Between April and October last year the share price of Tawana Resources more than doubled, soaring from about 77c to 174c. But this went almost unnoticed, largely because the company had had little notable exploration success in the 12 years it has been listed on the JSE. Almost 10 years ago JSE-and ASX-listed Tawana’s shares dropped below 100c and kept falling. They were close to a record low of 4c when the company had a 20-for-one share consolidation last April. Then, in July, it acquired its first lithium project in Western Australia and the shares skyrocketed. They were at 141c last week. The company’s share volumes on the JSE are small, averaging about 10,000/day. They are far greater on ASX, at between 1m and 8m/day. Lithium is extracted from a rock called spodumene or from lithium chloride salts in brine. Its greatest potential lies in the use in electric vehicle batteries. It is not a scarce mineral, but generally occurs in very low concentrations. Tesla, the electric car co...

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