Archive | Lithium

Electric Car Demand Boosts Companies Engaged With Lithium – by Jonathan Tirone (Bloomberg News – June 22, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Lithium demand is surging, boosting shares of the companies linked to mining and manufacturing the light metal used in electric-car batteries.

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech, an exchange-traded fund of the 27 biggest companies linked to the light metal, has increased 65 percent in the past 18 months, outperforming stock indexes of all the world’s most-developed economies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The acceleration in technology, including electric vehicles, could push new metals a lot higher,” said Eily Ong, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence who published a model on Wednesday probing the risk-weighted demand for metals including lithium. Continue Reading →

The white gold rush: A battle for supremacy in the lithium triangle (The Economist – June 15, 2017)

http://www.economist.com/

Three South American countries have much of the world’s lithium. They take very different approaches to exploiting it

LA PAZ, SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY AND SANTIAGO – THE Olaroz salt flat sits nearly 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) above sea level at the end of a road that snakes through the Andes mountains. The loudest sound in the featureless expanse is a mechanical one, made by untended pumps. They extract lithium-bearing brine from wells sunk deep below the salt crust and deposit it in evaporation pools.

The concentrate will be taken to a nearby plant for processing into lithium carbonate. The operation in Argentina’s Jujuy state, an Argentine-Australian-Japanese joint venture, is one of the country’s two working lithium mines. Last year it produced 11,845 tonnes of lithium carbonate, about 6% of the world’s output. This year Sales de Jujuy plans to make 17,500 tonnes.

Lithium is a coveted commodity. Lithium-ion batteries store energy that powers mobile phones, electric cars and electricity grids (when attached to wind turbines and photovoltaic cells). Continue Reading →

Demand, not supply, is the great unknown for lithium and cobalt – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – June 15, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

The number of electric vehicles on roads worldwide rose to a record high of 2 million last year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). That represented a doubling from the 2015 tally but electric cars still only accounted for 0.2 percent of the global count.

How many will there be in five years’ time? Or in 10 years’ time? The answer to that question will determine the fortunes of multiple metals over the coming years.

Battery materials such as lithium and cobalt are already bubbling as supply chains which have historically evolved to meet niche applications adapt to the much bigger demands of the green technology revolution. Continue Reading →

The open veins of Bolivia’s lithium powering the world – by Bostjan Videmsek (Sydney Morning Herald – June 11, 2017)

http://www.smh.com.au/

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia: Late in the morning the colours are at their prettiest, at their most intense. As far as the eye can see, the luminous white of the world’s greatest salt flats blends with the tender blue of the clear skies above the alpine desert of the Bolivian Andes.

The charismatic silence, very good at relieving the burden of one’s thoughts, is occasionally broken by the whistle of a mild though decidedly chilly breeze. The surrounding hills, some of them straining up 5000 metres, are sharply reflected in the thin film of rainwater not yet evaporated into the atmosphere. On a clear day and from afar, Salar de Uyuni looks like a colossal mirage. From up close, it looks nothing less than a miracle. But it may not remain that way for long.

Along the salt lake’s southern rim, industrial machines roar. Hundreds of heavy trucks are coming and going over the salty crust, wheezing like exhausted beasts, some 40 years old. Diesel fumes permeate the crisp mountain air. In their wake, the trucks leave perfect brown lines in the virginal whiteness, making the lake’s scores of square kilometres look like a giant bowl of cafe latte. Continue Reading →

Electric car demand sparks lithium supply fears – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – June 8, 2017)

https://www.ft.com/

The cost of extracting vital battery material is likely to create a ‘supercycle’ and drive up prices

A year ago, Tesla Motors founder and chief executive Elon Musk quipped that lithium was only the “salt on the salad” for the batteries that are vital to the US company’s electric cars.

Fast forward 12 months and concern is growing among analysts, and some other carmakers, that the supply of what Mr Musk dismissed as mere “salt” will not be able to keep pace with demand as the expansion of electric vehicles begins to erode the world’s century-long reliance on oil.

“There’s a pivot,” says John Kanellitsas, vice-chairman of Lithium Americas, a miner that is developing a lithium project in Argentina. “There’s much more consensus on demand; we’re no longer even debating demand. We’re shifting to supply and whether, as an industry, we can deliver.” Continue Reading →

Miners eye Europe’s largest lithium deposit in Czech Republic – by Robert Muller (Reuters U.S. – June 7, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

CINOVEC, CZECH REPUBLIC – Mining for lithium could start in the Czech Republic in two years, exploiting Europe’s largest resource of the metal that is used in batteries for electric vehicles and home power storage.

The deposits lie around Cinovec, a village with a tradition of mining since the 14th century and situated near the border with Germany, the industrial powerhouse at the heart of Europe’s bid to build electric cars and develop battery technology.

The resource, a term used for a deposit whose extent has yet to be proven by exploration, could amount to 1.3 million tonnes, or about 3 percent of the global lithium stock, according to the Czech Geological Survey. Continue Reading →

Cost of Elon Musk’s Dream Much Higher Than He and Others Imagine – by Brian Rogers (Real Clear Energy – June 08, 2017)

http://www.realclearenergy.org/

Brian Rogers is the Executive Director of America Rising Squared (AR2) a conservative-based policy organization.

With Elon Musk protesting President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord by quitting a White House advisory council, and the new Model 3 rolling off the assembly line this summer, Tesla fans must be tempted to feel pretty good about themselves these days.

After all, the company’s stock price is hitting all-time highs as thousands join a two-year wait-list not only to drive Tesla’s latest vehicle, but to do something good for the planet!

But Tesla has a dirty little secret with big implications for its future. It’s what Greenpeace International co-founder Rex Weyler calls “The Tesla dream,” the false idea that Mr. Musk’s electric vehicles (EVs) are a true game-changing “clean energy” solution to global climate change. Continue Reading →

Johnson Matthey approves of Nemaska Lithium’s first shipment – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – May 6, 2017)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Project developer Nemaska Lithium has received the first C$2-million tranche of a C$3-million milestone payment for delivering the first shipment of lithium hydroxide to offtake partner Johnson Matthey Battery Materials (JMBM), the company said Friday.

Quebec City-based Nemaska now expects to receive the final C$1-million payment by JMBM once Nemaska delivers a second shipment of lithium hydroxide that meets JMBM’s final criteria.

Nemaska expects to send the final samples once the lithium hydroxide solution is processed through the crystalliser, which has been received at the Phase 1 plant and is being commissioned. Continue Reading →

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 →