Archive | Lithium

Nemaska announces potential massive equity investment to save lithium project in Quebec – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 23, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

London-based Pallinghurst Group, betting on ‘an electric vehicle revolution,’ has proposed a deal that could make it Nemaska’s largest shareholder

After months of funding uncertainty, Nemaska Lithium Inc. on Friday announced a tentative agreement to secure as much as $600 million to build its proposed hard rock lithium mine and electrochemical plant in Quebec.

The project, which could create a new supply of the lithium needed for batteries in electric vehicles, has drawn international attention from battery makers and investments from Japan’s Softbank Group Corp. and from Investissement Quebec.

But cost overruns and shifting evaluations about lithium demand have combined to push Nemaska’s stock price down more than 80 per cent from its peak less than two years ago. Continue Reading →

Alberta’s oilpatch may help fill global lithium shortage – by Danielle Smith (Edmonton Journal – July 12, 2019)

https://edmontonjournal.com/

Earlier this year, Tesla executives warned that the world may soon be facing a critical shortage of minerals and metals needed to build batteries, in particular nickel, copper and lithium.

Cobalt is also going to be a growing problem not only because of scarcity, but because it seems the only place it can be mined in great abundance is through the help of child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If the great transition to renewables is to take place, the world needs to find and develop more and better sources of these key battery components. When it comes to lithium, Alberta oilfields may hold the answer. Continue Reading →

Britain’s Cornish Lithium turns to crowd funding – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) – Cornish Lithium, a battery minerals firm set up by a former City analyst, on Friday became the first British miner to launch a crowd funding campaign as it seeks play a role in securing strategic mineral supplies.

Britain’s mining industry is regarded by many as a thing of the past but a handful of companies are trying to revive it, particularly for the extraction of battery minerals, after government backing for a greener economy and less polluting transport.

Jeremy Wrathall, a mining engineer who graduated from the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, southwest England, and became an analyst for Investec bank, set up Cornish Lithium in 2016 to use digital technology to reassess Cornwall’s mineral wealth. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Boom-and-bust lithium market needs a pricing rethink – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – June 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) – Albemarle Corp., the world’s largest lithium producer, is not impressed by the London Metal Exchange’s (LME) plans to launch a lithium contract.

“An exchange contract tends to support a commodity market, and that’s not what we believe this (lithium market) is,” David Ryan, the company’s head of corporate strategy and investor relations, told an industry conference in Chile earlier this month.

The conference was hosted by Fastmarkets, which has been chosen by the LME to provide the reference price for the new contract, but Albemarle won’t be contributing, for now at least. It and other established producers believe that lithium is a specialty chemicals market and should be priced on a contract-by-contract basis. Continue Reading →

France’s Eramet gives go-ahead to lithium project in Argentina (Reuters U.S. – June 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) – Eramet has approved the development of a lithium mine in Argentina as the French group pursues a shift towards minerals used to power electric vehicles to meet burgeoning demand.

The miner expects to invest 525 million euros ($597 million) in the Centenario deposit with the aim of producing 24,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year in a first phase that could start at the end of 2021, it said on Monday.

The estimates were in line with previous guidance given by the company earlier this year. A final investment decision would be made at the earliest in the fourth quarter of this year once financing has been obtained, it said in a statement. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Enormous lithium waste dump plan shows how shamefully backward we are – by Emma Young (Sydney Morning Herald – June 24, 2019)

https://www.smh.com.au/

We are all – well, all of us who are privileged enough – existing on a spectrum somewhere between “concerned” and “downright panicking” about human impact on the environment.

We look forward to the day our economy transitions to 100 per cent renewable energy, the sun and wind power our homes and lithium batteries store this energy to be used when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. But here’s the rub: the lithium used to make these batteries must be torn from underground, just like oil, gas and coal.

Western Australia holds some of the world’s richest known lithium deposits and now has an emerging industry to process that lithium here, not just ship it to China as previously done. It’s part of a plan to make us more than just the world’s quarry; a bigger player in an industry promising big money, and bring jobs and industry to the South West. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-United States aims to reshape the critical minerals world – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – June 19, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

China’s growing control of metals at the heart of the electric
transport revolution such as lithium and cobalt represents a
second front in the looming raw materials war.

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – The United States has laid out its strategy to rebuild collapsed domestic supply chains for metals and minerals deemed “critical” to its defence and manufacturing sectors.

“A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals”, released earlier this month by the Department of Commerce, includes 61 recommendations, ranging from revamping mine permitting rules to stimulating recycling activities to forging alliances with “friendly” suppliers such as Canada and Australia.

This is very much work in progress. It’s only last year that the United States decided on what exactly constitutes a “critical” mineral. But added urgency has come from China’s veiled threats to use its dominance of rare earths production as a weapon in the broader trade stand-off with the Trump Administration. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Trump Administration Announces Strategy to Strengthen America’s Economy, Defense (U.S. Department of the Interior – June 4, 2019)

For the full report: https://bit.ly/2MMmLcC

Interior to Support Critical Minerals Strategy through Faster Permitting, Better Information, Nationwide Examination of Minerals Potential

WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump Administration released, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals,” to make America’s economy and defense more secure. The strategy directs the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to locate domestic supplies of those minerals, ensure access to information necessary for the study and production of minerals, and expedite permitting for minerals projects.

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, today’s federal strategy lays out a blueprint for America to once again be a leader in the critical minerals sector,” said Secretary David Bernhardt.

“As with our energy security, the Trump Administration is dedicated to ensuring that we are never held hostage to foreign powers for the natural resources critical to our national security and economic growth. The Department will work expeditiously to implement the President’s strategy from streamlining the permitting process to locating domestic supplies of minerals.” Continue Reading →

Pot takes the spotlight away from lithium and threatens the EV boom (Bloomberg/Mining Weekly.com – June 13, 2019)

https://m.miningweekly.com/

SANTIAGO – Lithium miners are seeing investor interest go up in smoke. The flow of capital into the cannabis industry is draining investments into lithium producers that supply the raw mineral key to power the electric-vehicle revolution.

Mining companies and analysts at the Lithium Supply and Markets Conference in Santiago this week said they couldn’t help but notice the half-empty rooms at the sessions – and the lack of investors and fund managers among attendants.

The picture was remarkably different from last year’s event, when prices for the mineral used in rechargeable batteries were at historic highs. This year prices have fallen 17%. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay: Mining conference to expand knowledge of new method of mineral exploration – by Jeff Walters (CBC News Thunder Bay – June 12, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/

Technique now possible due to improvements in lithium batteries which power monitoring equipment

Improvements in lithium batteries are one of the major reasons a new mineral exploration method could soon take off in northwestern Ontario.

Lakehead University will host PACIFIC (passive seismic techniques for envoirnmentally-friendly and cost-efficient mineral exploration), an international group of universities, government agencies and private companies which want to develop new exploration tools.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find mines,” said John McBride, a project geologist with Stillwater Canada, one of the companies involved in the project. Continue Reading →

Saving the Planet With Electric Cars Means Strangling This Desert – by Laura MIllan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – June 11, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Mining lithium and copper to supply the battery boom and fight climate change is wrecking a fragile ecosystem in Chile.

The oases that once interrupted the dusty slopes of the Atacama desert in northern Chile allowed humans and animals to survive for thousands of years in the world’s driest climate. That was before the mining started.

Sara Plaza, 67 years old, can still remember guiding her family’s sheep along an ancient Inca trail running between wells and pastures. Today she is watching an engine pump fresh water from beneath the mostly dry Tilopozo meadow. “Now mining companies are taking the water,” she says, pointing to dead grass around stone ruins that once provided a nighttime refuge for shepherds.

“No one comes here anymore, because there’s not enough grass for the animals,” Plaza says. “But when I was a kid, there was so much water you could mistake this whole area for the sea.” Continue Reading →

The booming battery market brings significant opportunities to mineral-rich Finland – by Harry Sandström (World Finance – June 5, 2019)

https://www.worldfinance.com/

Harry Sandström, Programme Director at Geological Survey of Finland.

The forecasted increase of electric vehicles (EVs) is huge: according to the International Energy Agency, there will be around 125 million EVs on the road globally by 2030.

The battery market is surging in parallel, with the raw materials market set to join it. However, until circulation technology is developed further and totally new battery technologies appear, there is sure to be a shortage of primary raw materials, such as cobalt.

In Europe, Norway is racing ahead in terms of EVs, but China will soon become the frontrunner on a global level. Even so, other markets are making progress of their own. Finland may only be a small economy, but it has notable strengths in the development of battery technology, particularly in terms of raw materials, chemicals, control systems and industry machinery. Continue Reading →

World’s big lithium miners want on the battery bandwagon – by David Stringer and Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg/Financial Post – June 4, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

The race by Tesla Inc., Samsung SDI Co. and other technology giants to secure supplies of lithium — a key ingredient in batteries for electric vehicles and smartphones — is creating a unique chance for two global mining superpowers to reap more value from their natural resources.

Australia and Chile are looking to lithium to help them escape a cycle that for decades has had the two nations digging out minerals such as iron ore and copper, only to see them refined and turned into valuable products abroad.

Almost three-quarters of the world’s lithium raw materials come from mines in Australia or briny lakes in Chile, giving them leverage with customers scrambling to tie up supplies. The mining nations hope to have refining and manufacturing plants that could help kick start domestic technology industries. Continue Reading →

Chile, once the world’s lithium leader, loses ground to rivals – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters India – May 30, 2019)

https://in.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – As automakers race to a clean-energy future, Chile looked to be in the catbird seat. The South American nation possesses the world’s largest reserves of lithium, a lightweight metal crucial to manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles. Chile’s lithium is high quality and cheap to produce.

But the nation’s output has barely budged in recent years. Chile’s two lone producers, SQM and Albemarle Corp, have struggled to boost production to capitalize on strong global demand, which is widely expected to triple by 2025.

Chile’s government, meanwhile, has been slow to allow new players to enter the market. And indigenous groups and activists are opposing new projects, worried about environmental impacts. The upshot: Chile is losing ground to competitors. Continue Reading →

Australia, US should form battery mineral alliance, says lithium chief – by Jacob Greber (Australian Financial Review – May 22, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Washington | Australia and the US may need to jettison free-market orthodoxy and develop a strategic alliance to guarantee supply of the raw materials essential to the new era of battery-based electrification.

James Calaway, chairman of Australian-listed lithium developer Ioneer, said there was an “unusual amount” of interest within the US and Australian governments over the vulnerabilities of critical supply chains for battery technology.

“I don’t think we need to get into protectionism, but we can talk about what do we need to do to encourage domestic investment in value-added materials and development,” Mr Calaway, who is based in Houston, Texas, said in an interview. “That shouldn’t be off the table.” Continue Reading →