Lithium demand forecasts by several parties have been dramatically increased recently, driven largely by the expected growth in the use of electric cars driving demand for lithium-ion batteries. 2025 demand forecasts range between 500,000t and 1,000,000 LCE, multiples of the current demand of ~220,000t, and boding well for stocks in the lithium space. One such company is Lithium Power International, which has made significant progress on the Maricunga Joint Venture in Chile since our March initiation of coverage. Maricunga is a lithium brine development project, with recent milestones including a 3.7-fold resource upgrade to 2.15Mt contained lithium carbonate equivalent (with 80% in the Measured and Indicated categories), at a grade of 1,163mg/l Li, the highest of any undeveloped brine projects globally. The resource is backed up an Exploration Target with the potential to double resources, as well as 5.7Mt of contained potassium chloride, a potentially valuable by-product. The technical de-risking has also been supported by very positive well pumping tests, with flow rates comparable to current producers. The results of this work, along with continuing pilot-scale process test work, will be used in the Pre-Feasibility Study, expected to be completed by the end of 2017. To read our update note on Lithium Power please follow the link below.
Mark is a Senior Resources Analyst for Independent Investment Research, with a focus on junior and mid-cap listed resources stocks. With over 10 years as an analyst, following on from 17 years as a geologist, he has a good insight into the sector.