Lithium Miner SQM Sees Larger Income on Optimistic 2022 Value Atmosphere

Chile’s SQM (NYSE:SQM) posted a greater than 770 % revenue increase from its lithium enterprise, reaching US$8.15 billion on the again of a constructive value surroundings for the commodity in 2022.

The highest lithium producer noticed record-high gross sales volumes of just about 157,000 metric tons (MT) of lithium final 12 months, 55 % larger than 2021, with costs reaching a mean of practically US$52,000 per MT.

“Fundamentals behind demand progress are sturdy, with gross sales of electrical automobiles rising in all of the markets, particularly within the US market, positively impacted by the Inflation Discount Act, letting us imagine that demand this 12 months ought to develop greater than 20 % when in comparison with 2022,” the corporate stated in an announcement.

The Inflation Discount Act was signed into legislation final 12 months in one other transfer by the US authorities to develop its home lithium-ion provide chain. The laws requires automakers to have 50 % of important minerals utilized in electrical car batteries come from North America or US allies, together with Chile, by 2024.

SQM, whose main lithium enterprise is within the South American nation’s Salar de Atacama, stated it’ll make investments about US$1.4 billion from 2023 to 2025 to extend its lithium capability to 210,000 MT, together with 100,000 MT of lithium hydroxide capability.

“As electrical car gross sales proceed to develop, we now count on the lithium demand to achieve nearly 1.5 million metric tons by 2025. This sturdy demand progress expectations give us confidence as we stay targeted on increasing our lithium manufacturing capability,” CEO Ricardo Ramos stated in a Wednesday (March 1) press launch.

Apart from its lithium brine operations in Chile, SQM can also be growing the Mount Holland lithium challenge in Australia, which is called one of many world’s largest hard-rock mining deposits, in a three way partnership with Wesfarmers (ASX:WES,OTC Pink:WFAFF). Spodumene manufacturing is predicted to start this 12 months, with hydroxide manufacturing focused for the primary half of 2025. Between 2023 and 2025, the corporate plans to speculate near US$450 million within the asset.

Final month, SQM’s rival Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) revealed its quarterly outcomes, saying it expects lithium costs to stay excessive. Equally, US-based Livent (NYSE:LTHM) is forecasting costs to stay at elevated ranges in 2023.

Most lithium firms have seen momentum improve previously 12 months, with some lithium shares within the US, Canada and Australia seeing noteworthy year-to-date positive factors.

On Thursday (March 2), shares of SQM have been buying and selling at US$85.68, up greater than 6 % year-to-date.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, presently maintain no direct funding curiosity in any firm talked about on this article.