Archive | Lithium

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases – by Tracy Hancock (MiningWeekly.com – March 15, 2019)

http://m.miningweekly.com/

Metals of the Future

Investors focused on the mining sector may not fully appreciate how quickly the electric vehicle (EV) is being adopted globally, in light of the world pursuing a low-carbon emissions future, says battery metals investment vehicle Cobalt 27 Capital chairperson and CEO Anthony Milewski, who warns of a potential deficit in the supply of the metals critical to achieving this future.

Global management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company says 2017 marked the first time EV sales passed the one- million mark, noting in May 2018 that, by 2020, EV producers could be moving 4.5- million units, about 5% of the overall global light-vehicle market.

Even with South Africa’s electricity supply woes, automotive company Jaguar Land Rover South Africa forecast in January that South Africa could have 145 000 EVs on its roads, expecting yearly sales of new EVs to reach 43 000 units in the next six years. Continue Reading →

Ford chairman praises CEO, mulls lithium venture – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.S. – March 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co Executive Chairman Bill Ford said on Tuesday that he is very confident in Chief Executive James Hackett’s leadership and that the automaker is considering striking supply deals with a lithium producer.

Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, is in the midst of a restructuring of global operations and is spending $11 billion to bring 40 electrified vehicles to the market by 2022, part a move by the company to take part in the electrification trend sweeping the automotive industry.

Michigan-based Ford has also announced a commercial vehicle alliance with Germany’s Volkswagen AG, with plans to jointly develop electric and self-driving vehicles. Continue Reading →

Europe’s first lithium mine looks to automakers for investment – by Christiaan Hetzner (Automative News Europe – February 21, 2019)

https://europe.autonews.com/

BOCHUM — Europe’s first lithium mine is looking for investors from the auto industry looking to secure an environmentally-friendly supply of the key battery material for their electric vehicles.

While the 250-million-euro project in Finland will not be enough to make Europe self-sufficient, the company expects it can deliver enough lithium to comprise 25 gigawatt hours of battery cell supply starting at the end of 2021.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual CAR Symposium in Bochum earlier this month, the mine’s operator said automakers are mulling the possibility of owning a stake. Currently a ton of battery-grade lithium hydroxide sells on the open market for about $14,000, but prices can vary considerably. Continue Reading →

Copper and Lithium Giant Squeezing Water Rights for Miners – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – February 21, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — In a belated response to falling fresh-water levels in desert areas, Chile is moving to protect a natural resource that has been depleted after decades of mining activity.

With complaints from local communities rising and the effects of climate change worsening, the world’s largest copper producer is planning to implement measures that will make it more difficult for miners to pump fresh water.

Chile’s water authority DGA will more than double the number of so-called prohibition areas across the country this year to at least 70 from 30, according to general director Oscar Cristi. No new licenses can be awarded within prohibition zones and any extension to existing permits will need to be approved by environmental authorities. Continue Reading →

Canada lithium mining hopeful takes another big hit – by Frik Els (Mining.com – February 18, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

Nemaska Lithium (TSE: NMX) announced on Monday it has terminated a multi-year supply agreement with Livent Corporation that would cost the Quebec company up to $20m to settle.

The deal with Livent, spun out of US lithium major FMC Corp last year, saw Nemaska provide up to 8,000 tonnes per year (28,000 tonnes in total during the term of the contract) of lithium carbonate starting in April this year.

According to a press released late on Monday, Nemaska told Livent it “might have no option but to terminate” the agreement and repay Livent the USD$10 million the it received in April 2017 “plus a similar amount as a termination fee”. Continue Reading →

Quebec lithium developer’s stock craters after cost blowout – by Amanda Stutt (Mining.com – February 13, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

Nemaska Lithium’s (TSE: NMX) stock plummeted Wednesday after disclosing it has been forced to revise the budget for the Whabouchi lithium mine and Shawinigan electrochemical plant upward by C$375 million. The company, with a $300 million market cap on the TSX, clawed back some of the early day’s losses, but still closed the day down 35%.

Nemaska, which has also received funding from the Quebec provincial and Canadian federal governments, is building the Whabouchi hard rock lithium mine in the James Bay region and Shawinigan processing plant north of Montreal, aiming to put Canada on the global lithium production map.

Nemaska has already spent over $138 million on the Whabouchi mine and mill, and another $67.3 million for the plant in Shawinigan. The additional funding is largely related to installation and indirect costs, said the company. Direct purchase package costs – mainly equipment – are in line with the original budget. Continue Reading →

India eyes South America’s lithium reserves for battery manufacturing – by Uma Gupta (PV Magazine India – February 12, 2019)

PV Magazine India

As India plans to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium.

A delegation from Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) recently visited the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) to explore opportunities in the mining of Lithium.

Significantly, as India looks to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, these countries have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium, reported The Financial Express. Continue Reading →

The lithium boom is over and only one Canadian company is poised to emerge with a new mine – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – February 7, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Nemaska arranged a $1-billion financing to build a Quebec mine in the nick of time, while massive share price declines put other explorers’ projects out of reach

For a brief window of time, after Nemaska Lithium Inc.’s cafeteria went up in flames last week and the company halted construction of its mine in Quebec, questions swirled about what would happen next.

By Thursday, however, Nemaska’s workers were eating in a new cafeteria, operations resumed and the company’s investors were hardly burned — its stock barely down and trading at 60 cents — compared to everyone else in the lithium market.

Lithium — a key component in the batteries used in electric vehicles — started 2018 on a high note as prices for the metal drove investments in dozens of junior explorers. Continue Reading →

Bolivia picks Chinese partner for $2.3 billion lithium projects – by Daniel Ramos (Reuters U.S. – February 6, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LA PAZ (Reuters) – Bolivia has chosen a Chinese consortium to be its strategic partner on new $2.3 billion lithium projects, the government said on Wednesday, giving China a potential foothold in the country’s huge untapped reserves of the prized electric battery metal.

China’s Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd will hold a 49 percent stake in a planned joint venture with Bolivia’s state lithium company YLB, the Bolivian firm said. Together, the companies will seek to produce lithium and other materials from the Coipasa and Pastos Grandes salt flats.

Bolivia estimates that development of the projects will cost at least $2.3 billion. The Chinese firm will provide initial investment and YLB will pay its share with future lithium production, YLB’s executive manager Juan Carlos Montenegro said by phone. Continue Reading →

U.S. Loosing Global Battery Arms Race that is Critically Dependent on Nickel, Cobalt and Lithium – by Simon Moores (Benchmark Mineral Intelligence – February 5, 2019)

  • Written Testimony of Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
  • For: US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Hearing: Tuesday, February 5 2019, at 10:00a.m. Room 366, Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.
  • Subject: Outlook for energy and minerals markets in the 116th Congress.

We are in the midst of a global battery arms race in which the US is presently a bystander.

Since my last testimony only 14 months ago, we have reached a new gear in this energy storage revolution which is now having a profound impact on supply chains and the raw materials that fuel it.

The advent of electric vehicles (EVs) and the emergence of battery energy storage has sparked a wave of lithium ion battery megafactories being built. Continue Reading →

Lithium Giant’s Landmark Deal Is Big Step to Battery ‘Dream’ – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – January 31, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The country holding the world’s largest reserves of lithium says it’s one step closer to becoming a manufacturing hub for rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles.

Chile is hopeful that battery makers such as Samsung SDI and POSCO will start installing lithium processing plants in the country by the end of the year, according to Sebastian Sichel, executive vice president of government development agency Corfo. The agency recently reached a deal with top lithium miner Albemarle Corp. that will give battery makers access to cheaper lithium.

“We want manufacturers to get closer and closer to producing a complete battery in Chile — that’s our dream,” Sichel said in an interview in Santiago. “We don’t know if we’ll ever make vehicles, but we would like to at least see battery parts produced in Chile, maybe even the whole battery.” Continue Reading →

Lithium and cobalt – what to look for in 2019 – by Wood Mackenzie (Mining.com – January 30, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

Last year saw perhaps less exuberance in the lithium sector. The muted response to the IPOs of industry majors Ganfeng and Livent (ex-FMC) probably best exemplified the lull in excitement. Meanwhile, stocks of already traded lithium companies also had a painful time of it in 2018.

For lithium spot prices in the Chinese domestic market, 2018 saw only one direction – down. Rising domestic supply, EV subsidy changes, and destocking all combined to send prices for 99.5% lithium carbonate from RMB160,000/t at the start of 2018 to RMB77,500/t by the end of the year.

Yet conversely, average prices for seaborne material – largely sold on contract basis – seemingly bucked the trend, with realised prices for SQM and Albermarle increasing up to Q3 2018. Continue Reading →

In the new lithium ‘Great Game,’ Germany edges out China in Bolivia (Channel News Asia – January 28, 2019)

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/

When Germany signed a deal last month to help Bolivia exploit its huge lithium reserves, it hailed the venture as a deepening of economic ties with the South American country. But it also gives Germany entry into the new “Great Game”, in which big powers like China are jostling across the globe for access to the prized electric battery metal.

UYUNI, Bolivia/BERLIN: When Germany signed a deal last month to help Bolivia exploit its huge lithium reserves, it hailed the venture as a deepening of economic ties with the South American country.

But it also gives Germany entry into the new “Great Game”, in which big powers like China are jostling across the globe for access to the prized electric battery metal. Continue Reading →

Explainer: SQM and Chile reach lithium deal, but Atacama water woes continue – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters U.S. – January 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s environmental regulator this week approved a $25 million compliance plan by lithium miner SQM (SQMa.SN), ending a multi-year investigation by authorities that found the Chilean miner had overdrawn lithium-rich brine from the Atacama salt flat.

The case, now resolved, raised questions about how much brine and fresh water was left beneath the Atacama, and how long it would last. Those concerns, and others, still linger. Here’s why:

WHAT IS THE SALAR DE ATACAMA?

The Salar de Atacama is a high-altitude desert basin in northern Chile that, in 2017, supplied more than one-third of the world’s lithium, a key ingredient in the batteries that power cell phones and electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Score One for the Flamingos in High-Altitude Fight for Lithium Supplies – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – December 22, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The Chilean government is taking on a U.S. mining company in a spat that could rattle the electric-car industry.

For the past nine months, a U.S. company that is the world’s largest producer of lithium — a key ingredient in electric-car batteries — has been locked in battle with the Chilean government over pricing issues, production quotas and environmental compliance. With no resolution in sight, the fight is sending tremors all the way up the electric vehicle supply chain that provides batteries to Tesla Inc., Nissan Motor Co., Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and other car makers.

The drama is playing out in the northern reaches of Chile’s Andes Mountains amid the arid and austere Atacama Desert, a vast, high-altitude bowl surrounded by snow-capped volcanic peaks named after ancient gods of the indigenous people. The U.S. company, Albemarle Corp., has taken over a massive salt-flats mine, pumping scarce briny water through dried-out salt marshes and lagoons to extract the prized mineral.

A dozen or so miles away, thick flocks of Andean flamingos feed peacefully in a lagoon teaming with tiny shrimp, as they have for countless millennia. But as mining activity surges, water tables are falling amid growing environmental concerns. Continue Reading →