Core suspends Australia mine work as lithium prices plummet

Core suspends Australia mine work as lithium prices plummet

Core suspends Australia mine work as lithium prices plummet 1024 553 Energy Storage Journal

January 11, 2024: Core Lithium has suspended mining at its Finniss project in Australia in the face of what the firm said on January 5 were tough market conditions.

According to Core, the price of spodumene concentrate has fallen more than 85% in the last 12 months, including by 50% since the end of October 2023.

Core CEO Gareth Manderson said the suspension was a difficult decision, but it would continue to generate revenue by processing its existing ore stockpiles of 280,000 tonnes, while the company focuses on managing cash reserves prudently.

Manderson said the firm’s Grants open pit at Finniss would be maintained to allow an orderly ramp up when conditions improve.

Australia’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources said in a report published last month that the country, which mined about half the world’s lithium in 2022, can expect to see the spot price of spodumene fall to A$2,200 ($1,473) per tonne in 2025 from an estimated average of A$3,840 per tonne in 2023.

Industry analysts also point out that while lower spot lithium prices may make EVs and batteries less expensive, they could also hinder investment for the development of projects for battery raw materials.