Galaxy delays 15,000t lithium spodumene shipment

Australian spodumene miner Galaxy Resources has delayed one shipment of 15,000 tonnes of lithium spodumene previously planned for the second quarter from its Mount Cattlin nameplate operation in Western Australia, it said on Wednesday June 26.

Although further details were not disclosed by the company, falling lithium prices and delays on production expansion by some converters in China, who typically consume spodumene to produce lithium compounds, have led some converters in China to push for lower spodumene prices or reduce the volume of spodumene purchased.

Fastmarkets’ battery-grade lithium carbonate spot price (minimum 99.5% ex-works China) has fallen by 40.8% year on year to 70,000-75,000 yuan ($10,189- 10,917) per tonne as of Thursday June 27 from 120,000-125,000 yuan per tonne on June 28, 2018.

The spodumene price has been slowly pushed down by these lower lithium chemical compound prices, leading to a new decrease in prices month on month.

Fastmarkets assessed the spodumene (minimum 5-6% Li2O) contract price at $585-650 per tonne on a cif China basis on Wednesday June 26, down from $600-670 per tonne on May 29.

Recently, Pilbara Minerals, another spodumene miner in Western Australia, announced a reduction in spodumene output through June and July due to similar factors.

Lower-than-anticipated demand and slight lithium chemical compound oversupply is adding to pressure on converters in China and some spodumene miners in Australia to adjust their production.

Galaxy said to be working with its customers to finalize its shipping now scheduled for the third quarter of 2019. In the second quarter to date, the company shipped 30,000 tonnes of lithium spodumene.