天齐锂业(002466):明确五年战略规划 全球锂业龙头持续扩张

Tianqi Lithium (002466): Clear five-year strategic plan for continued expansion of global lithium industry leaders

海通證券 ·  04/14  · Researches

A global lithium mining giant with abundant resource reserves. Greenbush, Australia: The world's largest lithium mine, with high-quality lithium resources. According to the company's 2022 semi-annual report quoting Wood Mackenzie statistics, the Greenbush mine is the world's largest lithium mining site, accounting for about 38% of the global lithium ore production market share in 2021. As of December 31, 2021, the Greenbush mine owned by the company's holding subsidiary Terlison had lithium ore and mineral reserves of 168 million tons, and the lithium oxide grade was 2.04%. According to the BDA report, as of December 31, 2021, the Greenbush spodumene mine had lithium resources of about 13.1 million tons of LCE and lithium reserves of about 8.3 million tons of LCE.

The 2022 annual report showed impressive results, and a five-year strategic plan was released. Tianqi Lithium achieved operating revenue of 40.499 billion yuan in 2022, an increase of 427.82% over the previous year; Guimu's net profit was 24.125 billion yuan, an increase of 1060.47% over the previous year. The company produced 1,349 million tons of lithium ore in 2022, an increase of 41.37% over the previous year; lithium salt production was 47,000 tons, an increase of 8.16% over the previous year. The company will steadily implement the basic lithium salt production capacity expansion plan and strive to reach the production capacity of lithium chemical products equivalent to around 300,000 tons of lithium carbonate by 2027.

Australian ESS: It is planned to acquire another Australian lithium mine, and resource reserves are expected to continue to increase. On January 8, 2023, the company's holding subsidiary TLEA signed a “Plan Implementation Agreement” with Australian listed company EssentiaMetals Limited (“ESS”) to purchase all of ESS's shares at $0.50 per share, for a total of approximately $136 million. ESS has lithium ore resources of 11.2 million tons, with a grade of 1.16%, totaling 129,900 tons of lithium oxide equivalent.

Production capacity continues to expand, and performance prospects are promising. The Greenbush mine developed by holding subsidiary Terison has a completed production capacity of 1.62 million tons/year, with a planned production capacity of more than 2.1 million tons/year. The lithium concentrate used and sold by the company comes from this mine. The main products are chemical grade lithium concentrate and technical grade lithium concentrate. The completed production capacity of the company's lithium chemical products is 68,800 tons/year. In addition, Australia's Quinana Phase II lithium hydroxide project with an annual output of 24,000 tons, the Suining Anju lithium carbonate project with an annual output of 20,000 tons, and the Chongqing Tongliang 2,000 ton lithium metal lithium project are in the construction stage. The company's medium-term plan for lithium chemical products has a total production capacity of over 110,000 tons/year.

Profit forecasting and valuation. The company is the core target of the entire lithium industry chain. It has Terison, the world's highest quality lithium mine. It controls the world's top salt lake resources through participation in SQM, etc., and is in a leading position in mining and lithium salt product costs. We expect the company's Terrison expansion project and Quinana Phase 2 project to be successfully put into operation in the next 3 years. The 2023-2025 EPS is expected to be 9.15, 9.34, and 10.23 yuan/share, respectively. Referring to the valuation level of comparable companies, 10-11 times the PE valuation in 2023 was given, corresponding to a reasonable value range of 91.50-100.65 yuan, and given a “superior market” rating.

Risk warning. Downstream demand fell short of expectations, and the global supply of lithium ore increased.

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