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CleanTech Lithium: rare sustainable lithium miner goes live on LSE

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CleanTech Lithium [LSE:CTL] makes its debut on the London Stock Exchange this morning. The lithium project developer is focused on two projects in Chile with near-term production potential. The listing comes in the wake of a successful placing of 18.6m ordinary shares, which managed to raise £5.6m.

The company will have a total of 79m shares on issue following admission, which brings CleanTech Lithium’s market cap in London to £23.7m based on the placing price of £0.30. Take up of the private placement has been reported as excellent, with several large fund managers taking positions ahead of the listing.

Rare and viable lithium project

CleanTech Lithium has been covered in detail already by The Armchair Trader, but in summary, it represents one of only a tiny number of viable new lithium projects, in this case looking at coming fully online in the second half of 2024. It enjoys the added advantage of a close to zero emissions production process which would make it very attractive to EU buyers of lithium.

“These assets offer a rare opportunity for investors to gain exposure to lithium projects, located within the heart of the lithium triangle, in South America,” explained CleanTech Lithium CEO Aldo Boitano. “The projects offer near-term potential to produce battery grade lithium, which is a core component of batteries needed for the rapidly growing electric vehicle market.”

The company has a pair of excellent cards to play in terms of its green credentials. It draws on direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology to minimise the environmental impact of the sites. It can also draw on the abundant renewable energy resources which already exist on hand in Chile. Mr Boitano himself is also a recognised authority on the solar industry in Chile and has played a key role in bringing over 800MW of solar power online in the country.

CleanTech Lithium is making rapid progress

CleanTech Lithium is making rapid progress, with a string of hires planned in Chile in the near future. Over 2000 litres of brine have been sent to Argentina for analysis, enough to generate a kilo of lithium. Boitano told The Armchair Trader the company was operating on a tight schedule, as the conflict in Ukraine has placed renewed emphasis on renewable sources of energy and demand for CleanTech Lithium’s product is expected to be high.

CleanTech Lithium is already running two parallel drilling programs, one at its 67 square km Laguna Verde project, and the other at the 110 square km Francisco Basin project. Laguna Verde has a JORC compliant resource estimate of 1.2m tonnes of lithium starting from the surface. Both projects are located 300km by road from the mining centre of Copiapo in Chile’s Atacama region.

The DLE technology that CleanTech Lithium is considered a game changer in that it makes it more cost-effective to draw on semi-mature salars. This also returns water to its source rather than depleting vital aquifers.

Two lithium projects in Chile

CleanTech Lithium is currently working on drill programmes that will facilitate upgraded resource estimates, as well as laboratory scale and pilot plant DLE test work. The pilot plant will be able to produce 10 tonnes per month of battery grade lithium. Key permitting and feasibility studies are also being carried out.

The company’s listing comes at a time when lithium prices continue to rise. Lithium prices are soaring as demand from the automotive sector picks up. Lithium prices have quadrupled in value in the last 12 months. Industry analysts concur that inventory levels of lithium remain extremely low, leading to massive appetite for new, cost effective and sustainable resources.

CleanTech Lithium’s directors said they think the lithium market will continue to see a positive price trend: the long term forecast from Benchmark Minerals is for lithium at $15,000 / tonne for battery grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide from 2025 to 2040. Current spot prices are in excess of $60,000 / tonne.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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