Piedmont Lithium and Sayona Mining formalise restart plans for NAL – by Will Owen (Global Mining Review – July 4, 2022)

https://www.globalminingreview.com/

Piedmont Lithium has announced that the board of directors of Sayona Quebec Inc. (SYQ), which is owned 75% by Sayona Mining (Sayona) and 25% by Piedmont, authorised the restart of spodumene concentrate production at its North American Lithium (NAL) project located near Val-d’Or, Quebec.

The NAL restart will feature significant operational upgrades totalling approximately US$80 million aimed at improving product quality and plant utilisation. Long-lead equipment was ordered and detailed design engineering commenced in late 2021 based on our jointly planned timeline.

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Imperial Oil joins E3 on pilot project to extract lithium in Alberta – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – June 23, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Imperial Oil Ltd. has joined a pilot project to extract lithium in Alberta, lending its energy expertise in the quest to recover the critical mineral from a once-prolific oil formation.

Calgary-based Imperial said on Thursday that it is investing $6.35-million to acquire warrants in E3 Lithium Ltd., giving it a window into plans to pump what the companies hope will be lithium-rich brine from the aquifer under the sprawling Leduc formation.

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Lithium plant developer zeros in on Thunder Bay refinery site – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 29, 2022)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Avalon Advanced Materials making purchase offer on city property to start refinery construction by 2023

The developer of a much-anticipated lithium processing plant in Thunder Bay said he’s narrowed down his city-wide search to one property that fits the bill. But Don Bubar, president and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials, isn’t disclosing the specific site just yet as his company is in the process of making a purchase offer to the property owner.

Bubar delivered an update on Avalon’s Separation Rapids Project in northwestern Ontario and its refinery plans for Thunder Bay with an online presentation at the Emerging Growth Conference last week. “It’s all coming together pretty nicely,” said Bubar.

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Sayona and Piedmont approve C$98m Quebec lithium restart – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – June 28, 2022)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

Emerging lithium producer Sayona Mining has cemented plans to get its North American spodumene production off the ground in 2023, following a formal agreement of the North American Lithium (NAL) restart programme.

Sayona Quebec, which is 75% owned by Sayona and 25% by Piedmont, has formally authorised the restart of spodumene concentrate production at the NAL operation, in Quebec, requiring significant plant and infrastructure upgrades.

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Lithium Battery Valley emerges in Quebec – by Shane Lasley (Metal Tech News – March 16, 2022)

https://www.metaltechnews.com/

Becancour, a small Quebec town along the shores of the St. Lawrence River about midway between Montreal and Quebec City, is rapidly emerging as an epicenter for producing the advanced materials needed for lithium-ion batteries powering the electric vehicle revolution.

This rural Canadian town of around 12,800 people surfaced in the battery space about a year ago when Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. announced plans to build a facility there to produce the coated spherical purified graphite that goes into the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. Now, General Motors, POSCO Chemical, and BASF are setting up shop to produce cathode active materials and lithium battery recycling in this strategic Quebec locale.

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Piedmont Lithium looks abroad amid North Carolina uncertainty – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – June 22, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

June 22 (Reuters) – Piedmont Lithium Inc’s (PLL.O) first steps toward securing lithium supplies will be in Quebec or Ghana, not the United States, as an intensifying North Carolina regulatory review delays the miner’s goal of anchoring America’s electric vehicle battery renaissance.

The delay has forced Piedmont to expand its strategy beyond its proposed North Carolina mine – a project it has touted as the best way to help secure American energy independence, but one that now faces a regulatory quagmire – and fund mines abroad.

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Internal DND study calls green technology minerals 21st-century ‘oil weapon’ – by Chris Arsenault and Philippe Le Billon (CBC News Business – June 20, 2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/

Skyrocketing demand for copper, lithium and rare earths sparks geopolitical race, worrying environmentalists

Minerals needed to power the green transition from fossil fuels could become “the 21st-century version of the ‘oil weapon,'” warns an internal study commissioned by Canada’s Department of National Defence.

There is widespread agreement among scientists that drastic cuts in fossil fuel consumption are needed to stave off catastrophic climate change — and a transition to electric cars, wind and solar power form key pillars of this shift.

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Chile at risk of missing lithium boom amid political, policy instability – by Marta Lillo (SP Global – June 16, 2022)

https://www.spglobal.com/

Chile may miss out on the lithium price boom if it cannot set policy to allow development of its vast reserves. With lithium prices soaring through most of 2021 and 2022, major miners have been eyeing Chile as a potential new source of the white metal.

But Chile has been flailing for half a decade to create a legal framework to sell concessions to developers to extract its 19.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data, and the country has only issued a handful of permits.

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Column: Goldman sparks bear-bull battle in the lithium market – by Andy Home (Reuters – June 15, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) – Is the white-hot lithium market about to be dowsed in a cold cyclical shower of oversupply? Goldman Sachs thinks so.

“We expect lithium prices to continue to correct for the rest of the year and remain under pressure from increasing supply over the next few years,” the Wall Street heavyweight argued in a May 29 battery metals research note. (“The end of the beginning”). It’s a bold call, given the supply-chain stresses that have caused spot lithium carbonate prices to surge over 900% since the start of 2021.

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Benchmark: Here’s what Goldman got wrong about lithium prices – by Frik Els (Mining.com – June 9, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

At the end of May, Goldman Sachs rattled lithium stocks after the investment bank declared the battery metals bull market “over for now”.

Goldman called today’s lithium levels a “fundamental mispricing [that] has in turn generated an outsized supply response well ahead of the demand trend.” Goldman predicted an average around $55,000 a tonne for this year, but its forecast for 2023 was particularly eye-raising – a very precise $16,372 a tonne.

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Will there soon be a surplus of lithium? (The Economist – June 9, 2022)

https://www.economist.com/

Probably not, despite what some analysts think

Lithium is not as glamorous as gold or platinum. But it has quickly become one of the world’s most important metals. It is a key component in batteries, so the surge in demand for electric vehicles and other battery-powered technology has led to a corresponding increase in demand for the stuff.

As supply has failed to keep up, prices have soared. The spot price of lithium carbonate, a compound that can be converted into lithium, rose by 477% in 2021, and a further 77% this year. But more recently several banks have predicted that the bull market for lithium was over and that its price would soon crash. Are they right?

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American OEM automotive industry’s big problem with lithium … and why Elon Musk is wrong. – by Jack Lifton (Investor Intel – June 7, 2022)

https://investorintel.com/

There isn’t enough lithium mined, and there can never be enough lithium mined and processed into end-user forms economically, to replace the use of fossil-fueled internal combustion engines in the powertrain systems of the current one and one-half billion personal and mass transportation vehicles with electric motors powered by rechargeable lithium-ion type storage batteries.

I think that most of the managers of the global OEM automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding industries know this, but they are powerless in the face of the demands of politicians who have given in to the greens who are unaware of the limitations of physical natural resource production and processing for non fuel minerals, and who rely on the advice of narrowly and poorly educated and just plain dumb “experts” who have credentials but no experience of business operations, real-world economics or even rudimentary geology.

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Lithium mining stocks plunge after Goldman sees “sharp correction” – by Frik Els (Mining.com – June 1, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

Goldman Sachs rattled lithium stocks after the investment bank declared the battery metals bull market “over for now”. Goldman calls today’s lithium levels a “fundamental mispricing [that] has in turn generated an outsized supply response well ahead of the demand trend in focus.”

In this context, Goldman sees prices on a downward trajectory over the course of the next two years, with a sharp correction in lithium from today’s levels to an average of just under $55,000 this year. For 2023, the forecast is for an average price of just $16,372.

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One-time tourist hotspot to supply key electric car battery ingredient for Stellantis – by Eric D. Lawrence (Detroit Free Press – June 2, 2022)

https://www.freep.com/

Chrysler parent Stellantis plans to get a substantial amount of the lithium needed for its electric vehicle batteries from a former tourist mecca in California. The automaker announced a deal Thursday with Controlled Thermal Resources, which has offices in California and Australia, to supply “battery grade lithium hydroxide” for use in EV production in North America.

That means Stellantis, which also controls the Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, will join General Motors, which announced a similar agreement last year, in tapping Controlled Thermal’s expected lithium production in the Salton Sea Basin, an area near the U.S. border with Mexico.

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The lithium curse: why Bolivia has failed to turn minerals into gold – by Sarah Esther Maslin (The Economist/1843 Magazine – May 30, 2022)

https://www.economist.com/

Bolivians thought green energy would make them richer. Now locals worry they’ll be exploited again

The mountainous region of Potosí in southern Bolivia was one of the richest places in the Spanish Empire. In the 16th and 17th centuries more than half the world’s silver came from one mountain in the region. Potosí’s barren landscape has yielded plenty of other riches since then, including aluminium, lead and zinc.

In the 19th century a British company built a railway line to carry minerals from landlocked Bolivia to the Chilean coast, from where they were shipped to Europe. Potosí, home to a rail junction that connects La Paz, Bolivia’s administrative capital, with Chile and Argentina, remains an important transport hub.

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