Why did the Core Lithium share price shine brighter than the ASX 200 in May?

The lithium company marked a milestone in May.

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Key points

  • Core Lithium shares rose 7% in May
  • Lithium prices jumped higher during the month
  • Core Lithium also delivered positive news on its Finniss Project in the Northern Territory 

The Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) share price stormed ahead of the benchmark index during May.

Core Lithium shares traded for 98 cents apiece at market close on 28 April and finished at $1.05 on 31 May — a jump of 7%.

In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) slipped 2.98% over the same time frame.

Let's take a look at what impacted the Core Lithium share price in the month of May.

What happened?

Core Lithium was not the only ASX 200 lithium share to rise in May. Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) shares gained 4% during the month, while the Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) share price soared 21%. Lake Resources N.L. (ASX: LKE) shares surged 26% higher.

Lithium carbonate prices boomed 67.6% from 177,500 CNY/T (US$25.05K) to 297,500 CNY/T (US$41.99K) in the month of May, Trading Economics data shows.

Certainly, momentum in the lithium and electric vehicle (EV) sector, lithium prices, and company updates can impact ASX 200 lithium shares, including Core Lithium.

On 11 May, Core Lithium announced loading of its first cargo of spodumene concentrate was taking place at the Darwin Port.

Secondly, the company advised the Northern Territory government had granted mining authorisation for the company's BP33 underground project.

Core Lithium shares soared nearly 9% on 11 May alone.

Then, on 19 May, Core Lithium revealed its board had approved funding for early works at the BP33 underground mine.

The company is planning to spend $45 to $50 million on early works at the BP33 site. A final investment decision is planned by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Commenting on this news, Core Lithium CEO Gareth Manderson said:

We are pleased to announce this positive, incremental investment decision that allows initial works to be undertaken while the feasibility study is completed for BP33, our potential next mine at the Finniss Lithium Operation.

Looking ahead, the team at Macquarie has an outperform rating and a $1.30 price target on Core Lithium shares. This implies a 20% upside on the latest share price.

Share price snapshot

The Core Lithium share price has slid 10% in the last year but has risen almost 6% in the year to date.

This ASX 200 lithium share has a market capitalisation of more than $2 billion based on the latest share price.

Motley Fool contributor Monica O'Shea 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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