Lithium auction sees record bid for spodumene concentrate
The demand for lithium continues as the world looks to transition to a green economy. Bloomberg reported that at an auction of lithium from Pilbara Minerals Ltd. in Australia a buyer agreed to pay the equivalent of $7,708/t for spodumene concentrate — a partly-processed form of lithium. It is the highest-ever winning bid.
The sale of the 5,000-ton cargo on Tuesday compares with a top bid of $7,012 at the last auction on the miner’s Battery Material Exchange in early August.
The jump is roughly in line with gains for refined lithium in China, where prices of the battery material have been racking up new records since last week as robust demand from electric vehicles meets tightening supply. Rocketing costs threaten to worsen pressure in the supply chain that’s already eroding profits and prompting battery producers to hike their own selling prices.
Soaring prices are already worrying authorities in China. Officials last week asked major lithium firms to ensure that prices don’t deviate too much from production costs, and urged consumers to strike long-term agreements.
Photo: Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgan Plant