Why Lithium Isn’t the Big Worry for Lithium-Ion Batteries – by Jason Deign (Green Teck Media.com – June 23, 2015)

http://www.greentechmedia.com/

Why Lithium Isn’t the Big Worry for Lithium-Ion Batteries – Cobalt and nickel bottlenecks are a much bigger threat.

Lithium-ion battery production is more likely to be constrained by cobalt or nickel supplies than by lithium availability, experts believe.

Li-ion battery makers use both metals in greater quantities than lithium, which has been the subject of significant supply concerns as battery production ramps up. In fact, none of these minerals are worryingly scarce in nature.

What troubles some observers, however, is that cobalt and nickel are susceptible to greater supply-chain risks because of the countries that control the resources.

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Exotic Isle – Graphite in Sri Lanka – by Christopher Ecclestone (InvestorIntel.com – June 17, 2014)

http://investorintel.com/

Please note this is a June/2014 article.

To most mining mavens, Sri Lanka was a land of mystery, onerous state intervention and certainly not one of mining. Sri Lankan graphite deposits are some of the richest on the planet. Under British colonial rule in the early 1900s, the nation was a significant graphite producer and exporter. Independence came in the 1950s and then there was a distinct socialistic trend in governments in the following decades culminating in the nationalization of the graphite sector in 1971.

The private sector was allowed back into Sri Lanka’s graphite industry in the early 1990s, but by that time, problems with the civil war were preventing development on a large scale. Additionally many of the State owned mines had been over-exploited, allowed to deteriorate and had not been subject to meaningful exploration to find new reserves.

The opening of the mining sector in recent years presents an opportunity for foreign companies to pursue Sri Lankan graphite on a significant scale.

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Graphite to be processed at refurbished Matheson mill – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily News – January 22, 2016)

http://www.timminspress.com/

BLACK RIVER-MATHESON – Production is expected to begin this spring at a newly refurbished graphite mineral processing facility in Matheson.

Great Lakes Graphite Inc., based out of Toronto, announced this week it has received permitting approvals for a micronization facility that will take raw graphite material and process it into a more refined and more marketable industrial mineral.

Paul Ferguson, the company’s chief marketing officer, said the Great Lakes is currently in the process of refurbishing the plant located on Vimy Ridge Road, located a few kilometres southeast of the built-up area of Matheson.

He said the company has a graphite mine property, that is not yet in operation, but that the Matheson plant is just what Great Lakes was looking for.

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Lithium, graphite and potash to shine in 2016 as battery storage, electric car demand grows along with food – by Babs McHugh (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – January 13, 2016)

http://www.abc.net.au/

The price of lithium has surged on the back of growing global demand for high-tech devices, storage batteries and electric cars.

Lithium Australia recently took advantage of the positive sentiment by completing a $6.55 million share placement during one of the worst weeks in trading history.

It is a stark contrast to a major price drop in key bulk mineral commodities like coal and iron ore. Managing director Adrian Griffin says the demand for lithium will only grow, especially for lithium-ion batteries.

“I think we’re talking about a paradigm shift in the way people think about power,” Mr Griffin said.

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POSCO may build Magnis Resources’ Tanzanian graphite project – by Sonali Paul (Reuters U.S. – October 27, 2015)

http://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE – Oct 27 South Korea’s POSCO may build and help arrange financing for a graphite project in Tanzania being developed by Magnis Resources , as the Australian explorer races to start producing from the east African site by 2017.

Demand for graphite is expected to soar as it is a major ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles and wind and solar energy storage, with appetite for greener transport and energy booming.

Magnis said on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding that could see POSCO Engineering & Construction arrange debt from lenders it has ties with for the $210 million Nachu project, as well as coming up with a fixed-price bid by mid-2016 to build the mine and processing plant.

“The quality of the graphite at Nachu is the best in the world and with the huge demand in the battery market, we are excited to be involved with Magnis,” POSCO E&C mining plant business group director Peter Lim said in a statement put out by Magnis.

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The supermaterial that could launch a revolution – by Joseph Hall (Toronto Star – February 7, 2015)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Graphene, a material that can be derived from the lead in an ordinary pencil, is on the cusp of transforming everything from touchscreens to tennis rackets.

In a lab off of a shaft-like corridor below the University of Toronto’s old Lassonde Mining Building, PhD student Changhong Cao is employing some strikingly humble equipment: Scotch Tape.

Surrounded by a nuclear microscope and high-powered computers, the mechanical engineer uses the Christmas wrapping staple to peel off the top layers from a square of graphite the size of a Scrabble tile.

That’s the same sort of carbon-based graphite at the centre of every ordinary pencil you’ve ever used. Then, repeatedly folding fresh segments of the tape over the captured graphite smudge, Cao peels off more and more of the carbon layers originally deposited on the sticky surface.

The resulting material — known as graphene — is the strongest on Earth and may now be on the cusp of transforming the world.

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Glencore kicks off $2bn takeover race for Syrah Resources – by Amanda Saunders (Sydney Morning Herald – July 10, 2014)

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

Swiss commodities giant Glencore is understood to have made an informal approach to Syrah Resources that could value the graphite and vanadium junior at as much as to $2 billion.

Melbourne-based Syrah’s prized asset is the mammoth Balama graphite and vanadium deposit in northern Mozambique.

After the Fairfax Media revealed Glencore’s interest on Thursday, the company’s shares surged as much as 25 per cent before it dived into a trading halt before noon. When shares were halted, Syrah’s shares were up 19 per cent at $5.09. The shares have more than doubled in value since touching a 52-week low of $2 on July 10 last year.

Syrah responded promptly to the report and a share price query from the market operator on Thursday afternoon, saying, “From time to time Syrah receives informal,confidential and non-binding enquiries from various parties regarding Syrah’s interest in entering takeover discussions”.

“None of these enquiries have progressed to formal discussions or resulted in any indicative offers being received by Syrah.”

Sources say Ivan Glasenberg’s Glencore, one of the largest producers of primary vanadium in the world, is keen to exert control over the wider vanadium market. Pouncing on Syrah and ­secur­ing its Balama project would be an early strategic play to shut out fresh competition.

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Tesla battery plant will need 6 new flake graphite mines – by Simon Moores and Andy Miller (Industrial Minerals – March 7, 2014)

http://www.indmin.com/

$5bn ‘gigafactory’ to spark EV uptake; battery graphite demand could double in 6 years with no growth elsewhere

US automotive giant, Tesla, has revealed plans to build a new $5bn lithium-ion battery (Li-ion battery) ‘gigafactory’ which could potentially increase natural graphite demand by up to 37% by 2020.

The factory, which is forecast to start production by 2017, is expecting to have an output of 35 gWh/year by as early as 2020, which would over double the size of the current market. Its important to stress that the plant is in the planning stage and capacities depend strongly on market demand, but Tesla believes it can be the market leader by producing low cost batteries in the USA.

In IM Data’s calculations, Tesla’s plant – which is set to be based in the south-west USA – will consume at least 28,000 tonnes of spherical graphite every year if operating at capacity. This equates to 93,000 tonnes of flake graphite if produced to today’s standards which sees raw material wastage of up to 70%.

If achieved, battery demand for natural graphite will increase 112% from today’s levels of 83,000 tpa. This is assuming no other growth in regions such as Asia which is today’s primary consuming region.

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