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A Great Week for Lithium & Battery Metals Players

It was a positive week for lithium – bearish sentiment appeared to be bottoming out and futures prices jumped Thursday and Friday

Stocks in various lithium companies lifted, as the demand story started to boomerang back after a year of malaise – dragged down by lower spot lithium carbonate prices after an explosive 2021/22.

Meanwhile, consolidation and acquisitions continue in the sector, with Western Australian billionaire oligarchs playing a high-stakes, lithium land grab game there.

Perth-based Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting (pictured below) are both busy buying up smaller lithium players in their part of the world.

Ellison this week splashed piles of cash on Pantoro Limited’s (ASX:PNR) Norseman gold project there. His team buying up battery metals rights in the region. He also pumped millions into another lithium player, Wildcat Resources (ASX: WC8).

Meanwhile, Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, is looking to consolidate control of lithium players Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) and Azure Minerals (ASX: AZR), after spending US$1.5 Billion acquiring strategic stakes and blocking takeover offers by US firms.

This is in addition to her existing lithium holdings, which include European-focused Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL). After the recent moves, Forbes Magzine now refers to Rinehart as the ‘Lithium Queen’.

The boom for lithium in Western Australia is hitting historic proportions.

Wesfarmers, a major Australian industrial known mostly for its consumer retail brands, also did a deal with gold miner Ora Banda, for rights to lithium tenements in the gold fields region near Kalgoorlie.

In the lithium arena, the biggest winners this week were shareholders of prospective lithium stock TG Metals Limited.

Shares on the ASX:TG6 are up nearly 400% since the end of October after positive drilling results were announced to the market.

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