Argentina and Chile

Lithium Q3 results roundup: Livent, Albemarle

Bnamericas Published: Friday, November 04, 2022
Lithium Q3 results roundup: Livent, Albemarle

US lithium producer Livent, which extracts lithium brine in the Salar del Hombre Muerto in Argentina’s Catamarca province, reported US$232mn in third quarter revenues, up 124% year-on-year. 

"Published lithium prices moved higher in the third quarter amid continued favorable market conditions. Livent achieved higher realized prices and delivered increased volumes to customers," said CEO Paul Graves.

Livent also said it is on track with the planned capacity expansion projects for its Fenix plant in Argentina. The first stage will add 10,000t of lithium carbonate and is expected to go into production by 1Q23, with a second stage of another 10,000t set to enter production by 4Q23. 

The project’s capex is US$450mn and it will double lithium carbonate production compared to 2021 output. 

With an investment of between US$500mn and US$700mn, the second expansion project is slated to go into production by the end of 2025 to add 30,000t. The miner is also evaluating a third expansion that would add 30,000t by 2028-29. 

Current capacity is 20.000t, which serves as the feedstock for Livent’s downstream lithium hydroxide production. In addition, the company produces 9.000t of lithium chloride.


US specialty chemicals manufacturing firm Albemarle, which operates two production sites in Chile as part of its international lithium operations, reported a 152% net sales increase for the third quarter to US$2.10bn. 

"We had an outstanding quarter driven by strong demand for lithium-ion batteries," said Albemarle CEO Kent Masters.

In a statement the company said it was reaffirming its full-year 2022 outlook: “Adjusted Ebitda is expected to grow 500-550% year over year. Average realized pricing growth is expected to be 225-250% year over year resulting from previously renegotiated contracts and increased market pricing.”

Albemarle expects output to grow in the range of 20-30% this year, which will be driven by an expansion at the La Negra III/IV conversion plant in Chile, which will allow it to reach production of 85,000t of battery-grade lithium carbonate. 

Full nameplate capacity at La Negra requires completion of the Salar Yield Improvement Project, which will allow the company to boost production without increasing brine pumping rates through the use of technologies to improve recovery, efficiency and sustainability. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

Albemarle Chile also operates the Salar de Atacama plant, located in the desert of the same name.

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