Livent said it has struggled to attract key specialists to its expansion project in rural northern Argentina and faced trouble importing needed replacement parts, among other issues. That’s pushed the opening of the expansion to next year from a previous estimate of 2023.
The expansion is expected to boost production by 20,000 metric tons annually. The Argentina site is Livent’s only active lithium mine, although it is developing projects in Quebec.
Despite recent concerns about slowing EV adoption, Livent said it continues to see strong demand for the battery metal.
“We see (lithium) supply continuing to be the constraint on demand,” Livent CEO Paul Graves told investors on a conference call on Tuesday.
The company posted third-quarter net income of $87.4 million, or 42 cents per share, compared to $77.6 million, or 37 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.
Excluding restructuring charges and other one-time items, Livent earned 44 cents per share. Analysts had expected earnings of 46 cents per share on the same basis, according to IBES data from LSEG.
Livent cut its 2023 revenue forecast to a range of $890 million to $940 million, from a previous forecast of between $1.03 billion to $1.13 billion.
Livent said its merger with rival Allkem is on track to close by the end of the year. The combined company will be called Arcadium Lithium.
(By Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Hogue)