Palm Beach, FL – March 17, 2021 – Today, with the increasing concerns raised over the environmental impact of conventional vehicles, governments around the world are encouraging the adoption of vehicles using alternative sources of fuel. EVs are zero-emission vehicles and are gaining preference for clean public transport across countries. Several national governments offer financial incentives, such as tax exemptions and rebates, subsidies, reduced parking/toll fees for EVs, and free charging, to encourage the adoption of EVs. Thus, globally the requirement of EV battery is gaining fast pace. Lithium has been essential for this growth. An article by Trading Economics recently said that the price for Lithium Carbonate, which is a critical ingredient in lithium-ion batteries surged after government incentives boosted demand for the metal while supplies remain tight. European governments offer subsidies to electric-car buyers and sales of alternatively powered cars account now for a third of new passenger cars. In China, electric vehicles sales more than tripled in January from a year earlier and in the US, President Biden pledged to build half a million of charging stations. A report from Statista added: “The market for lithium-ion battery recycling is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade (due to high demand). It is estimated that, by 2030, it will be possible to recover over 120,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent worldwide from used Li-ion batteries… the global lithium-ion battery market between 2020 and 2025. By 2025, global revenues in the lithium-ion market are expected to exceed 70 billion U.S. dollars.” Active mining stocks in the markets this week include: Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC) (TSX: LAC), Lithium South Development Corporation (OTCQB: NRGMF) (TSX-V: LIS), Piedmont Lithium Limited (NASDAQ: PLL), American Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: LIACF) (TSXV: LI), Livent Corporation (NYSE: LTHM).
A report from Valuates projected that the global lithium-ion battery market was valued at USD 36.7 billion in 2019 and is projected to hit USD 129.3 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 18% from 2020 to 2027. Another report from Grand View also added: “The global lithium-ion battery market size was valued at USD 32.9 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.0% from 2020 to 2027. The growth of the market is attributed to the growing demand for the lithium-ion battery in Electric Vehicles (EVs) and grid storage as it offers high-energy density solutions and lightweight. The subsequent increase in the registration of EVs and a decrease in the price of the lithium-ion battery is estimated to expand market size over the forecast period. Also, a surge in sales of EVs and change in user preferences is likely to drive the market. The mounting number of photovoltaic installations and nuclear power plants, along with the beginning of the wind energy projects, is projected to propel market growth over the estimated period. Expanding off-grid installations in the U.S., India, China, and Germany, along with the growing acceptance of Li-ion batteries in equipment used in the medical sector, is expected to encourage the market for lithium-ion battery over the forecast period.”
Lithium South Development Corporation (OTCQB: NRGMF) (TSX-V: LIS), BREAKING NEWS: Lithium South Development Corporation: Doubling of Lithium Recovery From Brine with Chemphys Process – Lithium South Development Corporation (the “Company”) is pleased to report completion of laboratory scale evaluation using synthetic brine modeled on the Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project (HMN Li Project) chemical composition. The test work was completed by Chengdu Chemphys Chemical Industry Ltd. (Chemphys) utilizing its proprietary XFP-Lithium Direct Lithium Extraction process, which selectively extracts lithium ions from brine. Testing was performed at the Chemphys ISO certified facility in Chengdu, China. Independent check sampling was completed at the PONY Testing International Group Co Ltd., an ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17025 certified laboratory. All work was completed under the supervision of Don Hains of Hains Technology Associates of Toronto, Canada, who is acting as the Qualified Person.
The process conditions were screened to select optimized parameters, (including operating at 25 oC). The average lithium recovery achieved was 80%, producing an intermediate lithium sulfate product enriched from 0.7 g/L Li to 1.7g/L Li. This represents a near 100% increase in lithium extraction, in comparison to the conventional evaporation process results completed by the Company. The laboratory test work shows good selectivity of the adsorption process, high Li adsorption, elution and total recovery rate and low adsorbent loss rate. Chemphys also determined that the intermediate lithium sulfate produced met the feedstock quality requirements to directly produce battery grade lithium carbonate.
Conventional lithium extraction involves the construction of large evaporation ponds to concentrate the lithium contained in the raw brine. The costs of pond construction is significant, the environmental footprint is large, and the production lead time is approximately 18 months. These factors contribute to the challenges of applying the traditional evaporation process to meet increasing market demand. The Chemphys process is part of an innovative class of lithium extraction technologies, Direct Lithium Extraction ( “ DLE “ ). The XFP-Lithium process allows for faster and more efficient extraction of lithium from brine with significantly reduced evaporation pond footprint. The Company is evaluating both conventional evaporation and DLE to determine the optimal process method for the HMN Li Project.
The next phase of test work will involve pilot plant cycle testing using synthetic brine and validation using a large bulk sample of HMN Li Project brine. The bulk brine sample acquisition will be conducted next week, with the sample expected in China by March. The pilot program will further validate the process conditions established by the laboratory test work on a larger scale, continuous cycle program, and also produce high quality lithium carbonate samples. The pilot testing is expected to be completed in 2Q 2021. CONTINUED…. Read this release for the Lithium South news at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-lis/
Other recent mining developments in the markets include:
Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC) (TSX: LAC) recently reported financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2020. This news release should be read in conjunction with Lithium Americas’ consolidated financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2020, which are available on the Company’s website and SEDAR.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, total assets increased primarily due to the proceeds raised from the $100.0 million ATM Program, partially offset by a decrease as a result of closing the transaction with a subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. (“Ganfeng”) and cessation of proportional consolidation of Caucharí-Olaroz with transition to equity accounting for the project investment. Cash increased due to the ATM Program proceeds and the $40.0 million of loans repaid to the Company upon closing of the transaction with Ganfeng partially offset by capital expenditures on Caucharí-Olaroz and operating activities, including exploration expenditures on Thacker Pass. Total long-term liabilities increased primarily as a result of a $24.7 million drawdown on the Company’s limited recourse loan facility and a $12.0 million drawdown on the Company’s senior credit facility, partially offset by the effect of closing the transaction with Ganfeng.
Piedmont Lithium Limited (NASDAQ: PLL) recently announced that the Scheme Booklet in relation to Piedmont’s proposed re-domiciliation from Australia to the United States via a Scheme of Arrangement, has today been despatched to shareholders, including the notice of meeting, personalised proxy form and small parcel holder opt out form.
Piedmont shareholders who have elected to receive communications electronically will receive an email which contains instructions about how to view or download a copy of the Scheme Booklet, as well as instructions on how to lodge their proxies for the meeting online. Piedmont shareholders who have not elected to receive communications electronically will be sent a letter together with the proxy form for the meeting containing instructions about how to view or download a copy of the Scheme Booklet.
American Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: LIACF) (TSXV: LI) recently reported being selected by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office (“DoE”), with co-recipient American Battery Technology Company (formerly called American Battery Metals Corporation) (“ABTC”) and another industry partner, to receive grant funding totalling 50% of the capital cost for a US$4.5 million lithium extraction/hydroxide pilot plant.
The grant provides funding to complete field demonstration of selective leaching, targeted purification, and electro-chemical production of battery grade lithium hydroxide precursor from US claystone deposits, and more specifically American Lithium’s TLC Project, near Tonopah, Nevada (“TLC”). The funding is part of US government agencies’ efforts to reduce American dependence on foreign supply of important critical minerals including battery metals required for American energy storage needs, including the electrification of the vehicle sector.
Livent Corporation (NYSE: LTHM) recently reported results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020.
Fourth quarter 2020 revenue was $82.2 million, a sequential improvement over the third quarter of 13% driven by higher volumes sold and better realized pricing. Reported GAAP net loss was $5 million, or a loss of 3 cents per diluted share. Fourth quarter 2020 Adjusted EBITDA was $5.6 million and adjusted loss per share was 2 cents per diluted share, with both sequential improvements due to higher sales and lower costs from reduced third-party carbonate usage.
For the full year, Livent reported revenue of $288.2 million and GAAP net loss of $19 million, or a loss of 13 cents per diluted share. Full year Adjusted EBITDA was $22.3 million and adjusted loss per share was 5 cents per diluted share.
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