(Yicai Global) May 10 -- Listed Chinese companies have come to regret acquiring lithium mines and have cut the asking prices for shares in related subsidiaries after the price of lithium carbonate, used to make battery cathode, plunged 70 percent from November.
Tibet Mineral Development intends to try and sell all of its equity in unit Baiyin Zabuye Lithium on the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange for the third time, cutting the offer price to CNY547 million (USD79 million) from CNY616 million, the Lhasa-based mining and metals firm said on May 8. It initially sought CNY684 million.
Zhite New Materials, a lithium miner backed by power battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology, won the exploration rights to a lithium mine in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region with a bid of CNY6.1 billion (USD880 million) in February. Zhite’s offer for Washixia South Lithium Mining Zone was nearly 400 times the starting price of CNY15.8 million (USD2.3 million).
On April 23, the region’s natural resources department said Zhite had not signed the exploration rights transfer deal as agreed. According to relevant laws, the firm will be prohibited from participating in exploration rights transactions in China for three years. TBEA, which makes transformers, indirectly holds a stake in TBEA Loulan New Energy, which owns 35 percent of Zhite.
Low lithium salt prices have led to losses for some companies in the industry that bought ores externally, according to China Securities. The continued drop in prices or the reduced production of lithium salt has led to delays in bringing onstream some high-cost mines, it added while noting that the price decline has likely ended.
Battery-grade lithium carbonate prices rose CNY6,500 (USD938) to an average of CNY212,500 a ton yesterday, and the cost of industry-grade lithium carbonate jumped CNY8,000 to an average of CNY183,000 a ton, data from Shanghai Ganglian E-commerce Holdings showed on the same day.
Editor: Martin Kadiev