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Australian lithium miners in pole position as price nears sweet spot

Haul trucks at Talison Lithium's Greenbushes mine in Western Australia (Courtesy of Talison Lithium)

SYDNEY -- Australia lithium miners are in prime position to benefit from a price surge for the soft light metal this year, as industrial users in China, Japan and South Korea rush to shore up their supply chains for vital materials to make electric vehicle batteries, home energy storage systems and consumer electronic devices such as smartphones.

Benchmark "battery grade" lithium carbonate that was selling for $5,000 to $6,000 a metric ton nine months ago reached $8,500 in June, and Australian producers expect prices to reach as high as $10,000 later this year.

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