A day after IGO (ASX:IGO) revealed a production cutback at the massive Greenbushes lithium mine in southwest WA and introduced a revised pricing structure to lower the effective selling price, one of its mine partners, the US giant Albemarle, reportedly laid off over 300 employees worldwide.
The IGO announcement stated that the new pricing mechanism would provide a 5% price discount for higher-volume orders by customers, including Albemarle and China’s Tianqi.
The reductions at Greenbushes and other mines, as well as mining suspensions at companies like Core Lithium, have followed a decline in lithium prices from over $US80,000 per tonne in November 2022 to $US13,200 per tonne last week, according to figures from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Albemarle’s job cuts are a continuation of the earlier announcement this month that it was reducing investment spending by up to $US500 million and seeking to trim nearly $US100 million from its operating costs.
Projects in the US have been deferred or suspended, and cost-cutting measures have also been initiated in operations in Australia, China, and Chile.
According to Monday’s report, Albemarle’s job cuts impacted its legal, mergers and acquisitions, marketing, materials sciences, research and development, and recycling teams.
The company’s share price increased by 2.8% on Wall Street on Monday, reflecting a modest positive response to the news.
Albemarle is scheduled to release its 2023 results on February 14.