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A Miner Problem, $2 Billion in Negative Working Capital [Chart]

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A Miner Problem, $2 Billion in Negative Working Capital [Chart]

A Miner Problem, $2 Billion in Negative Working Capital

The Chart of the Week is a weekly feature in Visual Capitalist on Fridays.

In a lengthy bear market for mining stocks, there have been repeated calls by pundits for the culling of hundreds of companies that have been unable to raise new money or generate shareholder value. This piece of the capitulation process, some say, is what is needed to put confidence back in the market so that the bull cycle can start again.

Tony Simon, President of Seguro Consulting, has put together a report that has rather concerning findings for those interested in the venture markets. The chief finding in his report is that there are 589 companies (roughly 40%) that should no longer be listed as they do not meet the continuous listing requirements required by the exchanges.

As per Policy 2.5 in TSX-V document:

Working Capital or Financial Resources of the greater of (i) $50,000 and (ii) an amount required in order to maintain operations and cover general and administrative expenses for a period of 6 months.

However, these nearly 600 companies still remain listed, which helps generate fees for a variety of service providers including legal companies, auditors, and listing fees for the exchange themselves.

For more reading on this subject, there have been several articles written by both The National Post and CEO.ca.

Extras: The full worksheet of 589 companies and Tony’s 44 comments

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Batteries

Ranked: The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

Three countries account for almost 90% of the lithium produced in the world.

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Voronoi graphic showing the top lithium producers in 2023.

The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—accounted for 88% of lithium production in 2023.

In this graphic, we list the world’s leading countries in terms of lithium production. These figures come from the latest USGS publication on lithium statistics (published Jan 2024).

Australia Leads, China Approaches Chile

Australia, the world’s leading producer, extracts lithium directly from hard-rock mines, specifically from the mineral spodumene.

The country saw a big jump in output over the last decade. In 2013, Australia produced 13,000 metric tons of lithium, compared to 86,000 metric tons in 2023.

RankCountryLithium production 2023E (metric tons)
1🇦🇺 Australia86,000
2🇨🇱 Chile44,000
3🇨🇳 China33,000
4🇦🇷 Argentina9,600
5🇧🇷 Brazil4,900
6🇨🇦 Canada3,400
7🇿🇼 Zimbabwe3,400
8🇵🇹 Portugal380
🌍 World Total184,680

Chile is second in rank but with more modest growth. Chilean production rose from 13,500 tonnes in 2013 to 44,000 metric tons in 2023. Contrary to Australia, the South American country extracts lithium from brine.

China, which also produces lithium from brine, has been approaching Chile over the years. The country increased its domestic production from 4,000 metric tons in 2013 to 33,000 last year.

Chinese companies have also increased their ownership shares in lithium producers around the globe; three Chinese companies are also among the top lithium mining companies. The biggest, Tianqi Lithium, has a significant stake in Greenbushes, the world’s biggest hard-rock lithium mine in Australia.

Argentina, the fourth country on our list, more than tripled its production over the last decade and has received investments from other countries to increase its output.

With all the top producers increasing output to cover the demand from the clean energy industry, especially for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the lithium market has seen a surplus recently, which caused prices to collapse by more than 80% from a late-2022 record high.

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