Materials

Bulletin produces market-ready lithium concentrate from WA Ravensthorpe project

Fri 26 Aug 22, 2:37pm (AEDT)
Conceptual illustration using futuristic motifs representing a collection of batteries
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Bulletin states it can produce marketable spodumene from lithium pegmatites at Ravensthorpe using conventional downstream assets
  • The price of spodumene continues to climb even as Goldman Sachs had predicted the battery metals bull run to begin receding
  • Biden’s recently passed climate spending bill provides huge funding for the US EV industry, partially responsible for consistent bullish sentiment

Bulletin Resources (ASX:BNR) has this week reported successful results from its testwork on pegmatites from the company’s Ravensthorpe Lithium Project, stating its ability to produce saleable spodumene lithium concentrate.

The company’s share price has risen 3.57% heading towards mid-afternoon trade.  

Bulletin reports its production of concentrates grading above 6% lithium with a recovery of over 75% lithium using standard downstream techniques. 

The company will work alongside metallurgical firm BHM in conducting further testwork on its Ravensthorpe product, citing ‘excellent’ first stage results. 

It’s worth noting Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) most recent spodumene auctions hit record prices, even as banks and market intelligence players expect the battery metals bull run to recede starting in 2023. 

Part of a sustained rally into Q4 of 2022 has to do with Biden’s recently passed climate spending package, which contains significant funding for battery metals players in the US, designed to foster demand for EVs. 

High grades and low impurity

The project is located 12km southwest of Allkem Limited’s (ASX:AKE) Mt. Cattlin lithium mine in a region where iron counts are similarly low. 

Advisors BHM reported the following based on Bulletin’s testwork results:

  • Bulletin samples reflect high grade lithium of a coarse grain 

  • Iron content was below the 1.5% cut-off required by buyers (but fines will require further processing as iron content is elevated)

  • Tested composites yielded grades in excess of industry requirements 

  • Standard separation downstream refining was able to produce high grade concentrate 

  • Post-processing improvements to grade were above fourfold multiplications 

Key pillar: Management 

“This testwork is a key pillar in developing our Ravensthorpe project…results have given us high confidence pegmatites will produce a high-grade marketable product using a conventional plant,” Bulletin Resources Chairman Paul Poli said. 

“This gives us the opportunity of having several options for a path forward, should drilling be successful.” 

“We are diligently working through the drilling approvals process.”

In short: promising early signs for the company’s future as it targets lithium producer status, but, whether or not it can scale up production to a high-impact play depends on the results of ongoing drill tests. 

The company finished the June quarter with $7.2m in cash and spent $1.2m over the period. 

Earlier this month, the company received its first gold royalty from the WA Geko gold mine, worth $128,745. 

Since receiving royalty payments in 2019, Bulletin has to date made $2.56m off the revenue stream. Whether this will be enough to uphold exploration at Ravensthorpe before shaking the tin will remain to be seen. 

A look at the company's six month charts show a relatively quiet year since April. If Bulletin is successful in replicating today's results, could lithium production boost shareholder sentiment?
A look at the company's six month charts show a relatively quiet year since April.

 

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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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