Archive | Lithium

Curious Case of Billion-Dollar Lithium Mine Sold for a Song – by Benjamin Robertson and Kanga Kong (Bloomberg News – April 13, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

High in the Andes, in northwest Argentina, stories are told of fortunes being made in lithium, the wonder metal inside iPhones to Teslas that has captivated global investors from Warren Buffett down. This is not one of those stories.

It begins in the lithium-rich salt pans of Argentina’s Salta Province and stretches all the way to South Korea and Hong Kong, leaving a trail of lawsuits and unhappy investors. The drama reinforces a timeless lesson about sinking money into natural resources: Chasing the latest rush, whether in lithium, uranium or oil, is a high-risk game.

Just five years ago, investors were told that lithium mining company Lithea Inc. soon might be worth $1.4 billion. But last month, after various legal wrangles, a Hong Kong court ordered the assets of a businessman behind Lithea to be frozen as investigators chased him over unpaid debts. Continue Reading →

A graphite pro reviews recent battery event and the conflict mineral challenge – by Nicolas Tremblay (InvestorIntel.com – April 12, 2017

https://investorintel.com/

The Battery Conference in Fort Lauderdale that I recently attended from March 20-23rd is an annual event where the top battery scientists, industry executives, forecasters and enthusiasts gather to hear about the latest developments and the current state of research. On my part, I care about:

  • The worldwide state of lithium-ion market penetration and its forecasted growth;
  • How many EVs were produced in the last year and the forecasted trends for next year and beyond;
  • Getting a feel for the progress of lithium-ion in the field of ESS’s connected to the grid;
  • Looking for a battery breakthrough that has a chance of making it to production in the coming years;

There are dozens of presentations, several of which run concurrently. For anyone interested in an understanding of the current market penetration of lithium-ion needs to attend Avicenne Energy’s presentation for a talk on the market penetration of lithium-ion batteries. Here are the main things to know: Continue Reading →

InvestorIntel’s 6th Annual Cleantech & Technology Metals Summit Corporate Line-up Unveiled

https://investorintel.com

Early Bird Deadline for CTMS Delegates for “The Next Big Thing” April 22, 2017

On behalf of the team of InvestorIntel, a leading online source of independent investor information, we are pleased to announce the corporate presentation line-up for the 6th Annual Cleantech & Technology Metals Summit (CTMS2017.com | @CTMS2017).

Featuring 24 of the most impressive market movers in the cleantech and technology metals sector, CTMS is scheduled for Monday, May 15th and Tuesday, May 16th at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Canada and promises to reveal through InvestorIntel’s EU Editor, Christopher Ecclestone – the next big thing.

InvestorIntel Corp. CEO Tracy Weslosky commented: “We are delighted to announce the CTMS corporate presentation line-up as follows, organized by market cap: CTMS2017 Corporate Presentation List (market cap): Lynas Corp. (ASX: LYC | OTC: LYSDY), Nemaska Lithium Inc. (OTCQX: NMKEF), Largo Resources Ltd. (TSX: LGO | OTCQB: LGORF), Neometals Ltd. (ASX: NMT), Alkane Resources Corp. (ASX: ALK | OTCQX: ANLKY), eCobalt Solutions Inc. (TSX: ECS | … Continue Reading →

COLUMN-If you thought lithium was exciting, try cobalt – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – April 10, 2017)

http://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, April 10, 2017 – Lithium was the super-hot metals story of 2016. A spectacular price rally propelled lithium out of the metallic shadows onto the global investment stage. This year it is the turn of cobalt.

The price of cobalt traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) has exploded from $33,000 per tonne to $55,000 since the start of January. This time last year, the price was bombed out at multi-year lows below $25,000 per tonne.

As with lithium, cobalt’s story is all about batteries and the green technology revolution. The lithium-cobalt battery is already standard in many electronic applications and both metals are expected to see usage accelerate thanks to the rapidly evolving electric vehicle and grid storage sectors. Continue Reading →

Afghanistan Tries to Win Trump Support With Lithium (Voice of America – April 6, 2017)

https://www.voanews.com/

Associated Press – KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — The Afghan government is trying to grab the attention of President Donald Trump and gain greater U.S. support by dangling its massive and untouched wealth of minerals, including lithium, the silvery metal used in mobile phone and computer batteries that is considered essential to modern life.

But tapping into that wealth, which also includes coal, copper, rare earths and far more that estimates say could be worth from $1 trillion to $3 trillion, is likely a long way off. Security has worsened in Afghanistan in the past year, with Taliban insurgents seizing territory and inflicting increasing casualties on Afghan forces. The regions with the greatest lithium deposits, for example, are too dangerous to enter.

So far, Trump’s policy on Afghanistan remains unknown. He has said little about America’s longest-running war, beyond saying on the campaign trail that he wishes the United States were not involved in Afghanistan. Last month, the top U.S. military commander called for an increase in American forces to help bring security, a call Kabul enthusiastically backed. Continue Reading →

Company developing lithium-ion batteries that won’t explode, catch fire – by Mike Freeman (Toronto Star – April 1, 2017)

https://www.thestar.com/

SAN DIEGO—At American Lithium Energy’s headquarters outside San Diego, president and co-founder Jiang Fan opens a padlocked door to the company’s battery-testing chamber.  Here, squat machines puncture batteries with nails, crush them with a weight and pump so much voltage into them during recharging that they swell like miniature balloons.

This abuse could spark explosions or fires in typical lithium-ion batteries. Yet American Lithium’s cells don’t blow up or ignite. They’re misshapen but harmless.

The small company, which mostly supplies batteries to the U.S. military, believes it has come up with technology to improve safety in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries — the power source for a growing number of electronic gadgets ranging from cellphones to laptops to electric cars to home energy storage. Continue Reading →

The Great Nevada Lithium Rush to Fuel the New Economy – by Paul Tullis (Bloomberg News – March 29, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The race is on to get the mineral out of Clayton Valley and into your iPhones, Bolts, and Powerwalls.

John Rud has been riding the peaks and valleys of the commodities markets around North America since he left the University of Oregon 55 years ago with a master’s degree in geology. “The valleys are real broad, and the peaks are real narrow,” he likes to say. Copper in Canada. Silver in Texas. Gold in Mexico.

Iron in Arizona. Uranium in Utah. In one 18-year stretch, Rud and his wife moved 27 times. “I got to where I could load up a house in a U-Haul truck starting at 4 p.m., be done by midnight, and be on the next job by morning,” he says. “I considered that quite a talent.” (His wife was rather less impressed and eventually left him.)

Rud—pronounced like the adjective—typically shows up in an area with abundant stores of a natural element that looks set for a price spike, puts his geology skills to work finding a lode, files a claim under the General Mining Act of 1872, and waits for the phone to ring. Continue Reading →

Lithium is the latest hot metal commodity, but investor fever could be cooling – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – March 18, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Lithium, the lightest metal on earth, has become such a heavyweight in commodities markets that it is increasingly being mentioned in the same sentence as rare earths or vanadium. It’s not a compliment.

Once red hot, those commodities are just the most recent metals to experience a boom/bust cycle of quickly rising prices and a subsequent rush by miners into the space, only to end in burst bubbles.

Demand for lithium, a silvery-white metal called “the new gasoline” by Goldman Sachs, rose 26 per cent in 2016 and is predicted to climb another 39 per cent in 2018. By 2025, demand is projected to increase by 73 per cent as electric vehicles become more viable and an increasing number of countries, including China, tighten restrictions on gas- and diesel-powered cars. Continue Reading →

Argentina Eyeing Lithium Superpower Status Amid Battery Boom – by James Attwood and Jonathan Gilbert (Bloomberg News – March 6, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Argentina has some good news for Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc., and bad news for lithium producers elsewhere: the country may be about to flood the market with lithium.

After President Mauricio Macri removed currency and capital controls and taxes introduced by his predecessors, about 40 foreign companies began to consider opportunities in Argentina’s mining industry, more than half of those in lithium, according to Mining Secretary Daniel Meilan.

Industry heavyweights Albemarle Corp., Soc. Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Eramet SA and Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. are among groups looking at expanding or building new lithium operations in Argentina, as part of a $20 billion pipeline of mining projects through 2025, Meilan said Monday in an interview. China’s CITIC is also looking for opportunities, according to the government. Continue Reading →

Codelco’s lithium assets lure big sector companies: CEO – by Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.S. – March 1, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. – International and domestic companies have expressed interest in partnering with Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer, to develop its lithium assets, the Chilean state-owned company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

In a wide-ranging interview, CEO Nelson Pizarro said Codelco was sticking to a shrunken capital expenditure program to revive and expand its copper assets unveiled last year amid weak copper prices, despite a rebound in prices by nearly a third since November.

Pizarro also said he expected “more difficult” labor negotiations at Codelco’s flagship El Teniente mine early next year as workers’ demands for higher wages and benefits clashed with the company’s need to invest in its aging mines. Continue Reading →

Argentina lithium projects seek financing as production seen tripling – by Juliana Castilla (Reuters U.S. – February 8, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s lithium carbonate production will triple by 2019, and could grow by even more if companies find financing for various projects they are prepared to launch, industry executives and a government official told Reuters.

Demand for lithium – a crucial material in electric car batteries and mobile phones – is soaring worldwide, prompting miners to lock up new sources of supply. Argentina is already the world’s third largest producer, and forms part of the so-called lithium triangle with Bolivia and Chile that accounts for half the world’s reserves.

Center-right President Mauricio Macri has implemented a number of pro-market reforms in Latin America’s third-largest economy since taking office in December 2015, making Argentina a natural choice for miners looking to boost output. Continue Reading →

Battery expert Jeff Dahn wins major Canadian science prize – by Ivan Semeniuk (Globe and Mail – February 7, 2017)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

When Jeff Dahn answers the phone at work, the first thing you notice is the sound of blowing air.

“Our air conditioners run in the winter,” said Dr. Dahn, a professor of physics at Dalhousie University and a leading expert in battery technology. Working in rooms packed from floor to ceiling with testing equipment, all of which generates enormous amounts of heat, he and his team have spent years advancing the subtle science of lithium-ion batteries – the slim little power packs that have become key enablers of the smartphone era.

In recognition of his long and impressive track record in the field, Dr. Dahn has been named this year’s winner of the Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada’s most prestigious science prize. But at 60, Dr. Dahn shows little sign of powering down. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Cornish lithium dreams may die in South America’s salt lakes – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 6, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Feb 3 There’s lithium in them there Cornish hills! News that a start-up, Cornish Lithium, is going to explore for the “metal of the future” in Britain’s historic tin-mining region has been greeted with predictable national euphoria.

“Cornwall’s mining industry set for 50bn pound revolution,” proclaimed a headline in The Sun newspaper. Which may be just a little bit premature.

The company, led by Jeremy Wrathall, a graduate of Cornwall’s famous Camborne School of Mines and now a banker with Investec, is currently trying to raise 5 million pounds to start an exploration programme. Any production of lithium is at least five years away. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Strongbow’s UK partner to explore for lithium in Cornwall – by Barbara Lewis and Peter Hobson (Reuters Canada – January 19, 2017)

http://ca.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – British company Cornish Lithium said on Thursday it had reached a mineral rights agreement with Canada’s Strongbow Exploration (SBW.V: Quote) to explore for lithium in Cornwall, southwest England, stoking hopes for a British mining revival.

Cornwall historically was a mining hub for metals such as tin and copper and the British government is keen to resurrect the industry as it seeks to bolster the economy against the shock of leaving the European Union.

Cornish Lithium said new technology offered the potential to extract lithium from underground hot springs and to supply products to the rapidly growing battery market for electric cars and for power storage. Continue Reading →

Chile to invite bids on value-added lithium tech in April – by Rosalba O’Brien and Felipe Iturrieta (Reuters U.S. – January 17, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO – Chile will hold a tender in April to encourage companies to use its vast lithium resources to move it up the value chain with cathode or battery production, the head of the country’s development agency told Reuters on Tuesday.

It is pressing ahead on deals with international firms as relations remain bitter with local lithium producer SQM SQM_pb.SN, where royalties arbitration is expected to take at least another year, said Eduardo Bitran, executive vice president of Corfo, which manages Chile’s lithium leases.

The price of lithium, a rare bright spot in commodities, has rocketed in recent years and is expected to continue to rise alongside demand. Lithium plays a small but essentially irreplaceable part in powering electric car batteries. Continue Reading →