Archive | Lithium

Guy Bourassa of Nemaska on the “very, very big shortage” of Lithium ( – February 5, 2016)

The real driver for the intense global demand and price increase on lithium

February 5, 2016 — In a special InvestorIntel interview, Publisher Tracy Weslosky speaks with Guy Bourassa, President, CEO and Director for Nemaska Lithium Inc. (TSXV:NMX | OTCQX:NMKEF) on the overall global lithium market and how the real source for the increasing demand for lithium is energy storage.

While commenting on the distinct benefits of the electric vehicle market interest, Guy addresses the global supply shortage and how this may translate to the marketplace. Continue Reading →

Is the long-awaited ‘Bolivian lithium boom’ about to happen? – by John Bartlett (Latin Correspondent – February 1, 2016)

Bolivia’s lithium dream is nothing new. Generations of politicians have long made hollow declarations about the country’s lithium potential; but is demand finally catching up with the nation’s bountiful supply?

Practically, the compound lithium carbonate is used in small quantities in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries – common in smart phones and electric cars. As the automotive industry turns increasingly towards electric-powered and hybrid cars, the price of lithium has again been predicted to rise 20 percent by 2017.

It is thought that Bolivia harbors about half of the world’s lithium. However, it is far from certain exactly how much lies below the vast, bleached expanse of the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in the southwest of Bolivia – the largest of their kind in the world. Continue Reading →

Chile pushes lithium development, puts state reserves up for tender – by Rosalba O’Brien (Reuters U.S. – January 25, 2016)

SANTIAGO – Jan 25 Chile is pushing forward with new policies to develop its vast lithium reserves, the government said on Monday, at a time when prices for the battery ingredient have been rising rapidly.

One of the government’s first moves in the mostly private sector industry would be a call to tender the exploration of two salt flats owned by state-run Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer.

Lithium is an important ingredient in rechargeable batteries and is used in electric cars. Annual demand for lithium was forecast to more than double by 2020 from 95,000 tonnes now. Continue Reading →

Getting to grips with the lithium market An interview with Mr. Lithium.- by Peter Epstein ( ( – January 21 2016)

The following interview of lithium expert / consultant Joe Lowry of Global Lithium LLC was conducted over the past 6 days by phone and email. The opinions, views and purported facts herein are entirely those of Mr. Lowry. His vast experience in the lithium industry makes his commentary well sought after. I’m thankful that Joe is willing to provide insightful market intelligence, information that most investors don’t have access to.

You’re known as, “Mr. Lithium.” Please explain how you rose to lithium prominence? What does your firm Global Lithium LLC offer clients?

Not sure I’ve, ‘risen to prominence,’ but thank you for the compliment. The, ‘Mr. Lithium’ thing evolved over time. Almost 20 years ago, someone in Japan called me, Mr. Lithium in a group meeting and gradually the name spread. I lived in Asia for more than a decade beginning in 2000. I think some people found the, ‘Mr. Lithium’ moniker easier to remember than my real name. Continue Reading →

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)

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. Continue Reading →

Understanding Advanced Batteries and Energy Storage – Part I – by John Petersen (InvestorIntel – January 3, 2016)

Since I’m the new kid on the InvestorIntel block and most investors don’t have more than a passing familiarity with the advanced battery and energy storage space, my initial articles will focus on core issues and discuss them in manageable chunks. Once I’ve laid a solid foundation, I’ll begin to explore specific technologies and applications in greater detail.

My initial articles will be thought pieces that build a contextual framework for the more detailed analyses that follow.

Since my perspective on the technical, economic and supply chain issues of energy storage, vehicle electrification and alternative energy is often unsettling, I encourage you to give yourself some time to read, think and participate in the discussion. The process won’t always be comforting, but I hope we’ll have a lot of fun together. Continue Reading →

Lithium prices are soaring and Rio Tinto says it may start mining the commodity – by Peter Ker (Sydney Morning Herald – December 17, 2015)

It’s one of the world’s hottest commodities, and now Rio Tinto wants to join the lithium party.

Prices for lithium are soaring as traditional demand from ceramics and glass manufacturers coincides with rising demand from lithium ion battery and electric vehicle manufacturers.
Lithium prices rose from $US4900 ($6774) per tonne to $US5900 per tonne in the year to October 2015, and since then the price has almost doubled to $US10,000 per tonne.

UBS analyst Matthew Schembri​ said the onset of the northern winter had crimped production of lithium in China and duly created a shortage, and he predicted the price could continue rising over the next six months. Continue Reading →

Tesla in stand-off over lithium supply – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – December 15, 2015)

On the edge of the Nevada desert, Tesla, the electric carmaker, is building the world’s largest battery plant.

The mile-long, so-called Gigafactory is expected to boost demand for lithium, the raw material used in the batteries that power most electric cars.

But the company has yet to announce any lithium supply deals with big producers, leaving it unclear where it will source the lightweight natural material it will need to start producing batteries by 2017 with Panasonic, its partner.

The Gigafactory is set to supply batteries for the 500,000 cars Tesla hopes to produce by the end of the decade, as well as to power homes. Continue Reading →

There’s lithium in them thar … lakebeds – by Sandra Chereb (Las Vegas Review-Journal – December 13, 2015)

CARSON CITY — A new mining boom is taking shape in Nevada, one focused not on gold and silver but brines and clay containing an element critical to a 21st century world.

Interest in Nevada’s lithium supplies spiked after Tesla Motors Inc. chose the Northern Nevada desert as the site for its $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory, a joint venture with Japanese company Panasonic Corp.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s billionaire CEO, said mass production of the batteries is key to his goal of making the company’s fast and sexy electric cars affordable to the general public.

Since factory construction began last year, Musk has launched another endeavor — making energy storage units for homes and businesses capable of storing solar-produced electricity for use when the sun doesn’t shine. Continue Reading →

Battery power gains traction [Underground Mining] – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – November 2015)

Diesel still rules, but the beginning of a transition to battery-powered vehicles in underground mining appears to be underway.

Industrial Fabrication, a Sudbury-based manufacturer of underground utility vehicles, has three Minecat UT150-EMVs in operation – one at Vale’s Creighton Mine, one at Glencore’s Fraser Mine, both in Sudbury, and one at Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine 480 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario.

The Sudbury manufacturer first looked at battery power in 2004, but backed away because “at that time we felt the technology wasn’t ready for underground,” said Industrial Fabrication vice-president Daryl Rautiainen. Continue Reading →

Bacanora raises US$13.4 million for Mexican lithium project (Northern Miner – November 16, 2015)


The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

Just a few months after Bacanora Minerals (TSXV: BCN) and Rare Earth Minerals (LSE: REM) signed a deal with Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) to supply the car maker with lithium hydroxide from their Sonora lithium project in Mexico, the companies have raised US$13.4 million in a private placement.

The proceeds will be used for a bankable feasibility study of the project, 180 km northeast of Hermosillo, and towards the upgrading and continuous running of a pilot plant in Hermosillo to produce bulk quantities of lithium products to long-term off-take parties. Continue Reading →

Lithium battery-powered ships tackle pollution on West Coast (CBC News BC – November 11, 2015)

Corvus Energy CEO says large cargo ships are some of the worst polluters in the world

A Vancouver-based business that works to reduce pollution produced by the shipping industry around the world is bringing the benefits back to Canada. But is that enough to get the industry to use clean energy?

“We’re very pleased to have our product deployed locally for the first time,” said Andrew Morden, the CEO of Corvus Energy, which produces full and hybrid lithium ion battery systems that power large and small vessels.

“We’ve done the same thing [for ships] that Tesla’s done for cars,” said Morden.

The company’s batteries are currently being used in 35 ships across Northern Europe, and it recently received a $1 million investment from Statoil, Norway’s largest offshore oil company. Continue Reading →

Lithium Air Battery Breakthrough Could Lead To Replacement Of Lithium Ion Batteries – by Angelo Young (International Business Times – November 1, 2015)

Lithium ion batteries have been around for nearly a quarter-century, finding their way from laptops to electric cars. But British scientists say the popular energy storage device could be obsolete by the end of the next decade, replaced by a different recipe involving oxygen.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge announced they’ve created a battery prototype that overcomes some of the challenges to making the technology commercially viable, including size and amount of energy lithium oxygen (also known as lithium air) batteries can discharge. The new battery has the potential to store up to 10 times the amount of energy held in heavier lithium ion cells of comparable size, the inventors say.

The implications are enough to make any tech aficionado cheer. Mobile phones could be charged once a week instead of every few hours, and electric cars could finally travel distances similar to gasoline-burning cars without the annoyance of frequent half-hour recharges. The concept battery – still easily a decade away from a market-ready prototype – would be a fifth of the weight and cost of current lithium ion batteries. Continue Reading →

Lithium – Lifting the Spirits – by Christopher Ecclestone ( – October 28, 2015)

You don’t get to hear a specialty metal mentioned often in a Woody Allen movie, but Lithium has managed to score a mention more than a few times. Of course it’s not that the gnomic director has suddenly been converted to a new variety of battery but rather that so many of his characters (and maybe his audience) need a pick-me up of some Lithium to cure (or ameliorate) what ails them.

Then again until 20 years ago the only mention the public ever heard of Lithium was in reference to its medical properties, even though its ceramic applications were massively more important volume-wise. Indeed Lithium was the word on everyone’s lips pre-1950 when it was a standard ingredient in 7-Up (the “up” being literal) and farther back it went into Lithia Coke (give me that over Cherry Coke any day!).

Indeed, it has been speculated (and even tried in some places) that putting Lithium into water supplies might lift people’s mood and reduce suicides. In 1990, a study in 27 counties in Texas found lower rates of not only suicide but also homicide and rape in those where the drinking water contained lithium. In 2009, research in Japan found lower suicide rates in areas with lithium in the water. Continue Reading →

Lithium prices tipped to rise 20 per cent by 2017 on demand for electric cars – by Peter Ker (Sydney Morning Herald – October 27, 2015)

Prices for lithium are forecast to rise strongly in the next two years, with widespread adoption of electric cars tipped to be a game changer for the third element on the periodic table.

While most demand for lithium carbonate comes from industrial companies producing ceramics and glass, Citi analyst Matthew Schembri believes demand will rise significantly when electric vehicles become mainstream and need the commodity for lithium-ion batteries.

Citi is very bullish about electric cars, and forecasts production of pure electric models (not hybrids) like the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Model S to rise from about 150,000 in 2015 to about 290,000 in 2016. By 2020, Citi expects 1.04 million electric cars to be in production, implying sevenfold growth over five years.

In an extensive study of what the boom in electric cars will mean for lithium carbonate markets, Mr Schembri said demand for the commodity would rise almost 65 per cent over the next five years. Continue Reading →