On Tuesday, Australian lithium miner Allkem Ltd said, lithium carbonate prices for the third quarter of 2022 are expected to jump by 80% from the first half on the back of booming demand for the metal which is used in electric vehicle batteries.
Lithium prices touched new heights in 2021 midst supply constraints with automakers around the globe investing billions of dollars to transition to cleaner modes of transportation in efforts to slash global carbon emissions.
“The steep rise in Omicron-related COVID-19 cases globally will continue to impact operations and development activity in the near-term”, said Allkem.
It went on to add, it continues to see a “strong demand for its spodumene concentrate, the ore from which lithium is extracted, and lithium carbonate, as supply-side tightness persists in raw materials and throughout the battery supply chain”.
Allkem’s Mount Cattlin mine produced 52,225 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate in the quarter, bringing total annual production to 230,065 dmt, exceeding its previous guidance by 4.5%. However, production at its flagship Olaroz mine for the quarter slipped 2% to 3,644 tonnes from 2021.
Commissioning and production at its Sal De Vida mine has been delayed till the second half of 2023, said Allkem due to required permits and pandemic-related issues.