The world’s largest lithium producing countries – by Parth Charan (Money Control – September 23, 2021)

https://www.moneycontrol.com/

With the rising tide of battery electric vehicles making a splash all across the world, the most coveted natural resource needed to power our vehicles is no longer petrol but a mineral called ‘lithium’. While it’s debatable whether lithium is the most important element found in a lithium-ion battery, its extensive mining across certain global hotspots has come under heavy criticism.

The very process of mining lithium is not only energy-intensive and polluting, it may also be linked with destabilising the ecosystem nearby due to extensive saltwater depletion from the edge of the ‘salars’ through which lithium is extracted.

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The Energy Future Needs Cleaner Batteries – by Drake Bennett (Bloomberg News – September 23, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Late in August, at a precisely specified point in the low Arctic, a geologist named Dave Freedman stood in a raw wind and a limitless expanse of tundra and began to thwack with a sledgehammer at a rock outcrop jutting up from the soil.

Freedman, 29, works for a company called KoBold Metals, and the process that had brought him to this pair of GPS coordinates in Quebec’s far north was complex. But the rock had had its own journey.

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Sleepy lithium market stirs to life as electric vehicle industry charges up – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 21, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

Less than a week after Vancouver-based Millennial Lithium Corp. asked shareholders to vote on a proposed all-cash buyout by China’s Ganfeng Lithium Corp., a second buyer has emerged and bid 6.1 per cent higher, offering $377 million in cash.

Millennial did not disclose the second buyer’s identity, but a source told the Financial Post it is Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, or CATL, as Bloomberg News reported.

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Australian lithium explorer secures ground in northwestern Ontario – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 15, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Ardiden sells controlling stake in three lithium projects to Green Technology Metals

A new Australian lithium exploration company wants to tap into the global clean energy movement, starting in northwestern Ontario.

Shareholders for Ardiden, a gold exploration company operating in the Pickle Lake area, have agreed to sell up to 80 per cent ownership of its lithium projects in the region to Green Technology Metals, formerly known as Great Northern Lithium Pty.

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Global passenger EV registrations more than double in a year – report – by Editor (Mining.com – September 16, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

New registrations of global passenger electric vehicles (EVs) surged by 109% year-on-year during the first six months of 2021, Adamas Intelligence has found in a new report.

In its report entitled ‘State of Charge: EVs, Batteries and Battery Materials’, Adamas analysts found 4.16 million new units were registered versus 1.99 million units in the first half of 2020.

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A Tesla Co-Founder Aims To Build an Entire U.S. Battery Industry – by Tom Randall (Bloomberg News – September 14, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Redwood Materials Inc., the battery recycling company created by Tesla Inc. co-founder J.B. Straubel, has been keeping a big secret: It isn’t really a recycling company.

Sure, Redwood has risen quickly to become the biggest lithium-ion battery recycler in the U.S.. But Straubel didn’t leave Tesla in 2019 just to clean out America’s junk drawers. His broader goal, described to Bloomberg for the first time, is to move a huge chunk of the battery-component industry from Asia to the U.S.

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Federal election promises for zero-emission vehicles have a catch – by Matt Simmons (The Narwhal – September 14, 2021)

The Narwhal

As the federal election looms, leaders of all political stripes are promising to increase the zero-emission transportation sector through incentives and investments as a key tool to tackle the climate crisis. But there’s a catch.

Positioning Canada as a leader in electrifying the transportation sector also means increasing mineral extraction to fuel that growth. Batteries that propel electric vehicles are powered by minerals like lithium, cobalt, graphite and nickel.

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Could Sucking Up the Seafloor Solve Battery Shortage? The Metals Company wants to try, but opposition is fierce – by Prachi Patel (IEEE Spectrum – September 13, 2021)

https://spectrum.ieee.org/

Reeling from a crushing shortage of semiconductor chips for vehicles, carmakers also face another looming crisis: producing enough batteries to drive the global pivot towards electric vehicles.

The supply of metals like cobalt, copper, lithium, and nickel needed for batteries is already shaky, and soaring demand for the hundreds of millions of batteries in the coming decades is likely to trigger shortage and high prices.

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Serbs Protest Against Lithium Mining, Other Eco Problems – by Darko Vojinovic (U.S. News/Associated Press – September 11, 2021)

https://www.usnews.com/

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Several thousand people protested in Serbia on Saturday demanding a ban on planned lithium mining in the Balkan country as well as a resolution to scores of other environmental issues that made the region one of the most polluted in Europe.

The rally in downtown Belgrade was organized by about 30 ecological groups who recently gained popularity in Serbia amid widespread disillusionment with mainstream politicians and amid major pollution problems facing the region.

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The ‘infrastructure deal’ America must make with itself – by Ivan Sascha Sheehan (The Hill – August 27, 2021)

https://thehill.com/

As part of President Biden’s ambitious plan for the U.S. to effectively address climate change, for the country to transition to net-zero emissions by 2050 there has been a whole-of-government push to incorporate more and more renewable generation into the national grid.

In addition, newly-released details of the bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal “opens the gateway,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) contended in his review, to a near-term reconciliation package that will “accomplish much more on climate.”

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Miners race for nickel as electric car revolution looms – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – September 12, 2021)

https://www.ft.com/

Western groups compete for assets to secure supplies of key battery metal

In remote northern Ontario, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest railway or paved road, the world’s largest mining group and an Australian metals tycoon are in a bidding war for a deposit containing millions of tonnes of nickel.

The battle between BHP and Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals for the asset’s owner Noront Resources comes as miners race to meet surging demand for battery metals as electric vehicles go mainstream.

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Chile indigenous group asks regulators to suspend lithium miner SQM’s permits – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters – September 13, 2021)

https://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Indigenous communities living around Chile’s Atacama salt flat have asked authorities to suspend lithium miner SQM’s operating permits or sharply reduce its operations until it submits an environmental compliance plan acceptable to regulators, according to a filing viewed by Reuters.

Chile’s SMA environmental regulator in 2016 charged SQM with overdrawing lithium-rich brine from the Salar de Atacama salt flat, prompting the company to develop a $25 million plan to bring its operations back into compliance. Authorities approved that plan in 2019 but reversed their decision in 2020, leaving the company to start again from scratch on a potentially tougher plan.

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Industrial Metals Charge to Fresh Highs as Inflation Runs Hot (Bloomberg News – September 9, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — A broad rally in base metals markets is gathering pace, with tight supply, logistical logjams and booming demand creating an inflationary storm that’s driving prices to multiyear highs.

Aluminum notched a fresh 13-year high and nickel rose to the highest since 2014 in London. Both metals are benefiting from China’s crackdown on emissions from energy-intensive industries, while their role in the green revolution is buoying the longer-term outlook.

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Portugal: War over lithium behind the mountains – by Jochen Faget (DW.com – September 8, 2021)

https://www.dw.com/en/

Birds are chirping, and the corn stands tall ready to be harvested. A cow is grazing at the roadside while a shepherd is accompanying his sheep on their way to the pasture. There’s no cloud in sight, only endless forests and huge letters reading “HELP,” mown into flat broom shrubs and visible from a distance.

This idyllic landscape near the village of Covas do Barroso is in danger of having to make way for open-cast lithium mining, ironically in the name of environment protection. The mine would extract a crucial raw material for the batteries of electric cars and thus contribute to reducing global CO2 emissions and Europe’s dependence on lithium imports.

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Column: Shanghai squeeze revitalises flagging nickel market – by Andy Home (Reuters – September 9, 2021)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Nickel is making a comeback. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel hit a seven-year high of $20,225 per tonne on Thursday morning and has a new-found spring in its step after collapsing in February.

That is when Chinese steel group Tsingshan announced its Indonesian nickel operations would supply matte – a form of the metal used only for stainless steel production – to battery makers. That undercut a collective bet that only refined nickel would be sufficiently high grade for the electric vehicle sector.

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