The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has once again opened higher this Friday, initially rising 0.27% to 7,435 points.
It then declined during mid-morning trade to 7,408 points at the time of writing, down 0.13% on yesterday’s close.
One ASX 200 share isn’t opening at all today. That would be the Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price.
Pilbara shares are currently sitting at $1.77 a share. And that’s where they’ll be staying, at least for the moment.
That’s because, on 27 July, Pilbara requested a trading halt for its shares and has been off the market ever since.
Why the trading halt?
Well, in a rather embarrassing episode for Pilbara, the company was forced to request a trading halt earlier in the week due to an administrative error. Specifically, a failure to put out a cleansing notice to the ASX within 5 days of a share issuance.
Initially, Pilbara stated that its shares would return to trading by yesterday. That didn’t occur.
Pilbara has subsequently announced that its shares will only resume trading after the outcome of its court application is released this afternoon.
Pilbara is applying to the Supreme Court of Western Australia for an extension of time to lodge the cleansing notice and to backdate it to the original date of the share issuance.
However, some other developments have also come to light.
Lithium selling like hot cakes
Firstly, Pilbara released its fourth-quarter update to investors on Wednesday. And it painted a pretty picture.
Pilbara reported record production and sales of lithium spodumene concentrate. It also predicted that lithium prices would continue to rise thanks to demand from China and tight supplies.
However, we got even more news from Pilbara yesterday. This relates to the company’s “inaugural spodumene auction”. This was held through its Battery Material Exchange (BMX) yesterday afternoon.
This auction was for a cargo of 10,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate. Reportedly, 17 bidders showing “strong interest” participated in this auction.
Pilbara ended up accepting the highest bid of US$1,250/dmt for the cargo. If all goes well with the successful bidder’s sales contract, the cargo is expected to be shipped “in the latter part of August”.
Pilbara concluded by stating that “results to date in the online auction process are very supportive of Pilbara Minerals’ objective to access a broad range of buyers via the new BMX sales channel”.
About the Pilbara Minerals share price
The Pilbara Minerals share price has been one of the ASX 200’s best performers in 2021 so far. The company is up an impressive 103.45% year to date and an even better 420% (no joke) over the past 12 months.
At Pilbara’s current share price, the company has a market capitalisation of $5.13 billion.