Pilbara Minerals pulls US$7708/t in lithium auction and this rocket is showing no signs of slowing down

By the law of things what goes up must come down, but we seem to be waiting a long time for that to happen when it comes to lithium prices after Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) smashed another record with its latest spodumene auction (reports Stockhead).

Lithium_0

The latest and ninth auction of spodumene concentrate on PLS’ Battery Material Exchange platform has pulled in an outrageous US$6988/t for 5000t of 5.5% Li20 concentrate.

That is a single shipment raking in more than $52 million Aussie, the sort of haul iron ore miners would dream of raking in on one cargo.

Adjusted for the 6% benchmark grade normally used by reporters of lithium spot prices, the pull is US$7708/dmt CIF China.

What the actual?

Need a reminder of how this story has developed since the Pilgangoora miner, which delivered a record $561.8m full year profit in FY22 has gone?

The first auction over a year ago, one of the biggest price discovery events in the young history of the battery lithium market, pulled in US$1250/t for a 5.5% Li2O cargo.

Check out the progress:

1st Auction, 2nd Auction, 3rd Auction, 4th Auction, 5th Auction, 6th Auction (bidding got so frenzied PLS accepted a bid before the sale had even taken place), 7th Auction, 8th Auction.

As our intrepid Dep Ed. Reubs said in our regular chat to simply gawk at the prices lithium converters are throwing on the table to feed the growing EV industry in China, “not even the most bullish of bulls would have predicted this a couple years ago”.

Pilbara Minerals was up 1% to a record $14.94 this morning, defying a tidal wave of negative sentiment engulfing the market, with ASX mining stocks down 2.27% with the broader ASX 200 facing a 1.43% sell off.

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