The largest lithium mine in Australia is severely affected by the decline in demand for battery metals

Luc Williams

Production at Greenbushes in Western Australia is likely to be reduced as sales decline and inventories increase, according to co-owner IGO Ltd. Guidelines for concentrate production spodumene – a material containing lithium, which belongs to rare earth minerals– reduced this financial year to a range of 1.3 to 1.4 million tonnes, a decrease of 100,000 tonnes. tone.

Decreased demand for battery materials despite continued optimism about the prospects for electric vehicles, it has upended mining projects around the world as production surpluses emerge.

Mines are cutting production and cutting costs

Faced with plummeting prices, mining companies are imposing production cuts and trying to reduce costs. In Australia, Pilbara Minerals recently said it was unlikely to pay a dividend. Core Lithium has reduced employment and some nickel mines will stop mining.

IGO said in a statement that sales would be about 20 percent higher. lower than production in the second half of the year due to increasing raw material stocks. The mine’s partners, which include Albemarle and the joint venture Tianqi Lithium, agreed to a monthly (instead of quarterly) price setting mechanism for the goods sold.

Dark prospects for the future

spodumene prices suffered further losses after falling by 80%. last year. According to Jarden’s Bishop, if current price conditions continue, other plants will certainly need to consider reducing production.

A key battery component has become significantly cheaper in 2023. Price per tonne of spodumene in Australia / Bloomberg


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