Galaxy Resources is moving closer to its full production rate at the Mt Cattlin lithium-spodumene operation in Western Australia.
Mt Cattlin returned to its nameplate capacity in April and has produce 40,265 dry metric tonnes of spodumene in the second quarter so far.
Galaxy has increased its full-year production guidance at Mt Cattlin from 185,000 to 200,000 dry metric tonnes up to 195,000 to 210,000 dry metric tonnes.
The company shipped 33,500 wet metric tonnes in May with spodumene shipment prices to exceed $US750 ($979.79) per metric tonne in the third quarter of 2021, indicating strong demand will continue.
Mt Cattlin’s mineral resource estimate has been revised to 11 million tonnes at 1.2 per cent lithium oxide and 139 parts per million tantalum pentoxide.
Galaxy has conducted infill drilling at the 2NW deposit at Mt Cattlin to increase the company’s understanding of the deposit and further optimise the mine plan.
The first phase of pre-strip at the 2NW deposit will begin in the second half of 2021.
In April, Galaxy and Orocobre proposed a $4 billion merger which would create the fifth largest global lithium chemicals company.
Fitch Solutions has anticipated lithium prices will trend higher in 2021 and 2022 due to higher demand for lithium-ion batteries and tight supply.
“In the longer term, lithium prices are likely to be impacted by green premiums due to heightened priority of sustainable lithium extraction techniques,” Fitch Solutions stated.
“A faster-than-anticipated advancement of battery recycling technology presents a risk to lithium prices by significantly expanding sustainable lithium supply.”