Why did the Core Lithium share price crash 90% in FY 2024

Core Lithium shares were in a sharp downtrend throughout FY 2024. But why?

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The Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) share price came under intense selling pressure in the financial year just past.

Shares in the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) lithium stock closed out FY 2023 trading for 90 cents. On 28 June, the last day of FY 2024, shares closed the day at 9.3 cents apiece.

That put the Core Lithium share price down a painful 89.7% over the financial year.

Here's why the ASX lithium miner just finished off a year to forget.

What happened to the Core Lithium share price in FY 2024?

Most of the pressure heaped onto the Core Lithium share price came from an ongoing slide in global lithium prices.

With lithium supplies ramping up faster than demand growth over the year, the lithium carbonate price ended FY 2024 at around US$11,000 a tonne. That's well down from the 2022 all-time highs. And it's less than a third of the US$32,000 a tonne that lithium prices averaged in 2023.

While there were a few sizeable moves higher for the Core Lithium share price over the 12 months, the trend was sharply lower, as you can see in the chart above.

The 2024 calendar year started poorly.

On 5 January, the miner announced it was suspending mining operations at its flagship Finniss Project in the Northern Territory in early January. With lithium prices crashing, management said it was unprofitable to continue mining.

While continuing to process its established ore stockpiles, Core Lithium indicated it was unlikely to resume operations at Finniss until lithium prices have recovered.

The company's half-year results, released after market close on 12 March, also left much to be desired.

For the first six months of FY 2024, Core reported revenue of $135 million and a loss after tax of $167 million. The company also announced that CEO Gareth Manderson was leaving the top job.

The Core Lithium share price crumbled by 30% over the five trading days following the half-year announcement.

And the miner's 3Q FY 2024 results, released on 29 April, did little to placate shareholders.

While Core continued to process ore stockpiles, quarterly spodumene concentrate production declined by 14% from the prior quarter.

Commenting on those results at the time, interim CEO Doug Warden acknowledged that, "Following the decision to cease mining in January 2024, it has been a challenging quarter for Core employees, contractors and shareholders."

As for FY 2025, the Core Lithium share price closed the first trading week of the new financial year flat at 9.1 cents.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben 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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