Big Question Remains Will Lithium Supply Meet Its Demand
Palm Beach, FL – (January 31, 2019) – Since lithium is being used in more and more electronic devices, usually as the battery of choice, the question of supply and demand continues to hang over the market. As per an article from the technology industry regarding the demand, “Lithium batteries are commonly used as power sources for portable electronics and implanted medical devices. Though more expensive than ordinary alkaline batteries, lithium batteries have a significantly longer lifespan. They are used in pacemakers (and other implantable medical devices use specially designed lithium-iodide batteries that can last 15 years or longer before replacement is necessary), digital cameras, smartphones, watches and more. And another article discusses the supply for lithium. “Everyone’s talking about electric cars, and lithium miners are getting more than a kick out of it. They’re enjoying share price rallies and better growth prospects, all thanks to boisterous demand-growth predictions. Active stocks in the markets this week include NRG Metals Inc. (TSX-V:NGZ) (OTC:NRGMF), Nemaska Lithium Inc. (TSX:NMX) (OTC:NMKEF), Katanga Mining Limited (TSX:KAT)(OTC:KATFF) Sherritt International Corporation (TSX:S) (OTC:SHERF) Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSX-V:ML) (OTC:MLNLF).
Since lithium demand won’t stop growing, voices caution of a lithium bubble that will someday burst. But this year, the demand prospects for the abundant metal improved quickly and substantially, after the UK became the third European country after France and Norway to set a deadline for the phase-out of internal combustion engine vehicles, and after energy gluttons China and India announced similar plans. These are long-term initiatives, with an equally long-term lithium demand. Throw in the slew of new EV project announcements from several big carmakers, and lithium’s future seems more than bright, as does the future of the companies that mine it.
NRG Metals Inc. (TSX-V:NGZ.V) (OTCQB:NRGMF) BREAKING NEWS: NRG Metals is pleased to announce it is working with Eastern Shore Microbes (E.S.M.) of Virginia, USA, to evaluate the potential for enhancing evaporation characteristics if lithium brine at the Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project (H.M.N.) located in Salta and Catamarca Provinces, Argentina.
E.S.M. is developing Halophillic Evaporative Applications Technology (H.E.A.T.) The process has been utilized to evaporate and clean brines from curing cattle hides and E.S.M. is currently using their collection of over 1300 microbes to adapt the technology to potentially enhance and shorten the production cycle of lithium from brines. Testing will be conducted over the coming months on brine samples from the HMN project at the E.S.M. laboratory in Belle Haven, Virginia.
E.S.M. is headed by Dr. Russell Vreeland. Dr. Vreeland is an expert in the microbial eco logy of saline environments. He is the co-discoverer of the world’s oldest known bacteria, the 250 million year old Virgibacillus strains, extracted from ancient salt crystals found deep in a salt mine outside Carlsbad NM. He has also isolated living microbes from salt cores in Brazil and the oldest know DNA from 412 million year old salt from a Detroit Mine.
The Company is also in discussions with two developers of alternative extraction technologies. NRG is committed to evaluating all aspects of potential lithium production including those that may allow for a shortened production cycle.
NRG recently filed a report titled “Initial Measured Lithium and Potassium Resource Estimate Hombre Muerto North Project, Salta and Catamarca Provinces, Argentina.” The report was completed in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, on behalf of the Company by independent consultants Montgomery and Associates, of Santiago Chile. Read this and more news for NRG Metals at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-ngz/
Other recent developments in the mining industry include:
Katanga Mining Limited (TSX: KAT.TO) (OTCPK: KATFF) on January 17, 2019 announced that it has entered into a management services agreement with Glencore International AG (“GIAG”).
Katanga has entered into the management services agreement to better reflect the integrated nature of Katanga’s and GIAG`s businesses and enhance existing controls. Pursuant to the management services agreement, GIAG will make personnel of GIAG available to Katanga, and will provide to Katanga administrative, financial and other management services to manage and support the operations of Katanga and its subsidiaries and to support Katanga’s governance and reporting to the Board and Katanga’s shareholders.
Katanga is also pleased to announce that Danny Callow has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer and director of Katanga and Paul Smith has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Katanga. The executive services of Messrs. Callow and Smith are being provided to Katanga by GIAG pursuant to the management services agreement.
Nemaska Lithium Inc. (TSX:NMX.TO) (OTCQX: NMKEF) on January 18, 2019 announced the appointment of Robert Beaulieu as its new Vice President, Operations. Since January 3, Mr. Beaulieu has been overseeing the construction and operations readiness work that will lead to the commissioning of the Whabouchi mine and the Shawinigan electrochemical plant.
“We are truly pleased to welcome Robert to Nemaska Lithium, an incredible talent developed through various Canadian and international experiences,” said Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. “Robert has led the start-up and operations of large-scale projects and we will benefit from his vast experience in transitioning from construction and development to ramp-up and commercial operations and process optimization. As we are fast approaching a new turning point in our history, his extensive track record in the development of complex and innovative mining and metallurgical processing projects will be an excellent addition to team.” A seasoned professional with more than 25 years of experience in the mining industry, Mr. Beaulieu brings valuable knowledge of project startups. He was notably at the helm of the technical commissioning and production ramp-up of Glencore’s Koniambo Nickel mine, in New Caledonia, from 2012 to 2018. Prior to that, he has worked in highly strategic and technological environments, leading multidisciplinary teams in the achievement of critical targets for companies including Stornoway Diamond Corporation, SNC-Lavalin, Canadian Royalties inc and Metallurgy Magnola inc.
Sherritt International Corporation (TSX:S.TO) (OTCPK:SHERF) on January 28, 2019 announced its 2018 production results and provided guidance for its expected production, unit costs and capital spending in 2019.
Sherritt is a world leader in the mining and refining of nickel from lateritic ores with operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar. The Corporation is the largest independent energy producer in Cuba, with extensive oil and power operations across the island. Sherritt licenses its proprietary technologies and provides metallurgical services to commercial metals operations worldwide. The Corporation’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “S”.
Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSX:ML.V) (OTCQX:MLNLF) on January 15, 2019 reported that bench scale process test work completed by SGS Canada Inc. (SGS) in their facilities in Lakefield, ON on brine from the Company’s Pastos Grandes project in Salta, Argentina, has yielded battery grade (> 99.5% Li2CO3) lithium carbonate. Final purification testwork results yielded a lithium carbonate product that is 99.92% Li2CO3 with low levels of magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), boron (B), sulphate (SO4) and iron (Fe), with no other detectable metals.
Millennial President and CEO, Farhad Abasov, commented: “We are excited that the bench scale process test work recently completed by SGS has yielded very positive results with a lithium carbonate product purity of 99.92%. Typical lithium carbonate battery grade for EV batteries is approximately 99.5% Li2CO3,so we are very encouraged by these results that suggest the Pastos Grandes brine is amenable to industry standard processing and capable of producing a battery grade product. The bench scale testing has also provided an excellent framework for our pilot plant, which is currently in the final design phase, and provides a basis for the potential commercial plant design for the Company’s Definitive Feasibility Study.”
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