Why did ASX 200 lithium share Sayona dive 13% in February?

A cartoon drawing of a battery with arms, legs and a sad face slumping foraward and looking despondent.A cartoon drawing of a battery with arms, legs and a sad face slumping foraward and looking despondent.

The Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX: SYA) share price has had a rough trot so far this month despite plenty of seemingly good news from the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) lithium hopeful.

After ending January trading at 26 cents, the stock is trading at 22.7 cents with less than four hours left of trading for the month. That marks a 12.7% tumble over the course of February so far.

For comparison, the ASX 200 has dumped around 3% so far this month.

At the same time, many of Sayona’s fellow lithium up-and-comers have also struggled. Here’s how some other lithium favourites have performed during February:

  • The Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) share price has fallen 20%
  • Lake Resources NL (ASX: LKE) shares have tumbled 26%
  • Stock in Liontown Resources Ltd (ASX: LTR) has dumped 15%

So, what’s been going on with the Sayona share price lately? Let’s take a look.

It’s been a rough month so far for Sayona shares

The market has technically digested two price-sensitive announcements from the ASX 200 lithium share this month.

The first dropped after the market closed on 31 January. That was Sayona’s report for the quarter ended 31 December.

Perhaps most exciting was news the company had processed 400 tonnes of spodumene ore as part of the commissioning of its North American Lithium (NAL) operation’s concentrator. It also kicked off a pre-feasibility study looking at the potential to produce lithium carbonate at the operation.

Sayona provided another update on NAL’s restart a few weeks later, sending its share price tumbling 2%. Then, it stated the operation was on budget and on track to restart in March, with concentrator restart and construction progress at 96%.

In a non-price sensitive update released yesterday, the company revealed it’s now restarted process operations and is just days away from producing saleable lithium at NAL.

The next step after the restart will be its maiden spodumene shipment – tipped to occur in July. It expects to send off four shipments in the first half of financial year 2024.

But such progress hasn’t deterred short sellers. As of the most recent data, a record 10.68% of Sayona’s shares are being shorted – up from 8.84% at the end of last month.

That might be due to concerns surrounding lithium prices, with some market experts tipping the value of the battery-making material will tumble in coming years.

The post Why did ASX 200 lithium share Sayona dive 13% in February? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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