENG LITHIUM [SHE: 2460], JIANGXI GANFENG LITHIUM [HK: 1772], SQM (NYSE:SQM), ASX:ORE, ASX:GXY, ASX:PLS, ASX:AJM, AMS:AMG, TSX:LAC, TSXV:NLC, ASX:AVZ, ASX:NMT, ASX:CXO. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.


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