A massive electricity price spike in Queensland earlier this month has once again demonstrated how and why gas is fighting a losing battle against battery storage for the key supporting role in Australia’s future renewables grid.
Pilbara Minerals and Galaxy Resources have rushed straight to Altura Mining's lender group to try and stitch up a snap deal to acquire the embattled lithium play.
AustralianSuper is making another big investment in battery metals. Street Talk understands the country's largest superannuation and pension fund will bankroll Pilbara Minerals' $230 million equity raising to buy embattled lithium play Altura Mining.
A joint battery venture of Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp aims to boost efficiency of development and production processes by 10 times to better compete with larger Chinese rivals.
Automakers are investing billions of dollars to bring new electric vehicles to consumers in the U.S. and other global markets, but their success hinges on securing the most critical and expensive component: the battery. A handful of companies based in China, Japan and South Korea make automotive-grade battery cells, which has upset the traditional dynamic between carmakers and parts suppliers. These battery giants -- though little known to the general public and relatively new to the auto industry’s sprawling supply chain -- are key to manufacturers’ goals of bringing dozens of new EV models to U.S. showrooms by 2025.
Liontown Resources says the numbers look good for the holy grail of minerals processing: a downstream facility that can improve economics for its proposed Kathleen Valley lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia. Pursuing the A$1.1 billion, 57,600 tonne per annum lithium hydroxide option would deliver a post-tax net present value of $4.8 billion, free cashflow of $19.5 billion, operating costs of $4744/t, and with an internal rate of return of 41% would deliver a payback of three years.
Joe Biden’s campaign has privately told U.S. miners it would support boosting domestic production of metals used to make electric vehicles, solar panels and other products crucial to his climate plan, according to three sources familiar with the matter, in a boon for the mining industry.
The Western Australian government has praised the use of solar and batteries to provide power to remote households and businesses, after Western Power replaced 230km of costly grid connections with stand-alone power systems that slashed costs and improved reliability.
Japan will promote the use of offshore wind generation and battery storage in its new effort to become carbon neutral by 2050, according to a government official, indicating how the nation might change its policies to meet the ambitious goal.
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery maker Guoxuan High-tech Co Ltd, which is backed by German automaker Volkswagen AG, plans to have annual battery manufacturing capacity of 100 GWh by 2025.
A sizeable new renewables fund chaired by former NSW Premier Morris Iemma and numbering executives from Macquarie, AEMO and Tesla, has revealed billion-dollar plans to install 1.5GW of solar and a gigawatt of battery storage across commercial and industrial sites around Australia over five years.
France is planning a new premium for older electric cars. The new subsidy of 1,000 euros, which Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari announced, is intended specifically for the purchase of second-hand battery-electric cars.
UK Ministers are plotting a California-style zero emission vehicle mandate, allowing grants and subsidies for electric cars to be phased out in the run up to the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, but still allowing sales to increase.
Australia's solar power boom sent records tumbling across three states for low demand for grid-based power in the September quarter, including one hour in South Australia where solar power fuelled the entirety of the state's electricity needs.
Electric vehicle battery maker LG Chem plans to triple production capacity for cylindrical batteries used by Tesla and others, and is considering expansion in Europe and North America to meet surging demand.
Japanese automotive giant Honda Motor Company has quietly moved to end sales of diesel vehicles in the UK and will phase out all traditional petrol and diesel versions of its mainstream models by 2022.
The European Union “cannot achieve” climate neutrality without critical raw materials like lithium and rare earths, says Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič. It now needs to be “much more strategic” in relations with supplier countries in order to ensure the bloc’s “strategic autonomy,” he argues.
Rich Lister and Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis has become an investor in a proposed $700 million electric vehicles manufacturing hub planned at Moss Vale, south-west of Sydney, which aims to be at the forefront of a revival of local manufacturing. Mr Politis, who is the largest shareholder in Australia's biggest car dealership group Eagers Automotive with a 27 per cent holding worth $830 million, took a stake in a $50 million capital raising last month by TrueGreen, an entity owned by Nexport.
Gadkari said that India is at the cusp of becoming one of the most significant players in electric vehicles. The Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister said that the country would become the world's largest e-vehicle manufacturing hub in the next five years with products ranging from two-wheelers, three-wheelers and cars to construction equipment.
A Tesla battery researcher showed updated test results pointing to batteries lasting over 15,000 cycles or the equivalent of over 2 million miles (3.5 million km) in an electric car.
The big miners' dash for more climate-friendly commodities will make it harder for mid-tier miners to muscle their way into deals or snap up assets, South32 CEO Graham Kerr has warned. Competition is heating up as companies such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American look to focus more on the materials that will power renewable energy and battery technology, such as nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium.
Foxconn aims to provide components or services to 10% of the world's electric vehicles (EVs) by between 2025 and 2027, and has been in talks with multiple car manufacturers for future cooperation, Chairman Liu Young-way said on Friday.
On October 6th, the European Parliament voted on new targets aimed at speeding-up the decarbonisation of the economy. The new regulation targets a 60% decrease in CO2 emissions against emissions levels in 1990, compared to the previous target of a 40% reduction. The introduction of the new target will require a great proportion of vehicle sales in the Western Europe to be xEVs, with xEV sales in the Western Europe forecast to increase by 700% over the period to 2030.
LG Chem, the world’s top electric vehicle (EV) battery maker, is in talks with a “couple” of automakers to create joint ventures to produce automotive batteries, Chief Executive Officer Hak Cheol Shin told Reuters on Friday.
Electric vehicles made up 8% of car sales in Europe in the first half of 2020, putting them on track to triple their market share this year, according to analysis by the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E).
Nickel West sold 70 per cent of the 80,000 tonnes of nickel metal it produced last year to battery makers as it continues the transition from a 50-year-old supplier to the stainless steel industry.
A group of Indonesian state-owned companies will form a venture to make batteries to power electric vehicles, the Mining Industry Indonesia (MIND ID) chief executive said on Tuesday. Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of nickel ore, a key component of EV batteries, wants to build an integrated EV industry that will eventually include building the vehicles.
A joint battery venture of Toyota and Panasonic will produce lithium ion batteries for hybrid cars at a plant in western Japan starting 2022 to meet growing demand for electric vehicles. The production line at a Panasonic factory in Tokushima prefecture will have enough capacity to build batteries for around 500,000 vehicles a year, the joint venture, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, said.
Improving batteries has always been hampered by slow experimentation and discovery processes. Machine learning is speeding it up by orders of magnitude.
The age of the driverless taxi has arrived – at least in parts of Phoenix, Arizona. Self-driving car company Waymo, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced its autonomous vehicles are now available to the general public (or at least paying customers).
Tesla Inc has a chance at producing 500,000 cars this year, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told employees, according to an internal email seen by Reuters.
Indonesia's government is in early discussions with electric vehicles maker Tesla about a potential investment in the country, a major producer of nickel, an official said. Indonesia is keen to develop a full supply chain for nickel at home, especially for extracting battery chemicals, making batteries and eventually building electric vehicles. It has stopped exports of unprocessed nickel ore to support investment in its domestic industries.
BEVs: 21,903 (up 184% year-over-year) at market share of 6.7%; PHEVs: 12,400 (up 139% year-over-year) at market share of 3.8%; Total: 34,303 (up 166% year-over-year) at market share of over 10.5%
California announced a ban on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles from 2035 on September 23. Two days later, New York state senator Pete Harckham from the Hudson Valley introduced a bill that would also require all of New York State’s sales of new cars and trucks to be zero emissions by 2035.
Tesla Inc TSLA.O has agreed to acquire German ATW Automation, a supplier assembling battery modules and packs for the auto industry, a source familiar with the transaction said on Friday.
As the bloc pushes its digital and green transition agenda, policymakers have looked at the raw materials required. Little is mined, processed or assembled in Europe at present but the European Commission has a plan…
U.S. electric car maker Tesla cut the starting price of its Chinese-made Model 3 sedans on Thursday by about 8% to 249,900 yuan ($36,805), once Chinese subsidies for electric vehicles are taken into account, according to its China website.
Continued progress with LCE product end-users for potential commercial scale product offtake
Argosy joins EBA250 network - the industrial development program of the European Battery Alliance.
Rincon industrial scale pilot plant and site operations continuing, producing high purity >99.5% Li2C03 product.
Argosy progressing on preferred funding solution for the development capital requirement.
Regulatory approval/permit applications works continuing for enlarged ~l0,000tpa commercial scale project development.
Clean technology validated with green credentials confirming very low energy and raw water requirements.
Argosy has the lithium processing expertise and knowledge to pursue a complementary commercial lithium carbonate and hydroxide production strategy
Richard Tucker and John Bumbak of KordaMentha were appointed as Receivers and Managers of the Group on 26 October 2020 by the security agent, BNY Trust Company of Australia Ltd. The Receivers and Managers understand that Voluntary Administrators have also been appointed to the Group.
€5.0 million (A$8.3 million) sale of 25% of Altech’s wholly owned Germany subsidiary (AIG).
Acquired by Frankfurt Stock Exchange listed Altech Advanced Materials AG.
Initial cash payment, with balance of consideration payable over 3 years.
AIG will have the rights to use Altech's HPA manufacturing technology.
€20.0 million (A$33 million) valuation of AIG, with Altech retaining 75%.
Advanced battery materials developer, Australian Mines Limited is pleased to advise it has entered into an agreement with Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials on a project to use scandium to develop new aluminium alloys.
Secured rights to additional 10% equity in Manono Lithium and Tin Project for US$15.5M, taking its total ownership to 75% on completion of the transaction.
Ongoing discussions held to aquire additional equity in the Manono Project.
Discussions advanced with multiple offtake partners for significant volumes of Spodumene Concentrate and Tin.
Negotiations progressed around financing options with several entities in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
Terms of reference for the Manono Special Economic Zone were submitted, along with a proposed framework of economic incentives.
Tenders for process plants were adjudicated, with the results pending a Financial Investment Decision to mine the Manono Project.
Tenders issued for rehabilitation of Mpiana Mwanga Hydro Electric Power Plant.
Pit floor drilling of the Roche Dure 'wedge’ commenced to potentially upgrade some Inferred Resources to Indicated Resources.
New Ore Reserves to be generated from optimised mine design.
Geotechnical site investigations of plant site underway.
Site tailings storage facility confirmed and geotechnical sampling program commenced.
Phase 2 hydrogeological modelling field program commenced.
Unmarketable parcel share sale facility completed
Placement completed oversubscribed by over 50%; Funds will be applied to exploration activities at the Maniry and Donnelly River Projects; Pilot work will be completed to formalise further offtake arrangement discussions; Ongoing testing and evaluation of downstream processing opportunities with overseas parties will be quickly advanced; BEM will provide a detailed market update in the near term on further developments.
During the September quarter, Core was focused on a number of initiatives aimed at further enhancing the value and potential of its wholly owned Finniss Lithium Project, located near Darvvin in the Northern Territory. During the reporting period, Core:
EcoGraf Limited is pleased to announce it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SungEel Hitech Co. Ltd to evaluate the EcoGraf proprietary purification process to recover and re-use high-purity battery carbon anode material from production scrap and ‘black mass’ from lithium-ion battery materials produced at their South Korean plant.
The Company made significant progress during quarter on all key business areas.
Western Australia (WA) battery graphite manufacturing facility
Battery recycling programs continued with a range of battery industry participants in Australia, Asia and Europe
Epanko debt financing
'Whole of ore' flotation at a grind size of p80 0.15mm achieved a recovery of 67% Li2O at a concentrate grade of 6.0% Li2O and 0.6% Fe2O3. Dense Medium Separation (DMS) at a crush size of p100 3.15mm +0.85mm achieved a recovery of 28% Li2O at a concentrate grade of 5.7% Li2O and 0.9% Fe2O3. First-pass metallurgical test work programme expected to be completed end-October. The recently updated Mineral Resource for Dome North stands at 11.2Mt at 1.21% Li2O and 40ppm Ta2O5, with 51% of the contained lithium located within the high-confidence Indicated Resource at the Cade Deposit (5.4Mt @ 1.3% Li2O - refer ASX release dated 29 September 2020).
Galan Lithium Limited is very pleased to announce it has successfully received firm commitments for a placement of approximately 23.1 million shares (New Shares) at a price of A$O.13 per share to raise $3 million (before costs) (Placement) The placement was very well supported by domestic and international investors which resulted in bids exceeding the original placement goal by 50%.
Completion of conceptual pond modelling at HMW Project shows its exceptional potential with concentration grade over 50% higher than Candelas (4.8% Liv 3.1% Li).
Galan’s Board and project team fully focussed on the development of the HMW Project.
PEA and scoping studies for HMW remain on track with process design and pond layout being finalised with final results expected in Q4 2020.
Company commences lab test production of battery grade lithium carbonate at world renowned Universidad Catolica del Norte in Antofagasta Chile.
Completion of right to earn a 100% interest in the Del Condor and Pucara lithium brine salar projects.
Galan’s teams in Australia and South America continue to advance its studies, in full compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.
Oversubscribed $3m placement announced and completed in October 2020.
Cash on hand of 51m at end of the quarter
Sal de Vida, Argentina
PRODUCTION & OPERATIONS
Mt Cattlin, Australia
James Bay, Canada
Hazer Group Limited is delighted to advise that it has executed a non-binding term sheet with AP Ventures Fund II GP LLP (APV) for an investment in Hazer by APV.
Approved the Final Investment Decision for the Hazer Commercial Demonstration Plant (“CDP”) project and appointed Primero Group as our engineering, procurement and construction contractor.
Progressed detailed engineering, procurement and permitting activities for the Hazer CDP. At end of quarter, detailed engineering estimated to be 55% complete with main package long lead item orders placed.
Conﬁrmation received from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) that the Milestone 1 conditions of the Funding Agreement have been achieved, release of the $2.2 million Milestone 1 grant in the course of being processed.
Execution of binding agreements for a $6.0 million senior secured loan facility from Mitchell Asset Management (MAM Loan Facility). The ﬁrst $2.0 million drawdown is expected in Q4 calendar year 2020.
Investment Terms Agreed with AP Ventures Fund II GP LLP, a fund headquartered in London with a global mandate to invest in pioneering new technologies and companies.
Cash reserves of $15.53 million as at 30 September 2020. Subsequent to the end of the quarter further liquidity added with receipt a $0,951 million R&D Tax Incentive rebate for FY20 and option exercise proceeds totalling $2.440 million.
September quarter marked by advances in permitting, engineering and financing discussions.
Main federal permit application, the Plan of Operation, submitted to the Bureau of Land Management in May 2020 has been reviewed and accepted, marking a major milestone toward the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act process.
State Air Quality and Water Pollution control permit applications progressing to plan.
Engineering work continuing with design increasing from 30% (DFS level) to 50-100% complete.
First engineering packages issued for bid.
Continuing development of protection and conservation plans for Tiehm's buckwheat including ongoing research with UNR.
Upward revision in electric vehicle take-up and lithium demand has led to improved sentiment toward the lithium sector.
An $8.5 million capital-raising through private placement and shareholder purchase plan (‘SPP’).
Convertible note repaid and no debt.
As at 30 Sept 2020, cash reserves were $9.2 million.
Battery recycling subsidiary Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd (‘Envirostream’ - 90% Company-owned) processed 80 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries (‘LIBs’).
The ACCC authorised the Battery Stewardship Council to establish and operate a national stewardship scheme for managing end-of-Iife batteries, which scheme is likely to significantly increase both Envirostream’s volumes and margins.
Envirostream signed electric vehicle (‘EV’) battery recycling agreements with two suppliers.
Company battery cathode subsidiary VSPC Ltd (‘VSPC’ - 100°/o Company-owned) produced high-quality Iithium-ferro-phosphate (‘LFP’) battery material.
Company battery sales subsidiary Soluna Australia Pty Ltd (‘Soluna Australia’ - 50% Company-owned) received Clean Energy Council (‘CEC’) approval for its three-phase energy-storage systems (‘ESS’) and commenced installations and sales.
The Company’s battery chemicals division completed stage 1 of the LieNA® Co- operative Research Centres Project.
The Company’s Iithium phosphate (‘LP’) recovery patent application was deemed to be novel, to involve an inventive step and to be applicable to industry.
Further studies undertaken on the Company’s Coates nickel/platinum group elements project.
The Company commenced a gold joint venture with Okapi Resources Ltd over its Lake Johnston project.
Hazen has broadened its scope by reviewing different process combinations to optimize the consistent production of larger battery-quality lithium carbonate samples, with first samples next week; Hazen was appointed due to their thorough analysis using different applications to achieve the best quality product prior to producing samples in large volumes; Feedback to date from Hazen has been very encouraging and Lake remains confident in delivering high purity lithium carbonate samples.
High purity 99.97% battery quality lithium carbonate produced at the Lilac Solutions’ pilot plant.
Kachi Project brines prove to supply a product of very low impurities, attractive for the battery market, with premium pricing potential.
Samples to be sent to Novonix to produce high- performance lithium-ion battery test cells using Lake’s lithium carbonate samples.
Company well-funded to initiate Kachi Project Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
Activities at Maricunga continue under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Chilean State-owned mining company, CODELCO, and the project’s joint venture company, Minera Salar Blanco S.A. (MSB). They are expected to be finalised in coming months.
The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) bidding process for the Maricunga development has advanced. Two major global engineering groups, Worley Parsons and Bechtel, have each submitted comprehensive proposals and both are being evaluated by MSB, taking the COVID-19 situation into account.
Financial structuring for the Maricunga project continues, with Treadstone Resource Partners being appointed as LPI’s and MSB’s advisor. Discussions continue with parties on project funding - equity and debt - and also on off-take agreements. COVID-19, however, has presented challenges for the initial time schedule.
Reviews and cost reductions have been undertaken in all operations in light of COVID-19. The Company remains focused on minimising costs and preserving cash reserves during this challenging period.
In July 2020, the Company executed a Tenement Acquisition Agreement with ASX-listed company Carnaby Resources Limited (ASX:CNB) to sell the Strelley Exploration Licence for 1,250,000 fully paid ordinary Carnaby shares. LPI will receive a 1% Net Smelter Return royalty for all gold produced from the tenement and retain all mineral rights for lithium, caesium, tantalum and tin contained within the tenement.
Results of a drilling program and the additional mapping, sampling and re-analysis of data undertaken at the Pilgangoora tenement placed no exploitable value on this tenement. The company is now in the process of finalising the tenement’s sale.
Substantially increased Mineral Resource (MRE), Ore Reserve and revised mining plan, combined with an enhanced process flowsheet drives significant improvement in project economics; Updated Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) showcases the strong potential to develop a state-of-the-art, second-generation lithium-tantalum mining and processing operation at the 100%-owned Kathleen Valley Project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields; Building on the Mineral Resource announced in May 2020, the PFS confirms the outstanding technical and financial viability of a standalone, long-life initial 2Mtpa operation.
KATHLEEN VALLEY LITHIUM PROJECT (Western Australia:100%)
Updated Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) confirms the technical and financial viability of a standalone 2Mtpa mining and processing operation based on an updated Ore Reserve of 71Mt @ 1.4% Li2O and 130ppm Ta2O5.
Ore Reserve underpins a 40-year mine life with average production of ~350ktpa 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate (SC6.0) and 430tpa of 30% Ta5O5 concentrate.
Key financial outcomes of the PFS include:
A Downstream Scoping Study (DSS) leveraging off the PFS demonstrates the significant financial upside of an integrated mining, processing and refining operation based on the production of lithium hydroxide (LHM) or lithium sulphate (LSM) using SC6.0 from Kathleen Valley as feedstock.
Liontown Resources has commenced a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) focused on SC6.0 production that will review a number of opportunities to improve the Project’s financial metrics, including additional test work to further develop the DSS, given the compelling economic upside.
$12.5m capital raising announced subsequent to end of Quarter.
Funds will ensure the continued development of Liontown’s flagship Kathleen Valley Project, including the completion of a DFS, and initial drill testing of the Moore Project.
Mt Marion Lithium Project achieved record production of 133,000 dmt and record shipments of 118,000 dmt of spndumene concentrate during the quarter.
Results of the Goulamina Definitive Feasibility Study confirm Goulamina confirmed as one of the world’s best hard rock lithium assets for scale and cost of production.
The project delivers outstanding returns with a pre-tax NPV of A$1.7 billion using conservative pricing metrics.
A key advantage is the quality of the 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate (SC6) product, being high in grade and low in impurities.
World renowned agency Abt Associates conducts and publishes a special article on batteries produced by C4V funded by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority [NYSERDA]; New information points to batteries produced at the iM3NY Lithium—ion Battery Plant containing at least 87% less dirty energy per kilowatt hour versus comparable batteries; iM3NY to be the first factory to make these batteries at Gigawatt hour scale starting in 2021.
Extra Fast Charge ["EFC"] test results for EV batteries developed by Magnis Partner, C4V, yielded a potential game changer for EV manufacturers.
Following the ongoing success of EFC results using unoptimized cells, for the next qualification phase, battery cells optimised for very fast charge will be used.
Demonstration program in New York commenced for a Public Transit Technology and Innovation Program funded by the NYSERDA, with a proposal to develop EFC system utilising extended-life batteries provided by C4V.
Abt Associates report highlights batteries to be produced by iM3NY will be the greenest in the market.
New York Battery Plant financing discussions progress.
The announcement on 4 September 2020 of a $7.65 million capital raising via a placement of 45,000,000 ordinary shares at 17 cents per share to new local and overseas institutional investors, new sophisticated investors and existing shareholders.
Queensland State Government approves Townsville Lithium-ion Battery Manufacturing Plant Feasibility Study.
Senior Management Team bolstered by new appointments.
132N deposit Mineral Resource doubles in Nickel tonnes, with the estimate now 460,000 tonnes at 2.0% nickel for 9,050 tonnes of contained nickel; The 132N Mineral Resource is located between 80 and 350 metres below and north of a previous open pit mined by Western Mining Corporation; Global Mineral Resources at the Mt Edwards project increased to 8.72 million tonnes at 1.7% nickel for 146,000 tonnes of contained nickel across 11 deposits; Exploration continues at Lake Eaton South prospect with diamond and RC drilling.
OLAROZ LITHIUM FACILITY (ORE 66.5%)
Operational activities continue to focus on the health and well-being of our staff, contractors and communities while maintaining production at an appropriate level to meet customer demand.
Production for the quarter of 2,352 tonnes was down 6% on the quarter on quarter (QoQ) due to a three week scheduled shutdown. Plant stability and operating practices continue to improve as evidenced by brine grades that are higher than at the same period in previous years and higher recoveries.
Sales volume for the quarter was up 112% quarter on quarter to 3,393 tonnes, while sales revenue was up 68% QoQ to US$10.5 million following the sale of excess inventory. The realised average price achieved was US$3,102/tonne on a free on board basis (FOB). Sales volumes were approximately 22% battery grade lithium carbonate and the remainder primary grade lithium carbonate.
Cash costs for the quarter (on a cost of goods sold basis) were US$3,974/tonne, excluding the export tax of US$70/tonne but including all additional costs incurred as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and operating practices.
During the quarter Orocobre entered into a non-binding MOU with Prime Planet Energy and Solutions (PPES), a joint venture between Toyota (51%) and Panasonic (49%) specialising in the production of automotive battery cells, for the long-term supply of product culminating in 30kt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in CY25. Discussions are now underway to finalise the detailed terms of the agreement.
Lithium prices appear to have bottomed and realised Q2 FY21 prices are expected to be higher than Q1
LITHIUM GROWTH PROJECTS
Construction work on Stage 2 continued to be impacted during the quarter by COVID-19 restrictions. Construction has progressed to approximately 44% completion. Plans are in place to increase the accommodation available for expansion personnel so that appropriate social distancing can be maintained as the workforce increases. Stage 2 is expected to commence production in FY23, ramping up to full capacity of 25,000 tonnes per annum (ktpa) of industrial grade lithium carbonate by FY26.
Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant construction has continued throughout the period. However, delayed equipment deliveries from overseas will result in commissioning commencing in H2 CY21. Construction has achieved >80% completion
Signed agreement with Tesla, Inc. (”Tesla") for the supply of spodumene concentrate from Piedmont’s North Carolina deposit to Tesla for an initial five-year term on a fixed-price binding purchase commitment from the delivery of first product;
Completed a bench-scale lithium hydroxide testwork program which demonstrated conversion of Piedmont ore to battery-quality lithium hydroxide. Lithium hydroxide was produced from spodumene concentrate produced from core samples taken from Piedmont's North Carolina deposit. Quality results compare favorably with current market specifications for battery quality lithium hydroxide;
Resumed drilling at Piedmont’s properties located within the world-class Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (”TSB") in North Carolina. The drill program will consist of approximately 5,600 meters with a primary objective to drill Exploration Target areas on the Core and Central properties, as well as previously untested occurrences of spodumene bearing pegmatite on regional properties;
Appointed Mr. Austin Devaney as Vice President - Sales & Marketing. Mr. Devaney spent most of the past decade in senior marketing roles with Albemarle Corporation, most recently as Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Customer Excellence; and
Completed a US. public offering of 2,300,000 of Piedmont’s American Depositary Shares (”ADSs"), with each ADS representing 100 of its ordinary shares, which includes the full exercise of the underwriters’ option, at an issue price of US$25.00 per ADS, to raise aggregate gross proceeds of US$57.5 million (A$81.2 million).
Australian spodumene and tantalum concentrate producer, Pilbara Minerals Limited, is pleased to provide the following operational update for the September 2020 Quarter for its Pilgangoora Lithium—Tantalum Project. While the Company continued campaign mining and processing during the September quarter in line with its moderated production strategy, several improvements were recorded across the operation, notably: an increase in plant run—time and utilisation, which represented approximately 70—75% utilisation across the quarter (compared with 40% in the June quarter); higher plant utilisation and continued high product recovery contributed to a lower average unit cash operating cost1 of US$355/dmt (CIF China) for the September quarter; increased production, with a total of 62,404 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate produced for the quarter (compared with 34,484 dmt for the June quarter); and an increase in sales, with spodumene concentrate shipments totalling 43,630 dmt for the quarter, in line with guidance provided in the June Quarterly Report (compared with 29,312 dmt for the June quarter).
Following the appointment of KordaMentha as the Receiver of Altura Mining Limited (“Altura”) on 26 October 2020, Pilbara Minerals Limited (“Pilbara Minerals” or the “Company") (ASX: PLS) has entered into an Implementation Deed with the senior secured loan noteholders of Altura (“Loan Noteholders”) which provides it with a path to potentially acquire the Altura Lithium Project (“Altura Project") through the purchase of the shares in Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd (“ALO”) for approximately US$175 million, subject to completion of the receivership process.
PRODUCTION AND SALES
Increase in process plant run-time, representing approximately 70-75% utilisation (compared with 40% in the June Quarter 2020) to satisfy increased customer demand.
Production of 62,404 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate (June Quarter: 34,484 dmt).
Spodumene concentrate shipments totalled 43,630 dmt (June Quarter: 29,312 dmt).
Tantalite concentrate sales totalled 25,222 lbs (June Quarter: 23,232 lbs).
Lower unit cash operating costs1 of US$355/dmt, reflecting sustained higher Iithia recoveries and increased processing plant utilisation. Unit costs trending towards the target of US$320-350/dmt (CIF China).
European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050, is driving electric vehicle take up and therefore shifting market sentiment.
Lithium raw material demand improving as Pilbara Minerals’ spodumene sales increase 49% compared to the June Quarter 2020.
Successful completion of the low-cost US$110M senior secured debt facility executed with BNP Paribas and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, allowing repayment of the Nordic Bond.
US$15M Working Capital Facility with BNP Paribas renewed and remains undrawn.
Quarter-end cash balance of $85.7M (30 June 2020: $86.3M).
Prospect receives subscriptions for 46,153,847 shares at A$O.13 to raise A$6m before costs via a private placement to sophisticated and professional investors. Funds to develop pilot plant to produce low iron spodumene & high purity petalite samples for glass & ceramics customers, initiate a Front End Engineering Design for Prospect's Arcadia Lithium Project and progressing Project financing activities.
Signing a 7 year offtake agreement with Sibelco for up to 700,000 dmt of Arcadia's high purity petalite product;
Appointed Renaissance Capital as M&A Advisor in relation to the discussions with Uranium One Group;
Progressed both metallurgical testwork and customers qualification; and
Subsequent to the quarter, completed a transformational capital raise of A$6M before costs and signed an option agreement for the sale of the Penhalonga Gold Project for US$1M, to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and fast track the Arcadia Lithium Project.
Renascor enters into non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chinese anode company Shanxi Minguang New Material Technology Co. Ltd., part of one of China’s largest battery supplier groups, to supply up to 10,000 tonnes per annum of Purified Spherical Graphite (PSG) from Renascor’s 100%-owned Siviour Battery Anode Material Project in South Australia.
Other significant milestones for the Siviour Battery Anode Material Project achieved during the quarter include:
Renascor completes share placement to $3.6m to fund work streams for the Siviour and Carnding projects. Cash position of approximately $5.2m as of 30 September 2020.
North American battery metals supply chain locking into place as leading electric vehicle (EV)maker Tesla seeks local supply of spodumene and other battery metals. Canadian Government backs domestic EV sector with Ford investment; Québec positioned as a key supplier of battery metals to Canadian automakers, which include Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler. Sayona advancing flagship Authier Lithium Project and emerging Tansim Project to fill growing spodumene supply gap; bid for North American Lithium (NAL) continues to progress.
Sayona expands Tansim Lithium Project, Québec with acquisition of additional 39 claims.
New field work underway at flagship Authier Lithium Project, as Company progresses environmental and geotechnical studies; critical follow-up work contracts awarded, targeting year-end completion.
Global independent investment banking advisory firm, Evercore Group LLC joins Sayona's world-class advisory team for North American Lithium (NAL) bid.
Placement agreed with Battery Metals Capital Group LLC raising up to US$2 million (AU$2.73m); additional US$6m available at Sayona's sole request.
Investors support Sayona's growth strategy with heavily oversubscribed placement of shortfall raising A$2.75 million.
Exploration work progresses at lithium/gold exploration portfolio in Western Australia.
Demand from European and US automotive and battery manufacturers for Talga's silicon anode product Talnode-Si drives 10x boost in commercial sample production capacity; Customer feedback supports Talga's commercial approach in using lower cost metallurgical-grade silicon and mass production equipment; Production of graphene-graphite precursors required to make Talnode-Si added to the Niska process flowsheet and scoping study, pushing release to November; Positive market feedback and technical development lead Talga to fast-track preliminary feasibility studies for stand-alone European silicon anode refinery.
COMMERCIAL & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Vittangi Anode Project development to proceed directly to commercial phase following positive outcomes from completed detailed feasibility work.
Fast-tracking decision for Talga’s mass-producible silicon anode product, Talnode®-Si, announced subsequent to the quarter.
US patent granted for Talga’s electrochemical exfoliation process
MINERAL PROJECT DEVELOPMENT & EXPLORATION
15% increase in the total natural graphite resources at Vittangi as a result of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for Talga’s Nunasvaara South deposit.
Scoping study for Vittangi’s Niska deposits to now include Talnode®-Si graphite-graphene material production.
CORPORATE & INVESTOR RELATIONS
Board and Executive changes included appointment of Mr Martin Phillips as European Chief Executive Officer subsequent to the quarter.
Completion of strongly supported institutional placement.
Sale of Western Australian gold royalties to Trident.
Cash balance ofA$12.6 million as at 30 September 2020.
Vulcan ensured it is fully funded for its PPS by completion of an agreement for a direct investment by EU-backed EIT InnoEnergy, at a premium to 30-day VWAP. This followed the previous oversubscribed $4.8m institutional and ESG investor equity placement, also completed at a premium to 30-day VWAP.
Vulcan is now well-funded with cash of $5.1m at 30 September.
London-based Natural Resources Global Capital Partners Limited (“NRG”) was appointed to provide strategic and financial advice in connection with the Zero Carbon LithiumTM Project. NRG will assist Vulcan with financial advice related to potential future transactions surrounding funding for its Deﬁnitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) and ﬁrst commercial lithium hydroxide production plant.
Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) testwork was successfully concluded, using commercially available adsorbents, which achieved initial recovery rates in excess of 90%. Optimisation work is underway to achieve enhanced recovery rates.
Taro license was granted and Vulcan’s overall Upper Rhine Valley (URVP) mineral resource estimate was updated. This is now estimated to collectively contain 15.37 million tonnes (Mt) Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) at a grade of 181 mg/l Li (Indicated & Inferred; 95% of which is in the Inferred Resource category), the largest JORC lithium resource in Europe.
Vulcan’s team was bolstered by the following Senior Executive appointments:
$LTR's Kathleen Valley Lithium & Tantalum Project fully funded through to Definitive Feasibility Study after receiving A$12.5m commitments in high-demand capital raising. Read more here: https://t.co/aRvxYxbktZ pic.twitter.com/qfwwG51jRc— Liontown Resources (@LiontownRes) October 29, 2020
.@BloombergNEF's New Energy Outlook was published today. Here is my favorite stationary storage take-away.https://t.co/yOiB38AvYN— James Frith (@JamesTFrith) October 27, 2020
In an economic build scenario you need to invest ~$900b in storage.
In our climate scenario (<2'C) you need to invest almost $3trillion! pic.twitter.com/IDkeoRu1gl
Simon, there is a sustainability issue with this. In the case of spodumene, every movement of raw material from mine to plant involves shipping 94%+ of waste. The shorter that distance the more economic and sustainable the operation.— Lithium News (@batt_li) October 28, 2020
To reach its 2022 target of 200GWh @Tesla will need to spend around 1/3rd of that, $5b, on cell manufacturing. Assuming they manage to slash capex investment as stated to around $20-25m/GWh https://t.co/QaCJ12gKiv— James Frith (@JamesTFrith) October 27, 2020
Administrators have been appointed at listed lithium play Altura Mining, throwing its $150 million recapitalisation plans into doubt. https://t.co/lx3eiEYSsB— Financial Review (@FinancialReview) October 26, 2020
3 x trillion-dollar industries rely on the lithium ion battery: Auto, Mobile Tech &Energy / Utilities— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) October 21, 2020
The lithium ion battery is wholly reliant on steady, quality, secure supply of key raw materials: lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, manganese, copper @Benchmarkmin pic.twitter.com/oGa0PuEqp7
Today we released a scoping study for downstream refining at our Kathleen Valley Lithium Project which shows exceptional economics from production of battery grade materials. Read more: https://t.co/6umiwcb7yE$LTR #ASX #Lithium #Tantalum #downstream #batterymaterials pic.twitter.com/BlLbHQH2R7— Liontown Resources (@LiontownRes) October 22, 2020
A clear acceleration in lithium ion battery supply chain build out has taken place since pandemic started— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) October 20, 2020
In 2020 following battery megafactories / Gigafactory added to pipeline (@benchmarkmin Data)
China ???????? 38
USA ???????? 3
Europe ???????? 2
In our forecast for available volumes of (non-commercial) light duty EV batteries for recycling there will only be slightly more than 33,000 tonnes of cells available in Europe in 2030. That's about a third of what was placed on the market in 2019. It's l…https://t.co/zuSFwyuSMt— Hans Eric Melin (@hanseric) October 19, 2020
In vehicles which are driven less than 10,000 miles per year. https://t.co/lPF43plNUy— Hans Eric Melin (@hanseric) October 18, 2020
Ganfeng Lithium expands its 34ktpa recycling lithium-ion battery recycling capacity to 100,000 tonnes while establishing pre-processing centers in China. They are also planning pre-processing and recycling overseas. SE Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe likely target markets.— Hans Eric Melin (@hanseric) October 14, 2020
Environmental concerns from all stakeholders involved along the #EV #battery supply chain are becoming impossible to ignore. #ElonMusk has already declared that #Tesla intends to prioritise sourcing #nickel mined in “environmentally sensitive way” https://t.co/60dzuZ1VOM— Roskill (@Roskill_Info) October 10, 2020
ASX: Updated Kathleen Valley PFS - Substantial NPV increase to A$1.1 billion and mine life increase to ~40 years— Liontown Resources (@LiontownRes) October 9, 2020
Read more here ???????????? https://t.co/H7svPL9f9M$LTR #Lithium #Tantalum #PFS #EV #Auto #BatteryMetals pic.twitter.com/nDtSrzUMYk
Wow. This has big significance for the car industry.https://t.co/32Ya7Uwi3b— Keith Johnston (@keith__johnston) October 8, 2020
500,000 @Tesla’s = ~35,000t LCE of #lithium (mainly hydroxide), accounting for >10% of global 2020 demand and worth some US$385M for the suppliers. In a few years expect similar stats for other OEMs, but don’t expect similar rhetoric to #batteryday re. owing the supply in future https://t.co/o5Dy0BnSfe— Robert Baylis (@robertbaylis) October 7, 2020
Batteries are clearly shaping as key to the future of energy - so to help tackle this challenge, we're looking to install a BIG battery for our grid.— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) October 2, 2020
It's set to be housed at the decommissioned Kwinana Power Station, and the project is expected to create around 100 WA jobs. pic.twitter.com/iAhqvjP74j
German media are covering the frontrunner role of @Tesla on raw material investments prominently now. Should @VW etc. invest directly in #Lithium mining? I see small strategic stake investments in addition to offtake-agreements as necessary. @handelsblatt $RCK #EV #Battery pic.twitter.com/0eVxmRj7gP— lithiumforum (@lithiumforum) October 2, 2020
Norway car sales Sep 2020: Record share of #ElectricVehicles at 81.6%! BEVs at 61.5%. Pure diesel down to 5%. 13% of all cars was the new electric VW ID.3. #elbil @colinmckerrache https://t.co/UqIB85E7GK pic.twitter.com/tFNOhA2YRu— Eyvind Aven (@eyaven) October 1, 2020
To those that believe #cobalt is a necessary material in #lithium-ion batteries: take note not of the intention of Great Wall in this PR but of its cathode material science. In @Roskill_Info’s view Co is the easy solution to cathode stability, but not the only/clever solution https://t.co/ntOtKBB697— Robert Baylis (@robertbaylis) October 1, 2020