January 2021

GLOBAL LITHIUM WRAP: China’s uptrend continues but buyers retreat ahead of CNY holiday

The rally in China’s domestic lithium prices continued to influence markets in the rest of Asia in the week to Thursday January 28, but trading has thinned in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February.

AT A GLANCE: Orocobre Q4 sales jump 28% q-o-q on lithium demand, price recovery

A summary of Australian lithium miner Orocobre’s results for the fourth quarter of 2020, released on Wednesday January 27.

Chinese cobalt sulfate price surges to 26-month high on tight supply, raw materials strength

Cobalt sulfate prices in China hit a 26-month high on Wednesday January 27 against a backdrop of tight spot availability and strength in the upstream cobalt hydroxide market.

European Commission approves $3.5 bln battery research project

The European Commission (EC) has approved, under EU state aid rules, a second research and innovation project in the battery space, unlocking €2.9 billion ($3.52 billion) of state funds provided by a dozen European states to support research and innovation in the battery supply chain, it said on Tuesday January 26.

AT A GLANCE: Sherritt’s 2020 nickel output dips below annual target

A summary of Sherritt International's production results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020, along with its guidance for 2021, released on Monday January 25.

FOCUS: China’s record cobalt metal imports signal risk management drive

A sharp increase in China’s cobalt metal imports last year was a consequence of refineries’ efforts to hedge against tightening upstream supply, and trader moves to lock in profits during times of a favorable import arbitrage, market participants told Fastmarkets.

Traxys takes marketing rights for Wheaton’s share of Vale cobalt

Traxys will market the share of cobalt metal that Wheaton Precious Metals receives from its streaming agreement with Brazil-based miner Vale, Fastmarkets understands.

LME sets launch date for lithium futures contract settled against Fastmarkets price

The London Metal Exchange will launch its new cash-settled lithium futures contract on June 14, 2021, settled against Fastmarkets’ price assessment for lithium hydroxide monohydrate.

Aqua Metals in lead recycling partnership with BASF

Lead recycler Aqua Metals has partnered with German chemical company BASF to supply electrolyte, cooperate commercially, and explore technical improvements to enhance the performance of the US company’s lead recycling technology, AquaRefining.

Lithium miner SQM to raise $1.1bln to fund production expansion plan

Chilean lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM) shareholders have approved a plan to raise $1.1 billion through the sale of common stocks, the company said on Friday January 22 as part of its expansion plan across its product range, which includes lithium and other industrial chemicals.