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5 Basic Lithium Facts

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:48 AM on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

With gold and silver prices still under pressure, more and more investors are starting to look at the critical metals space, and at lithium in particular.

Lithium-ion batteries power everything from cellphones to laptops to electric vehicles, and demand for the metal is certainly on the rise. Many companies and investors have been drawn in by news of Elon Musk and Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ:TSLA) lithium-ion battery gigafactory.

However, Tesla’s isn’t the only lithium-ion battery megafactory out there, and there’s more to lithium and the lithium market than electric vehicle batteries.

Here’s a look at five basic lithium facts investors should know.

1. It’s the lightest metal on the periodic table

Lithium is the lightest, or least dense, elemental metal. It is about half as dense as water.

The metal also has a high specific heat, making it useful in the production of heat-resistant glass, while its electrochemical potential makes it useful in batteries.

2. It can be found in brines, hard-rock deposits and clays

Lithium is found all over the world, in both hard-rock deposits and evaporated brines.

The world’s largest hard-rock mine is the Greenbushes mine in Australia. Most of the world’s lithium brine production comes from salars in Chile and Argentina. Bolivia is thought to hold the world’s largest lithium reserves, and the prolific lithium triangle spans all three South American countries.

Several companies are also looking to develop clay-based lithium deposits. For example, Western Lithium (TSX:WLC) holds the King’s Valley lithium deposit in Nevada, while Bacanora Minerals (TSXV:BCN,LSE:BCN) and joint venture partner Rare Earth Minerals (LSE:REM) are advancing the Sonora lithium project in Mexico.

3. It’s not just for batteries

While batteries have been getting most of the attention in the lithium space lately — and while demand for lithium from the battery sector is certainly on the rise — it’s worth noting that other sectors continue to account for a healthy proportion of lithium demand.

Citing data from Roskill, a report from Stormcrow Capital notes that in 2013, rechargeable batteries made up 29 percent of lithium demand, while the remainder of the market was mostly made up by various industrial end uses. That includes ceramics (14 percent), glass-ceramics (12 percent), greases (8 percent) and metallurgical powders (6 percent).

Lithium is also used in pharmaceuticals, lubricants and heat-resistant glass.

4. Lithium hydroxide vs. lithium carbonate?

After lithium is extracted from a deposit, it is often processed into lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide or lithium metal. Battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide can be used to make cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. Most contaminants must be removed in order for either material to be considered battery grade.

Hydroxide tends to be more expensive, but can produce cathode material more efficiently and is actually necessary for some types of cathodes, such as nickelcobaltaluminum oxide (NCA) and nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide (NMC).

In addition to battery-grade materials, there is also a market for technical-grade lithium. Technical-grade lithium products, such as technical-grade lithium concentrate, sell for a cheaper price than battery-grade products, and are used in applications such as glass and ceramics. Technical-grade lithium products must have very low concentrations of iron.

Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSXV:NEV), a company that has earned a spot on the 2015 TSX Venture 50, and has quality gold properties in the prolific jurisdiction of Nevada where mining infrastructure and services are well developed. Nevada Sunrise Gold recently acquired the Neptune Lithium Property in Nevada, which has the potential to host lithium-bearing brines in subterranean aquifers beneath the Clayton Valley floor. Learn more about this company today!

5. Prices can be hard to find

Like most critical metals, lithium is not traded on any public exchange, and major lithium producers don’t often give out stats. For a long time, most of the world’s lithium was produced by an oligopoly of producers often referred to as the “Big 3,” which included Rockwood Lithium (now owned by Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE:SQM) and FMC (NYSE:FMC).

Producers in China have grabbed a larger share of the lithium market in recent years, but the lack of information on pricing has continued.

However, interested investors can look to experts in the lithium space for market reports and price forecasts. For example, the report from Stormcrow Capital mentioned above includes a detailed forecast for lithium prices.


400% Growth Predicted For China’s Lithium-Ion Automotive Battery Market By 2017

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 12:18 PM on Monday, February 9th, 2015

Market research firm CCM predicts that the lithium-ion battery market is beginning to enter its golden era in China following high growth of electric car sales.According to CCM data, in 2014 manufacturers in China produced 78,499 EVs (including tiny vehicles), which is 250% more than in 2013. In 2015, sales will grow even faster to 250,000!In such a case, the lithium-ion battery industry should jump by 400% by 2017.

CCM expects it to grow from 4 billion Ah a year to 20 billion Ah a year. Times 3.5 V (cell voltages differences among different chemistries), that would be 70 GWh (twice the size of the Tesla Gigafactory and two times more than world production in 2013).

“This rapid growth is sparking similar growth in demand for power lithium-ion batteries, Chinese EV brand BYD has already encountered difficulties meeting orders due to a shortage of batteries, according to CCM.

Samsung, LG, and Foxconn all invested more than RMB 2 billion (US$325 million) in China’s lithium-ion battery market in 2014, and CCM expects to see similar levels of investment in 2015.

Most domestic Chinese battery manufacturers currently lag behind their competitors in Japan, South Korea, and the US in terms of their ability to manufacture high performing EV batteries, though this gap is narrowing gradually, so there is a large opportunity for international players to gain market share in China’s power lithium-ion battery market in the coming years, the firm suggests.”


VOLUME ALERT – Stria Lithium (SRA: TSX-V) 101K Shares Traded, 9X Average Daily Vol.

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:35 AM on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014



Last: $0.15 Up $0.01

Percentage: 7.14% Vol. 101.5K Shares Traded (9X Average)

Stria Lithium Discusses Revolutionary Lithium Extraction Method

The company is aiming to become one of the lowest cost producers in the world for battery-grade technology lithium through partnerships, licensing and joint ventures  which are critical for high-technology green energy industries such as consumer electronics, energy storage and military.

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