ASX symbol CMC

China Magnesium Corporation Limited

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Lithium Overview

The element Lithium is not found in it's native state due to it's reactive nature. Rather it is found as LiCl in brines and as various compounds in minerals such as spodumene, lepidolite and petalite, which occur in pegmatites, formed from the cooling of granitic magma. These minerals are spread in low concentration throughout the world with relatively few potentially commercial deposits. 

Australia, however, has significant hard rock Li reserves and is the leading world producer, sourced primarily from the Greenbushes area in Western Australia. Talison Lithium Inc is the world's largest primary lithium producer and also the world's largest producer of lithium from rock mining operations. The operation has been producing lithium and tantalite concentrates for over 25 years. CMC's tenements neighbour the Talison tenement and are considered highly prospective for Lithium.

Lithium concentrates produced from hard rock mining are further refined and the resultant LiCO3 and Li metal are used in high temperature grease manufacture and to produce fluxes used in the glass and ceramics industries, though the major and rapidly increasing use, is in battery production.

The recent rapid increase in demand for lithium has been driven by the growth, and predicted further growth, of the lithium-ion battery industry. The present common usage is in small appliances, such as portable power tools, laptop computers and mobile phones, though there is massive potential for growth in the automotive industry.

Due to lithium's high energy density, lithium-ion batteries can carry a much larger charge while possessing a lower self-discharge rate, allowing for higher power usage with longer periods between recharging of the batteries. They are quick to recharge, light and can tolerate a very high number of discharge-recharge cycles. They also exhibit minimal memory effect and can therefore be recharged from a partially discharged state without any significant deleterious consequences.

The potential mining and processing of Lithium presents a great opportunity for CMC.