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GreenTech Metals charges 347 per cent as lithium run continues

Updated: Apr 17

Lithium was again the catalyst for some big numbers on the ASX boards last week. Credit: File

Lithium has been the recent red rag to many an ASX bull – and the metal does not appear to be losing its lustre.

GreenTech Metals is the latest to charge, roaring 347 per cent after discovering lithium rock chips at its Ruth Well project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The company’s exploration hit the bullseye when assays returned lithium grades of up to 1.65 per cent and confirmed multiple lithium-bearing pegmatites.

The news sent its share price to an all-time high of 47 cents after starting last week at just 10.5c.

So what is behind the latest lithium surge?

The metal hit a 19-month low in April, but has since been on a steep climb, adding 37 per cent to its price this month. And while the reasons behind lithium’s long-term boom have been well-ventilated, there are several recent factors underlying the latest growth.

Data out of China saw electric vehicle (EV) sales jump 60 per cent year-on-year at the end of last month – figures helped by a 110 per cent surge in sales in April. Remarkably, it represented a nearly one-third of the market share and suddenly left critics who had been predicting dire sales at the start of the year, a little on the quiet side.

With Australian investment bank Macquarie predicting global lithium demand to grow 76 per cent to 1.57 million metric tonnes between 2022 and 2025, there is little doubt why it is still attracting plenty of attention … and from some of the heaviest of hitters.

Last week, Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting unveiled the terms of a joint venture (JV) earn-in deal that will see it join forces with Indian miner NMDC to look for lithium and other critical minerals in WA’s Central Yilgarn.

Under the pact, Hancock will fork out up to $26 million to earn a 51 per cent stake in a new exploration JV at Mt Bevan, which sits 250km north of Kalgoorlie, from Hawthorn Resources and the NMDC-backed Legacy Iron Ore. The stock of both Hawthorn and Legacy leapt as much as 31 per cent when they resurfaced from trading halts.

But their gains were left in the shade by GreenTech, which caught fire and roared to its all-time ASX high. After listing in January last year, the company has forged two main focuses in the Pilbara – its Whundo copper-zinc project and its Ruth Well nickel copper project which caused all the recent excitement.

With the rock chips lighting up the boards, the company now plans to fast-track an RC drilling program to truly find out how big the tiger is that it has by the tail.

Among other ASX fliers last week, Golden Mile Resources set a new benchmark for nickel grades at the company’s Quicksilver project near Lake Grace in WA, with an impressive 49m going 1.74 per cent nickel, containing a spectacular 28m at 2.34 per cent nickel. Its share price took off to 6.5 cents after closing out last week at about 2c.

The hit had management looking at earlier-than-expected cash flows from directly shipping its high-grade ore while it builds a beneficiation plant.

Azure Minerals, backed by uber-prospector Mark Creasy, managed to add $200 million to its market cap after landing a massive 105m running 1.26 per cent lithium from 256m. The company’s latest diamond drilling campaign also included a half-metre going 5.02 per cent, which in keeping with last week’s record-breaking theme was its highest individual lithium assay to date.

So good were the results, that neighbour Errawarra Resources put a release out merely reminding people who it was, what it was doing and where it was it doing it. That was enough for the market to send its share price from 8.7c to 21c, a price rise of more than 141 per cent.

Sometimes it pays to have good neighbours.

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