Argentina-focused Livent (NYSE:LTHM) posted earnings of US$69.5 million in 2021 and has set its guidance for 2022 in the US$160 million to US$200 million range on improved pricing.
Livent also said it is on track to deliver a previously announced capacity expansion and outlined another expansion program to be completed by 2025. Following this second expansion, Livent’s Argentina operations will have a total annual lithium carbonate capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes (MT), as well as 9,000 MT of lithium chloride capacity.
Shares of the top lithium miner were up more than 7 percent last Friday (February 18) compared to the company’s closing price on Thursday (February 17), which was before Livent’s results were released.
Prices for lithium have been rallying since last year, hitting all-time highs and leading companies to make investment decisions for many expansions and new projects.
“Lithium demand growth was strong throughout 2021 and has continued to grow in 2022,” Livent President and CEO Paul Graves said. “Published lithium prices in all forms rose to record setting levels in January, and we continue to realize significantly higher prices across our entire portfolio.”
Within the next year, Livent will add capacity of 5,000 MT of lithium hydroxide in Bessemer City; additionally, 10,000 MT of lithium carbonate capacity will be added in Argentina in both 2022 and 2023.
“We continue to make substantial progress on all of our expansion projects,” Graves said. “Our customers are extremely focused on securing reliable lithium volumes needed for their own growth plans, and we will continue to invest in increasing our capacity to support them.”
The US company operates its lithium business in the Salar del Hombre Muerto in Argentina, where it has been extracting lithium for more than 20 years. The lithium carbonate produced serves as the feedstock for Livent’s downstream lithium hydroxide production. Livent is also currently producing qualified battery-grade lithium hydroxide in both the US and China.
Livent’s share price is up more than 12 percent year-on-year, with many other US, Canadian and Australian lithium stocks seeing their own gains.
As of 12:00 p.m. EST last Thursday, shares of Livent were trading at US$22.67.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.