Archive | Lithium

Cornish Lithium project secures 1 million pounds for exploration – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – August 14, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – British mining company Cornish Lithium has secured 1 million pounds ($1.30 million) to explore for lithium in Cornwall, southwest England, its CEO said, taking the country a step closer to a domestic source of the strategic mineral.

Lithium plays an essential role in electric car batteries, and is produced by evaporation in Latin America, which has been considered the cheapest source. But new technology to extract lithium from brine is helping to make other options more viable.

In January, Cornish Lithium said it had reached a mineral rights agreement with Canada’s Strongbow Exploration. It then said it needed around 5 million pounds to develop its project 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 →

Environmentalism: A Slippery Slope of Ignorance and Hypocrisy – by Saurabh Malkar (Modern Diplomacy – August 13, 2017)

http://moderndiplomacy.eu/

Perusing through my morning news digest, I came across an article from The Daily Mail featuring a story on the employment of child labor in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

While I can be chillingly apathetic to social plight, especially, when it doesn’t concern my loved ones: something I impute to my upbringing in a third world country; I was deeply moved by this story, which shed light on the horrors of artisanal cobalt mining, employing children, working in dangerous conditions, with no safety measures, and being paid a pittance. The kicker, though, of this story was that much of this cobalt would go into battery packs that would be installed in electric cars marketed to gullible, do-gooders around the world.

But, why would one want to buy cars that take hours to refuel and can only be refueled at specific points, thus, imposing a massive time cost on their usage? These contraptions don’t match in utility to gasoline-powered cars, let alone surpassing them. No wonder governments around the world are trying to get consumers to buy electric cars through purchase subsidies and tax exemptions of all sorts. Continue Reading →

Major Miners’ Battle to Get Into Batteries Steps Up a Notch – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – August 11, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The world’s biggest miners’ determination to muscle into the burgeoning battery market stepped up a notch with Rio Tinto Group reporting breakthroughs in cracking the technology needed to unlock its giant lithium project in Serbia that could meet 10 percent of global demand.

Tests at a research facility in a converted shipping container in Australia have successfully produced lithium products from samples from the Jadar deposit, the company said Friday. It’s aiming to bring the mine in Serbia into production as soon as 2023 to tap soaring demand for the metal used in batteries for electric vehicles and power storage.

“There has been, through the phases, a number of breakthrough steps,” Simon Trott, Rio’s salt, uranium and borates division managing director, told reporters at the facility in Melbourne. “The key is that we’re producing lithium carbonate that’s to a specification that we are very confident” will meet customer requirements, he said. Continue Reading →

Lithium processors prepare to meet demand in era of electric car – by Pratima Desai and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.K. – August 7, 2017)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Producers of processed lithium – an essential element for batteries used in electric cars – are agreeing long-term contracts with their customers to fund the investments needed to address a looming shortfall.

Demand for battery-grade lithium compounds is expected to skyrocket in the next decades in tandem with soaring demand for electric cars as governments and individual consumers try to reduce their carbon footprint.

Although there’s plenty of lithium around, the problem is ensuring there is enough capacity to process it. Battery makers and other end-users such as car manufacturers will need to sign multi-year deals that encourage large producers to invest more, and faster, industry sources say. Some of that is already happening. Continue Reading →

Electric Car Boom Drives Rush to Mining’s $90 Billion Hub – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – August 7, 2017)

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A scramble by the lithium market’s biggest players to tie up supply of the high-tech metal is gathering pace in the 170-year-old heartland of Australia’s $90 billion mining industry.

Rising Chinese demand for lithium-ion batteries needed for electric vehicles and energy storage is driving significant price gains and an asset boom in Australia, already the world’s largest lithium producer. The fast-developing hub is drawing investment and deals from global producers as well as chemical-to-battery manufacturers in China, the top consumer.

Western Australia has four operations in production and three more major projects being advanced to begin output. Major players are likely to continue to scope for deals in the state to secure supply for the next 20 or 30 years, according to consultant Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Continue Reading →

Electric-Car Revolution Shakes Up the Biggest Metals Markets – by Mark Burton and Eddie Van Der Walt (Bloomberg News – August 2, 2017)

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The revolution in electric vehicles set to upturn industries from energy to infrastructure is also creating winners and losers within the world’s biggest metals markets.

While some of the largest diversified miners like Glencore Plc argue fossil fuels such as coal and oil still play a crucial role supplying energy needs, they’ll also benefit the most from a move to electric cars, requiring more cobalt, lithium, copper, aluminum and nickel.

The outlook for greener transportation got a boost this year as the U.K. joined France and Norway in saying it would ban fossil-fuel car sales in coming decades. That’s as Volvo AB announced plans to abandon the combustion engine and Tesla Inc. unveiled its latest, cheaper Model 3. Such vehicles will outsell their petroleum-driven equivalents within two decades, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. Continue Reading →

Carmakers’ electric dreams depend on supplies of rare minerals – by Karl West (The Guardian – July 29, 2017)

https://www.theguardian.com/

With mining of cobalt and other elements politically and ethically charged, the hunt for alternatives is on

Britain last week joined France in pledging to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 in an attempt to cut toxic vehicle emissions. The move to battery-powered vehicles has been a long time coming.

Environmental campaigners claim that charging cars and vans from the grid, like a laptop, is sure to be cleaner than petrol or diesel power. The government agrees and says it will invest more than £800m in driverless and clean technology, and a further £246m in battery technology research.

BMW plans to build a fully electric version of the Mini at Cowley in Oxford from 2019. Volvo announced earlier this month that from the same year, all its new models will have an electric motor. Continue Reading →

PRESS RELEASE: Clean Energy Transition Will Increase Demand for Minerals, says new World Bank report (The World Bank – July 18, 2017)

For the report: http://bit.ly/2uFGrnD

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2017 – A new report released today by the World Bank highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals.

Using wind, solar, and energy storage batteries as key examples of low-carbon or “green” energy technologies, the report, “The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future” examines the types of minerals and metals that will likely increase in demand as the world works towards commitments to keep the global average temperature rise at or below 2°C.

According to the report, minerals and metals expected to see heightened demand include: aluminum, copper, lead, lithium, manganese, nickel, silver, steel, and zinc and rare earth minerals such as indium, molybdenum, and neodymium. The most significant example is electric storage batteries, where the rise in relevant metals: aluminum, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium, manganese, and nickel—grow in demand from a relatively modest level under 4°C to more than 1000 percent under 2°C. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto moves big Jadar lithium and boron deposit in Serbia to the front burner – by Matt Chambers (The Australian – July 25, 2017)

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

Rio Tinto has upgraded the status of the big Jadar lithium and boron deposit in Serbia to that of its most likely growth project, revealing that if it gets approvals and the economics support it, it will start construction in 2020 and reach first production in 2023.

The announcement, made in Serbia on Monday night, makes Jadar (a potential top-three global lithium producer) the only unapproved medium-term growth project in Rio’s portfolio.

The supply it could bring to the market may be a concern for Australian lithium producers and hopefuls, whose shares have been running hot lately on expected growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries as intermittent renewable power and electric cars take more market share. Continue Reading →

Spongy zinc battery may beat lithium-ion on safety, price, recycling – by James Dunn (North Bay Business Journal – July 24, 2017)

http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/

If nearly 500,000 deposits of $1,000 each on the new Tesla Model 3 indicate bridled demand, the electric cars have a sure future. Tesla plans to start delivery of the $35,000 vehicles on July 28, when it will release the first 30. Palo Alto-based Tesla aims to crank out about three cars a day in August, boost output to 1,500 in September and build to a rate of 20,000 a month by the end of 2017.

Tesla electric cars rely on lithium-ion batteries. The company is building a gargantuan battery factory in Nevada — some 5.8 million square feet — slated for completion in 2020. The enormous production capacity could drive down battery costs by about 30 percent, Tesla said, from batteries now produced by Panasonic in Japan.

But a Marin-based aerospace engineer sees problems with lithium-ion technology: potential for explosions as occurred in Samsung phones in 2016; high cost; and poor recyclability. He suggests zinc, the metal used to stop corrosion in galvanized steel, as an alternative. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Lithium supply pipeline is filling but will it be enough? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – July 19, 2017)

http://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) – The electric vehicle revolution is gathering momentum. Barely a week goes by without a fresh, starting revelation, whether it be Sweden’s Volvo promising to phase out traditional internal combustion engines from 2019 or France aiming to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040.

And, of course, leading the electric charge is the poster child of the green technology revolution, Tesla, which is gearing up to roll out its Model 3, the long-awaited break-out from niche to mass market.

The ambition is to be producing 20,000 per month by the end of the year. Whether reality matches such lofty goals remains to be seen. Tesla delivered around 47,000 vehicles in the first half of the year, at the lower end of its own forecasts, due to a “severe shortfall” of battery packs. Continue Reading →

Bolivia’s Evo Morales plans lithium mining offensive – by Srinivas Mazumdaru (Deutsche Welle – July 17, 2017)

http://www.dw.com/en/

The Bolivian government aims to pump massive investments to expand the country’s production of lithium, a metal needed for the batteries that power everything from smartphones and laptops to hybrid and electric cars.

In a future battery-powered world, lithium may replace oil and emerge as one of the most important commodities on earth. That prospect is driving Bolivia, which is considered to have the largest reserves of the metal, to keep lithium under strict state control.

Bolivian President Evo Morales sees a prosperous future for his currently impoverished South American nation, pinning his hopes on the rapid rise in the global price of this valuable resource. “We will develop a huge lithium industry, over $800 million have already been made available,” Morales told the German DPA news agency. Continue Reading →

Tesla wades into Australia’s battle over energy future – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – July 10, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA – There is a lot more riding on Tesla Inc’s deal to install the world’s largest grid-scale electric battery in Australia than whether Elon Musk can meet his bold commitment to finish within the 100-day deadline.

Under an agreement made public on July 7, Tesla must deliver the 100 megawatt (MW) battery within 100 days of the contract being signed, or the government of South Australia state won’t have to pay the electric car, clean energy and space exploration company.

On the surface, this is a deal aimed at providing back-up electricity to South Australia, a state that has been plagued by blackouts since it closed coal-fired power plants and moved to being powered mainly by renewables such as wind, and to a grid connection to neighboring Victoria state. Continue Reading →

Tesla to build titanic battery facility – by Dennis Normile (Science Magazine – July 7, 2017)

http://www.sciencemag.org/

Tesla announced today that it will build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery system to store electricity in Australia. The 100-megawatt installation—more than three times as powerful as the biggest existing battery system—will be paired with the Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, operated by the French renewable energy company Neoen, in a deal with the state of South Australia. The Tesla battery should smooth out the variability inherent in sustainable power generation schemes.

“Cost-effective storage of electrical energy is the only problem holding us back from getting all of our power from wind and solar,” says Ian Lowe, an energy policy specialist at Griffith University in Nathan, Australia, near Brisbane.

The Tesla system, he says, will “demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale storage.” It might also win over skeptics who doubt that renewables can match the dependability of conventional fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, says Geoffrey James, a renewable energy engineer at University of Technology Sydney. Continue Reading →

Tipping Points and Tesla’s battery dilemma – by Alf Stewart (Resource World Magazine – July 6, 2017)

 

http://resourceworld.com/

Tony Seba’s excellent You Tube video, Clean Disruption – Why Energy & Transportation will be obsolete by 2030 – (Oslo, March 2016), covers the concept of tipping points and expands on the concept of our society being on the cusp of a revolution in energy and transportation.

It explains that new developments in solar panels, lithium ion batteries, electric cars and autonomous driving are simultaneously converging to create a shift away from oil and towards electricity to power self-driving cars, charged on smart grids, using power from solar renewable energy. Resource World readers, however, are mostly interested in any new opportunities in resource stocks stimulated by this shift.

At the centre of this are Elon Musk and his revolutionary Tesla cars, Powerwall batteries, and solar panels. Musk has disrupted the automobile industry by launching electric cars with performance characteristics so good that they broke Consumer Reports reporting scale for cars by scoring a perfect 100. Continue Reading →