Archive | Lithium

This lithium exploration project could revitalize the Sask. oil industry – by Taylor Rattray (CTV News Regina – August 4, 2020)

https://regina.ctvnews.ca/

REGINA — A new project is bringing lithium exploration to Saskatchewan, and it could have major implications for the province’s oil industry.

Prairie Lithium Corp. is part of a project that will take oilfield brine water, and extract lithium through a series of chemical reactions.

“The lithium-free brine water is then sent back down hole for disposal, and the extracted lithium can be sent for further refining into battery-grade materials,” said Zach Maurer, president and CEO of Prairie Lithium Corp. Continue Reading →

Revealed: the Sun’s secret plan to become a lithium factory – by Simon Campbell and Yerra Bharat Kumar (The Conversation – July 6, 2020)

https://theconversation.com/

Simon Campbell is a senior research fellow and ARC Future Fellow, Monash University and Yerra Bharat Kumar is a postdoctoral fellow, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Lithium is used in everything from medication to mobile phone batteries, but where does it come from? We know it is mined here on Earth, but where it is created in the universe is less well understood.

We studied hundreds of thousands of stars like our own Sun and found they produce huge amounts of lithium late in their lives. This discovery, published today in Nature Astronomy, was not predicted by our best models of stars, indicating that some physical process must be missing from stellar theory. Continue Reading →

Tesla Powers Up; Lithium And Other Battery Metals Will Follow – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – July 6, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

Where Tesla goes, lithium will follow. It’s obviously not as simple as that but there is an inevitability in demand for the metals used to make electric-powered vehicles following the success of EVs.

Interestingly, the connection between Tesla’s recent rocket-run on the stock market has not been replicated in the battery-metals sector, yet.

But as Tesla continues to prove that investors and car buyers are ready to embrace the shift from fossil fuels to electric power the current glut of metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, will fade. Continue Reading →

Tesla is the world’s top carmaker on the back of a tech boost and huge Chinese sales – by Gareth Hutchens (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 5, 2020)

https://www.abc.net.au/

It’s a sign of the times. Electric car manufacturer Tesla became the world’s most valuable carmaker last week, overtaking Toyota, despite never having made an annual profit.

In the past 12 months, Tesla shares have surged over 400 per cent to reach a market value of $US210 billion ($302 billion). In July last year, its share price was $US233. Last week, it closed at $US1,208.

According to the financial firm Refinitiv, Tesla is now trading at 69 times its estimated 2022 earnings. What’s behind the eye-watering rally? A broader improvement in the tech sector has helped. Continue Reading →

Chile’s lithium miners consume 65% of region’s water – by Micheal McCrae (Kitco.com – June 24, 2020)

https://www.kitco.com/

The social license for battery material producers is challenged by water depletion, toxic dust and worker exploitation, according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Miners in the Democractic Republic of Congo face challenges operating in a country with few worker protections.

“[About] 20% of cobalt supplied from the DRC comes from artisanal mines where child labour and human rights abuses have been reported. Up to 40,000 children work in extremely dangerous conditions in the mines for meagre income,” write the report’s authors. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: EU must engage in lithium standards or lose to China, EU’s Breton says – by Foo Yun Chee (Reuters U.S. – June 18, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU industry chief Thierry Breton has urged EU governments to be more active in setting global standards for ultralight battery metal lithium, key to many strategic industries and electric cars, or cede technological advantage to China.

Breton’s warning underlines the European Commission’s concern as China seeks to increase its influence in setting standards for a metal crucial to the bloc’s electric car and green energy ambitions, involving major companies such as Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), PSA (PEUP.PA) and Siemens (SIEGn.DE).

His warning comes ahead of a June 24-25 vote by the International Organisation for Standardisation’s (ISO) technical management board on a Chinese proposal to set up a committee on lithium standards. China has proposed itself as the secretariat. Continue Reading →

Column: Lithium – the metal of the future with a futures problem – by Andy Bell (Reuters U.K. – June 10, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Lithium is the metal that will power the coming electric vehicle (EV) revolution. The build-out of a lithium-ion battery chain, however, is at risk from depressed pricing and a lack of investment in new capacity.

“Money needs to start flowing into the lithium market quickly, or the road to electrification will be stunted by lithium supply, in even the most conservative of forecasts.”

That warning from specialist consultancy Benchmark Minerals Intelligence (BMI) was written in July last year. (“Lithium’s Price Paradox”) Since then prices have slid further and COVID-19 has massively disrupted both battery manufacturing and end-use demand in a collapsing automotive sector. Continue Reading →

Saskatchewan launches new lithium production project – by Jonathan Guignard (Global News – June 3, 2020)

https://globalnews.ca/

Saskatchewan will soon be home to a new lithium production project. The Prairie-LiEP Critical Mineral (PLCM) joint venture is being undertaken by Prairie Lithium Corp. and LiEP Energy Ltd.

Their two-stage pilot project will produce lithium hydroxide from some of the province’s oilfield brines. “This is another exciting development that promotes economic diversification in Saskatchewan,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said.

“Lithium has great potential, due to increasing worldwide demand, which is why supporting extraction technologies and a viable lithium sector are included in Saskatchewan’s growth plan.” Continue Reading →

Lithium prices to bounce after 2022 – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 28, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Prices for lithium, one of the key ingredients for the batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and high tech devices, are expected to climb in two years, when shortages in the market caused by curtailed production and halted expansions start to emerge.

Car sales, EVs included, have plummeted this year as global economic growth projections have already been derailed amid the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on global markets.

In Western Europe alone, where EVs sales were supposed to soar this year, the acquisition of new cars fell by 90% in April. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Critical mineral supply chains essential for economic development opportunities – by Don Bubar (Northern Ontario Business – May 27, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Security of critical minerals supply has now become a major concern for government in light of the COVID-19 disruption to global supply chains. A North American solution is required to reduce reliance on China as a sole source of supply of many of our critical minerals.

North America does not have the full supply chains needed for many new technologies – such as electric vehicles, energy storage, sensor and data processing applications) and pharmaceuticals – although we do have all these minerals in the ground.

Northern Ontario is blessed with resources of many of these critical minerals, often referred to as “technology metals,” including all the elements needed in lithium-ion battery technology. Continue Reading →

Lithium producers must wait as pandemic slows electric vehicle revolution – by Helen Reid and Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.K. – May 26, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG/HOUSTON (Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic has paused the electric vehicle revolution, forcing producers of battery metal lithium into survival mode with output cuts, expansion delays and sales of major assets.

Lithium industry shares have dropped sharply since January as the economic downturn from the pandemic slammed the brakes yet again on the electrification revolution that for years has seemed just around the corner. Investors are giving the cold shoulder to mine developers seeking funding for lithium projects.

“This pandemic further kicks the EV can down the road,” said Seth Goldstein, a lithium industry analyst with Morningstar. Continue Reading →

Bill Gates and Richard Branson have their sights on the mining sector — and investment opportunities for startups abound – by Holly Bridgwater (Smart Company.com – May 25, 2020)

SmartCompany

Tech giants are on the hunt for investment opportunities in the mining sector, in a push that is destined to change the landscape of the resources industry.

Among those leading the charge are tech billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson — all backers of technology fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV). Last year, BEV joined forces with hedge fund a16z to invest in mineral exploration company KoBold Metals and its search for ‘ethical’ cobalt.

The billion-dollar fund was also instrumental in raising $20 million in Series A funding for Lilac Solutions, a mining technology company focused on transforming lithium production. Continue Reading →

Coronavirus pandemic a further blow to WA’s multi-million-dollar lithium industry – by Jacqueline Lynch (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – May 20, 2020)

https://www.abc.net.au/

A few years ago there were high hopes that demand for West Australian lithium would skyrocket, but the industry has been plagued with a slow uptake of electric vehicles, falling lithium prices and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

The valuable metal, found in abundance across regional WA, is largely used in the production of electric vehicles and energy storage systems. In an effort to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic, United States lithium giant, Albemarle, has slowed down progress on what was set to be the state’s largest lithium refinery, near Bunbury.

The vice president of the company’s lithium division, David Klanecky, said while no jobs would be lost the move would delay the plant’s completion by several months. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-In the coming renewable energy boom, Australia is once again the “lucky country”: – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 21, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 21 (Reuters) – Which commodities and countries are best placed to emerge as winners in the post-coronavirus world, especially if the anticipated boost to investment in renewables energies actually happens?

One of the themes emerging for a post-coronavirus world is that investment should flow into renewable energies, both as economic stimulus and as a way of limiting the impact of climate change.

To this end, the World Bank released a report on May 11 stating that global production of minerals such as lithium, cobalt and graphite would have to increase by as much as 500% by 2050. Continue Reading →

Nevada’s “Lithium Valley” – by Charles Morris (Clean Technica – May 13, 2020)

https://cleantechnica.com/

No, lithium isn’t going to become “the new oil,” regardless of what the pandering pundits of the popular press say (it’s a raw material, not a fuel, and it’s one of the most abundant elements on Earth). However, there’s no question that demand for the light white stuff is growing quickly, and that much of the current supply comes from outside the US.

Tesla is believed to import much of the lithium it uses from Australia and South America. There are strong economic and environmental reasons to develop more domestic sources.

Fortunately, just a couple hundred miles north of Gigafactory 1, near the Oregon/Nevada border, there’s an area that some are calling Lithium Valley, which could contain a huge and easily exploitable trove of lithium. (This isn’t mere serendipity — one of the reasons Tesla chose Nevada as the site of the Gigafactory was the proximity to potential sources of lithium and other minerals.) Continue Reading →