1772.HK 002460.SHE

The latest: Lithium miner Ganfeng Lithium Group Co. Ltd. (1772.HK; 002460.SZ) announced Monday that its Cauchari-Olaroz salt lake project in Argentina has produced its first batch of lithium carbonate products.

Looking up: The company expects the project’s ramp-up will gradually yield battery-grade lithium products, providing an important new revenue source.

Take Note: Ganfeng controls the salt lake project and currently plans to produce 40,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) per year in its first phase. But there are still some uncertainties about the timing of the ramp-up.

Digging Deeper: Ganfeng is a large lithium producer with mines in Argentina, Australia and China. Strong demand from electric vehicle and power storage battery makers and surging lithium prices helped to boost its revenue and net profit by 275% and 292%, respectively, last year. However, the global lithium industry got off to a rough start in 2023, as lithium prices fell sharply from historic highs. The company’s revenue grew 76% year-over-year to 9.44 billion yuan ($1.32 billion) in the first quarter, but its net profit dropped 32% to 2.4 billion yuan due to a 230% increase in operating costs.

Market Reaction: Ganfeng’s shares fluctuated slightly in Tuesday trade. It’s Shenzhen-listed A-shares rose 0.2% to 63.22 yuan by the midday break, while its Hong Kong-listed shares closed unchanged at HK$53.75. The stock now trades near the lower end of its 52-week range.

Translation by Jony Ho

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