Tianqi Lithium Corp on Friday said an unnamed entity would invest up to 16 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) in its controlling shareholder as the Chinese company continues to look for ways to pay down debt.
In a call to investors following disappointing financial results released Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk says Tesla doesn’t have enough cells to put new products like Semi truck into production. "Prototypes are easy. Scaling production is very hard. The main reason we have not accelerated new products like the Tesla Semi is that we simply don’t have enough cells built. We could easily go into the production of the Semi, but we don’t have enough cells for it right now."
The days of the internal combustion engine are numbered. General Motors said Thursday that it would phase out petroleum-powered cars and trucks and sell only vehicles that have zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, a seismic shift by one of the world’s largest automakers that makes billions of dollars today from gas-guzzling pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.
South Korea's SK Innovation Co Ltd , which owns the country's top oil refiner SK Energy, said on Friday it will invest 1.3 trillion won ($1.16 billion) to build its third battery plant in Hungary. The South Korean battery maker, which supplies electric car batteries to Volkswagen, Ford Motor Co and Hyundai Motor Co among others, will begin construction in the third quarter of this year, the company said in a statement.
S&P Global Ratings said Jan. 26 it is considering downgrading its credit ratings on a number of major oil and gas producers, including ExxonMobil, Shell and Total, to reflect a growing risk to their businesses from the energy transition, price volatility, and future profitability.
President Joe Biden on Monday vowed to replace the U.S. government’s fleet of roughly 650,000 vehicles with electric models as the new administration shifts its focus toward clean-energy. “The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America made by American workers,” Biden said Monday.
Sila Nanotechnologies (“Sila Nano”), a next-generation battery materials company, announced that it raised $590 million Series F funding at a $3.3 billion post-money valuation. The new funding comes as the first Sila Nano-powered batteries prepare to ship in consumer devices and the company scales up its production to serve growing demand from smartphone and automotive customers. Sila Nano will use the funds to begin development of a new North American 100 GWh plant to produce its silicon-based anode material and serve smartphone and automotive customers.
The auto industry’s quickening shift to electric cars is spurring investment in another emerging industry in the U.S.: manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for those vehicles. China currently dominates the market for producing electric-vehicle batteries. But as auto makers spend billions to build more plug-in models in the U.S., investors are increasing their bets on companies looking to expand the supply chain for batteries and related materials in North America - a region that has long relied on imports for such components.
The European Commission gave the green light on Tuesday for supporting a second battery cell alliance of 42 companies from 12 member states, including carmakers BMW and Tesla, the German economy minister said.
Spurred by growing demand, Asia’s dominant battery producers are expanding directly into Europe and the U.S. Electric vehicle sales in Europe in 2020 exceeded those in China for the first time, according to BloombergNEF forecasts, and Europe’s share of global battery manufacturing will rise to 17% by 2025, up from 6% in 2020. In the U.S., Joe Biden’s presidency has raised expectations for faster EV adoption: BNEF forecasts a 30% increase in sales in the first half of 2021, compared with the same period in 2019.
The European Union has approved a plan that includes giving state aid to Tesla, BMW and others to support the production of electric vehicle batteries, helping the bloc to cut imports and compete with industry leader China. The European Commission’s approval of the 2.9 billion euro ($3.5 billion) European Battery Innovation project, follows the launch in 2017 of the European Battery Alliance that aims to support the industry during the shift away from fossil fuels.
Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy Ubitricity, owner of the largest public charging network for electric vehicles in the UK, as the oil major expands its presence along the power supply chain. The company, which integrates electric car charging into street infrastructure such as lamp posts, has more than 2,700 charge points in the UK, giving it a market share of 13 per cent.
China Evergrande is taking a step further in its ambitious plan to conquer the global electric vehicle (EV) market by making one of its biggest fundraisings yet from six private investors since switching its focus from the health care business in 2018. China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group, the developer’s Hong Kong-listed unit, is raising HK$26 billion (US$3.35 billion) selling 952.4 million new shares at HK$27.30 each, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing on Sunday. The price represents a 9 per cent discount to the last traded level on Friday, and the stake amounts to about 9.75 per cent of its enlarged capital.
Guoxuan High-Tech Co Ltd., a Chinese battery manufacturer, has introduced this month a new high-energy-density lithium iron phosphate (LFP) lithium-ion battery cell. The company claims that the new cells are rated at 210 Wh/kg, which is a world record and on par with NCM523 lithium-ion cells, not far from NCM622. The previous record was 200 Wh/kg, set also by Guoxuan, in 2020. It's amazing progress, because about 10 years ago, LFP was at half of that - around 100 Wh/kg, and reached 140 Wh/kg in 2015.
Shareholders of the Chilean miner SQM voted on Friday to OK a plan to raise $1.1 billion through the sale of common stock to help underwrite an ambitious expansion of its lithium, nitrate and iodine operations, a company spokesperson said.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence price data collected in our last assessment period in December 2020 shows price increases for the mainstream battery raw materials of lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, with the increases focussed around and largely driven by the Chinese market.
The world’s overloaded power grids are on the cusp of a megabattery boom. California, keen to avoid last year’s blackouts, could add more than 2 gigawatts of energy storage, including from batteries, by summer.
EVgo Services LLC said on Friday it has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corp, in a deal that values the electric vehicle charging station provider at $2.6 billion. The deal is expected to provide EVgo with about $575 million in net cash proceeds, including $400 million from investors such as Pacific Investment Management Co LLC (PIMCO), BlackRock Inc and Wellington Management, among others.
Portuguese oil and gas company Galp has entered the race for lithium exploitation, striking a deal with Savannah Resources for a 10% stake in a lithium-rich mine the London-listed company owns in the north of the country. Portugal is Europe’s biggest lithium producer, but its miners sell almost exclusively to the ceramics industry and are only now preparing to produce higher-grade lithium that is used in electric cars and to power electronic appliances.
Nissan will source more batteries from Britain to avoid tariffs on electric cars after the UK’s trade deal with the EU, which a senior executive told Reuters turned Brexit from a risk into an opportunity for its factory in northeast England.
BYD Co., a Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer backed by Warren Buffett, raised HK$29.9 billion ($3.86 billion) from an upsized sale of its Hong Kong-listed shares, capitalizing on rising demand for new-energy vehicles and a blistering stock rally.
President-elect Joe Biden will order U.S. agencies on Wednesday to revisit fuel efficiency standards as well as rules governing emissions from airplanes, and appliance and building energy efficiency standards, the transition team said.
Tianqi Lithium Corp. halted a private share-sale plan after a Chinese exchange queried the deal. The company said Sunday it had terminated the plan, announced Friday, that would see it raise as much as 15.9 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) by issuing stock to controlling shareholder Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group Co. at 35.94 yuan per share -- about 40% below its last closing price. Tianqi said it scrapped the deal to avoid short-swing trading and protect the interests of smaller shareholders.
China will strengthen regulation over the rare-earth metals industry, from mining to exports, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Friday, in what some see as its latest response to ongoing tensions with the U.S.
President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to fight global warming calls for building vast swaths of solar panels and wind turbines, but making it work will rest squarely on batteries. That’s true of climate change plans in Europe, China and elsewhere, too, because there’s no way to switch to carbon-free cars and power grids without greatly expanded storage capacity for electricity. Even though battery prices have plummeted over the last decade while production has soared, the hard part lies ahead.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management gave final approval on Friday to Lithium Americas Corp’s Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada, part of a push by policymakers to boost domestic output of the white metal for electric vehicle batteries.
Panasonic aims to make cobalt-free batteries available for Tesla's electric vehicles in two to three years, as the Japanese electronics manufacturer tries to keep pace with the U.S. automaker's ambitious mission to bring EVs into the mainstream quickly.
Global supplies of lithium used to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries will fall short of projections for demand to more than triple by 2025 if prices do not rebound to fund expansions, an executive at industry leader Albemarle Corp said on Tuesday.
Mitsubishi Chemical will lift global production capacity of liquid used in electric vehicle batteries by about 50%, Nikkei has learned, in a move to better compete against Chinese players for a rapidly expanding market fueled by green initiatives around the world.
After a brief slowdown in growth during 2020, lithium demand is expected to accelerate in 2021, exceeding 415kt LCE with battery-grade compounds forecast to account for over 70% of the total. As regional supply chains are expected to become commonplace to help encourage supply security and reduce shipping costs and the associated environmental impacts, the North American market will require significant additional supply to support its growing battery business.
Origin Energy has unveiled plans to build a giant 700-megawatt capacity battery at its coal-fired power plant in Eraring, south of Newcastle, in the New South Wales Hunter region.
GM CEO Mary Barra announced that GM will now sell electric delivery vans in a new business unit known as Bright Drop, which reimagines commercial delivery and logistics for an all-electric future of smart connected products and software-enabled services. FedEx will be its first customer and BrightDrop's first product will be an electric pallet called EP1 that will be available early next year. Its second product, an electric light commercial vehicle called the EV600 with a range of up to 250 miles, will be available for order in early 2022.
Australia’s largest battery storage project could be built just outside of Sydney, with planning documents revealing the plans of renewable energy developer Neoen kick-starting the planning process for a 500MW/1,000MWh big battery in New South Wales.
Hyundai Motor and Apple Inc plan to sign a partnership deal on autonomous electric cars by March and start production around 2024 in the United States, local newspaper Korea IT News reported on Sunday.
Chinese internet giant Baidu has formed a strategic partnership with automaker Geely to create a standalone electric vehicle company. Geely will be responsible for the manufacturing of the vehicles, and Baidu will focus on the software and technology for the car.
Significant battery developments recording 21% higher capacity at cycle 100, for a 70% micro-silicon containing anode using AnteoTech’s Cross Linker Additive.
Existing Rincon Lithium Project JORC (2012) Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 245,120 tonnes of contained Li2CO3 (with weighted mean average lithium concentration of 325mg/L) to a vertical depth of 102.5m, calculated from results of 21 drillholes.
Independently prepared JORC (2012) Exploration Target estimate in addition to the overlying existing JORC Indicated Mineral Resource estimate.
Additional Exploration Target of 262,000 tonnes to 479,000 tonnes of contained Li2CO3 based on a weighted average grade of between 315 mg/L and 327 mg/L, with depth interval between 102.5m to 300m below ground level.
Combined JORC Indicated Mineral Resource and Exploration Target estimates outline potential for a range of 507,000 tonnes to 724,000 tonnes of contained Li2CO3 at the Rincon Lithium Project to a depth of 300m.
Brine aquifer still open at depth based on previous Argosy drilling, with potential for further expansion and increasing mine life.
Results provide further support for planned long term commercial scale development of Rincon Lithium Project.
Exploration Target may materially increase Project mine life and production capacity.
20 metric tonne high purity Li2CO3 product Sales Contract executed with Korean customer and product cargo currently being shipped.
JORC Exploration Target1 delineated for Rincon Lithium Project - demonstrates significant potential to materially increase Project mine life and production capacity in due course.
The Company has an exclusive and proprietary environmentally clean/green chemical process technology with very low energy and raw water requirements to produce high purity battery quality lithium carbonate product acceptable for high-specification international markets.
Commercial 10,000tpa Environmental Impact Assessment report progressing to final completion, with completed baseline and supporting sections submitted.
Progressing pre-development works for ~2,000tpa modular lithium carbonate processing plant operation.
Salta government providing strong support for full development of Rincon Lithium Project.
Argosy accepted as a member of the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA).
Argosy has the lithium processing expertise and knowledge to pursue a complementary commercial lithium carbonate and hydroxide production strategy.
20 tonne cargo of high-quality >99.5% lithium carbonate product from Argosy’s industrial scale pilot plant being shipped to Korean customer.
Shipping documents delivered and payment via Letter of Credit being processed.
Further distinguishes Argosy from other junior lithium peers still at laboratory testing stage.
Independently prepared assessment of long-term pumping data at Rincon Lithium Project confirms positive results exceed previous results used in PEA.
Aquifer transmissivity at Rincon production bore PRP1 is estimated to be 7,500m2/day after 120 days of pumping - permeability may be >2.5 times higher than assumed for the PEA.
Assumptions adopted in PEA found to be conservative - bore has performed better than expected.
Results increase confidence that overall aquifer performance will outperform PEA modelled pumping data.
Scope to refine the design to have fewer production bores or increase production.
Results provide further support for planned long term commercial scale development of Rincon Lithium Project.
Commenting on the December 2020 quarter, Australian Mines’ Managing Director, Mr Benjamin Bell, said: “During the quarter there was a considerable amount of activity and effort going on behind the scenes to progress our offtake and financing activities.
“It is worth reiterating that the Company is firmly committed, focused and in a strong position to take advantage of the expected increase in global demand for nickel and cobalt, being essential commodities used by electric vehicle battery makers, automotive manufacturers (also called ‘OEMs’, or original equipment manufacturers) and in the storage and delivery of clean, sustainable energy sources.”
Advanced battery materials developer, Australian Mines Limited is pleased to advise it has recently accelerated research and development into the production of high value-add precursor cathode active material (P-CAM) for Nickel-CobaIt-Manganese (NCM) batteries at its flagship Sconi Project. This follows the Company’s ongoing success in producing P-CAM products (for NCM523, NCM622 and now NCM811 batteries) whose specifications mirror those of major electric vehicle battery manufacturers.
Primary Lithium Sulphate Monohydrate bench scale test work successfully completed.
AVZ's planned production flow sheet independently tested and confirmed as technically feasible.
Primary Lithium Sulphate with greater than 80% (wt. %) lithium content can be readily produced.
Primary Lithium Sulphate produced presents as suitable feedstock for the electrolytic conversion of Lithium Hydroxide Monohydrate used in battery production.
Strategic offtake agreement signed with GFL International Co. Limited (GFL), a subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd, China’s largest lithium compound producer on favourable terms:
Negotiatons with several other offtake partners for lithium and tin materials ongoing.
Discussions continued with financiers, with several expressions of interest received.
Pit floor drilling of the Roche Dure ‘wedge’ continued to potentially upgrade additional Inferred Resources to Indicated Resources.
New Ore Reserves to be generated from optimised mine design.
Key Congolese Government agencies progress planning for a Special Economic Zone for the Manono region following a two-day workshop in October.
Independent assessment shows Manono Project could have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any global hard rock lithium miner.
Greenhouse gas assessment captured all proposed mining, power, haulage and downstream processing operations.
AVZ is striving to be as close to a ’zero emissions’ operation as possible.
Planning advanced for a drill program at the high grade Razafy NW area in Southern Madagascar, with activity expected to commence in the short term.
Discussions continued with industry leading down-stream graphite producers, with the aim of finalising a development and production plan.
Pilot test work planning continued for the Maniry Project and is now in an advanced stage.
First Phase of Donnelly River Ni-Cu-PGM Project exploration confirmed the existence of Mafic-ultramafic rocks with geochemical samples collected for review.
An airborne electromagnetic survey was designed for Donnelly River with plans to commence during the March 2021 Quarter.
Successful completion of the Share Placement and Share Purchase Plan ("SPP”) raising in excess of $1.8m.
Founding Non-Executive Director, George Bauk, appointed Chairman and experienced graphite executive, David Round, appointed to the Board as Finance Director.
Cash reserves in excess of $2m as at 31 December 2020, well positioning BlackEarth for further growth in 2021.
Core Lithium has been granted a Mineral Lease (ML) for the BP33 Lithium Deposit.
The BP33 ML is the second lithium Mineral Lease in the Northern Territory awarded to Core, after being awarded the Grants Deposit Mineral Lease in 2019.
Another key milestone achieved towards being shovel-ready on Australia’s most advanced new lithium project.
Development tenure locked in for mining and supporting project infrastructure.
During the December 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 Darwin in the Northern Territory.
During the reporting period, Core:
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.
DOME NORTH LITHIUM PROJECT
Excellent results received from metallurgical test work carried out on the Cade Deposit in December.
A total lithium oxide (Li2O) recovery rate of 74% was achieved using a hybrid Dense Medium Separation (DMS) + flotation flowsheet to produce a 5.6% lithia (Li2O) concentrate with a low 0.7% iron (Fe2O3) content.
The test work showed that the high-grade Cade Deposit is amenable to conventional process routes.
Subsequent to quarter end, placement to raise proceeds of approximately $7 million (before expenses).
EUR completes initial Tenement Application Compliance in respect to E47/4144 with the regulatory application process progressing in compliance with the WA Mining Act.
COVID-l9 pandemic and government enforced rules, related to international travel in particular, continues to impact operations and force EUR to observe closely any changes in government restrictions both in Austria and Australia.
Company has continued operations in Austria but some restrictions have been reinforced, which reduced operational activities as reported for the previous periods.
Tender process for the drill holes deeper than 300m has continued, numerous drilling contractors remain in lock down.
Dorfner/Anzaplan lock cycle tests to recommence, the final report will be published once results are received and processed.
GREENPEG (EU-funded) supported infield and underground work has commenced.
Results of the Goulamina Definitive Feasibility Study confirm Goulamina as one of the world’s best hard rock lithium assets for scale and cost of production.
The Company is completing a strategic review of the asset and will advise shareholders of the outcome shortly.
Galan to acquire 80% of the Greenbushes South Lithium Project from Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT).
The Project is located 3 kms south of the world-class Greenbushes Lithium Mine which is owned and managed by Talison Lithium Pty Ltd.
Galan already holds a 100% interest in an Exploration Licence application (E70/4629) covering a total area of approximately 43 km2. It is approximately 15kms to the south of the Greenbushes Mine.
The acquisition secures and consolidates a significant package of exploration ground of 396km2.
Talison’s project is known as the one of the world’s largest, highest grade, hard rock spodumene deposits.
Galan's combined total resources now ~3.0Mt Mt @ 858mg/l Li and is the 3rd largest publicly disclosed lithium resource in the Hombre Muerto basin (POSCO's $US280m transaction with Galaxy was based on a resource of 2.5Mt @ 732mg/l Li).
Final acquisition of Del Condor and Pucara concessions (not included in PEA), strengthens and consolidates Galan as key player in the region.
Compelling Preliminary Economic Assessment for 100% owned HMW Project, now a tier 1, world class lithium brine asset:
Galan acquires 80% interest in Greenbushes South Lithium Project.
$10m over-subscribed placement completed late January 2021.
Estimated cash on hand after placement of $14.6m.
Sal de Vida, Argentina
PRODUCTION & OPERATIONS
Mt Cattlin, Australia
James Bay, Canada
FINANCIAL & CORPORATE
Further to the Company‘s announcement of 9 December 2020 regarding the acquisition by IGO of an interest in a global lithium joint venture with Tianqi, the Company is pleased to confirm that Tianqi received approval for the transaction with IGO from its shareholders on 5 January 2021. Of the shareholders present and entitled to vote at the Tianqi shareholder meeting 99.97% voted in favour of the transaction between Tianqi and IGO, a strong validation of the “win-win” the transaction has created for the shareholders of both companies.
Nova production and cash costs in line and better than guidance respectively.
Tropicana gold production, cash costs and All-in Sustaining Costs better than guidance.
Nova and Tropicana underlying free cash flow of A$103M and A$32M respectively.
Revenue and other income for the Group of A$236M and underlying EBITDA of A$121M, generating an EBITDA margin of 51%.
Cash flow from Operations of A$132M and underlying free cash flow of A$113M.
Binding agreement with Tianqi Lithium Corporation providing IGO with a 24.99% indirect interest in the world-class Greenbushes Lithium Mining and Processing Operation and a 49% interest in the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Plant.
Tianqi received approval for the Transaction with IGO from its shareholders on 5 January 2021, with 99.97% voting in favour of the transaction.
Funding of the Lithium Transaction successfully completed through a A$766M equity raise and new A$1,100M debt facility.
Tropicana strategic review progressed.
Dr Xiaoping Yang and Mr Michael Nossal appointed as non-executive directors.
IGO maintained inclusion in the 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Australia, ranking the Company amongst the top performing companies for ESG reporting.
San José Lithium Project
Key Investigation Permit Ampliacion a Valdeflorez granted.
The Extremadura Department of Mines continued to advance Investigation Permit Valdeflorez.
Test work momentum maintained in the EU despite the impacts of the pandemic.
Test work undertaken by Dorfner Anzaplan, as funded by EIT InnoEnergy, confirmed the first stages of PFS assumptions for flotation recoveries.
Entitlement Offer successfully completed, raising A$2.4m before costs.
Highly credentialled technical expert Jon Starink appointed to the Board and executive management.
Lithium expert Dr. David Maree appointed to newly established Technical Advisory Committee.
Cayetano Polo appointed of Head of Institutional Relations in Spain.
Available cash as at 31 December 2020 of A$4.77 million.
EIT InnoEnergy to fund commitments for phase one test work completion under the Project Agreement for up to €400,000 (A$0.7 million).
December quarter marked by advances in permitting, engineering and financing discussions.
Main federal permit application, the Plan of Operations and the State Air Quality and Water Pollution control permit applications progressing to plan.
Engineering work continuing with design increasing and engineering packages being prepared, issued for bid, negotiated and awarded.
Continuing development of protection and conservation plans for Tiehm’s buckwheat.
Strategic Partnering, funding and offtake discussions maturing.
Upward revision in electric vehicle take-up and lithium demand has led to improved sentiment toward the lithium sector.
Retirement of Patrick Elliott as Non-Executive Director after 17 years of service to ioneer.
Drilling at McDermitt lithium project (US) completed in December 2020.
Jindalee exploring options for North American listing of lithium assets.
Exploration Target Range announced for Lyons River magnesite deposit (Tasmania).
Jindalee remains well funded following completion of placement and rights issue.
Corporate - strong funding position:
Recycling (Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd, 90% Company-owned):
Batteries (VSPC Ltd, 100% Company-owned):
Batteries (Soluna Australia Pty Ltd, 50% Company-owned):
Lithium chemicals - the Company’s US patent application for SiLeach® lithium extraction from micas was approved.
Kachi Project Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) formally commenced. Dr Nicholas Lindsay will assume the role as Technical Director.
High purity 99.97% battery quality lithium carbonate produced by direct extraction from Lake’s Kachi brines, being processed into lithium-ion battery test cells by Novonix.
Company raised $20 million and is well funded through to construction finance.
OTC listing OTC:LLKKF available for real-time trading and settlement.
The 100 per cent-owned Greenbushes tenements cover 39,800 ha north and south of the Greenbushes mine owned and operated by major lithium producers Albemarle and Tianqi.
The northern tenement is immediately adjacent to the Greenbushes mine and has been the focus of most exploration activity by LPI in late 2019 and early 2020.
Exploration defined the 3 by 1 km Balingup East Target as a continuation of the large arsenic lithium halo around the nearby giant Greenbushes lithium mine. 201 Surface samples were taken over 60 km2, with further sampling planned to define drill targets.
LPl identified further drill targets in the East Kirup area to the north of Balingup, over 3 by 0.5 km, with pegmatite outcrop in the prospective amphibolite unit.
LPI has received drilling approval and will be conducting additional geochemical sampling before drilling commences.
A staged development approach was announced for our flagship Maricunga Lithium Project in Chile, with Stage One to fast-track the properties known as “Old Code” concessions.
Stage One has a name plate capacity of 15,000 tonnes-per-year of very high purity lithium carbonate over a 20-year mine life. Significant expansion potential exists from subsequent stages.
LPI raised A$8.0 million in a placement to sophisticated and global institutional investors, with Directors participating for A$0.3 million in a second tranche of the placement.
Maricunga Stage One is now fully funded through the working program established for 2021 . Financing activities for off-take agreements and equity and debt funding are to be sped-up via our financial adviser, Treadstone Resource Partners, to ensure continuity in the fast-tracking of a sustainable and fully permitted project.
A work program involving a comprehensive internal review of the project’s technical and economic design is underway. It includes further drilling to expand resources, as well as an update of the existing Definitive Feasibility Study prepared by Worley and GEA Messo in accordance with JORC and NI 43-101 international standards.
An exploration plan has been finalised at the Greenbushes tenements in Western Australia, located adjacent to the world-scale Greenbushes Lithium mine, and activities are underway. The prime focus is on targets identified during prior field work. Completion is expected by the end of Q1 2020.
Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) follows on from highly encouraging studies completed in Q4 2020 (see ASX releases dated 9th and 22nd October 2020) which support a stand-alone 2Mtpa mining operation with a 40-year mine life.
Key consultants including Lycopodium Minerals Pty Ltd, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants Pty Ltd, Knight Piésold Pty Ltd, MBS Environmental and ALS Metallurgy Pty Ltd appointed to ensure a high-quality DFS.
Water exploration drilling has identified a number of prospective follow-up targets for full bore development and testing.
Comminution Study completed which has identified the potential for further process circuit optimisation.
Geotechnical/in-fill drilling confirms the potential to upgrade Inferred parts of the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), with several high-grade intersections received, including:
9.9m @ 1.9% Li2O from 135.9m, including:
30.8m @ 1.6% Li2O from 260.6m, including:
9.2m @1.6% Li2O from 189.2m, including:
13.4m @ 1.7% Li2O from 269.6m, including:
14m @ 1.8% Li2O from 186m, including:
39.7m @ 1.6% Li2O from 280.4m, including:
KATHLEEN VALLEY LITHIUM PROJECT (Western Australia: 100%)
Work well-advanced on the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), which builds on the highly encouraging studies completed in Q4 2020.
GeotechnicaI/in-fill drilling confirms the potential to upgrade Inferred parts of the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), with several high-grade intersections received, including:
9.9m @ 1.9% Li2O from 135.9m, including:
30.8m @ 1.6% Li2O from 260.6m, including:
9.2m @1.6% Li2O from 189.2m, including:
13.4m @ 1.7% Li2O from 269.6m, including:
14m @ 1.8% Li2O from 186m, including:
39.7m @ 1.6% Li2O from 280.4m, including:
(True Widths: 70-85% of down-hole Widths.)
Mt Marion Lithium Project continued to deliver in line with the optimised mine plan with production of 129,000 dmt. Shipments of spodumene concentrate were lower during the quarter with one shipment delayed into the current quarter.
Construction by Albemarle Corporation of the 50ktpa Kemerton Lithium Hydroxide Plant continued, with a workforce of approximately 1,250 people on site. The project remains on track for completion in the second half of 2021.
Charge CCCV [C4V] selected in United States Department of Energy Project focused on solar powered hybrid system for grid stabilisation.
The project is led by Binghamton University and includes parties like New York Power Authority and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
C4V to provide lithium-ion battery for the project.
Landowner agreement signed over Hesten and Vardfjellet graphite prospects.
Located 15km from existing Skaland Graphite Operations and only 4km west of Bukken prospect.
Strong geophysical anomalies and surface mapping/sampling results confirm high prospectivity of Hesten and Vardfjellet.
PEA to determine expedient path to commercialisation.
Nova owns 74% of Snow Lake Resources.
Snow Lake Resources owns 100% of the Thompson Brothers Lithium Project, located in Manitoba.
Data review for resource update from the current 6.3mt @ 1.3 Li2O (ASX: 25 July 2018)
Olaroz Lithium Facility (Olaroz) operations returned to being Gross Cash Margin positive with record sales volume during the quarter while costs declined to near all-time lows. Quarterly production volumes were the third highest since operations commenced. Low costs and strong, stable production mean the business is well positioned to participate in the improving lithium market. Operations continued under the established Bio-Security Protocol with limits on the number of personnel on site for both production and expansion works.
Approximately A$60.6 million raised from the underwritten Retail Entitlement Offer.
Total proceeds raised from the Entitlement Offer were approximately A$121.3 million, including the proceeds from the Institutional Entitlement Offer.
Together, with the cornerstone placement, approximately A$240.2 million was raised, with proceeds being used to fund the acquisition of all shares in Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd (ALO), the entity which owns Altura’s Pilgangoora Lithium Project (Altura Project).
Acquisition of ALO expected to complete on or before Friday, 22 January 2021.
PRODUCTION AND SALES
62% increase in sales from previous quarter delivers record quarterly spodumene concentrate shipments of 70,609 dry metric tonnes (dmt) (September Quarter 2020: 43,630 dmt), exceeding sales guidance.
Production of 63,712 dmt of spodumene concentrate (September Quarter 2020: 62,404 dmt).
Tantalite concentrate sales totalled 18,541 lbs (September Quarter 2020: 25,222 lbs).
Unit cash operating cost of US$351/dmt CIF China (September Quarter 2020: US$355/dmt).
Improved spodumene concentrate demand conditions evident both from within Pilbara Minerals’ existing customer group and from other market enquiries.
Material uplift in lithium chemicals pricing within China towards the end of December 2020 and into 2021, with Platts China Domestic Battery Grade lithium carbonate pricing up over 60% in late January 2021 from its lows in August 2020.
Acquisition of Altura Lithium Project via the execution of a Share Sale Agreement during the Quarter to acquire all the shares in Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd for US$175M in upfront and deferred consideration.
Acquisition funded through a $240M equity raising, which was successfully completed on 14 January 2021.
Settlement of Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd acquisition occurred on 20 January 2021.
Temporary royalty relief assistance secured from the Western Australian Government in respect of spodumene concentrate sales.
In September 2020, Renascor signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with anode company Shanxi Minguang New Material Technology Co. Ltd. (Minguang New Material) for the purchase of up to 10,000tpa of Purified Spherical Graphite (PSG) over a ten year term.
Under the terms of the MOU, Minguang New Material and Renascor agreed to work together to undertake product validation tests prior to concluding a formal binding agreement.
Renascor is pleased to report that it has now achieved first stage product qualification of Siviour PSG with Minguang New Material, with the results enabling the two parties to enter into negotiations regarding binding PSG offtake.
Minguang New Material is a subsidiary of Fujian Metallurgical Holding Co. Ltd. (Fujian Metallurgical) a large Chinese state-owned enterprise with 142 subsidiaries (including 3 listed companies), more than 38,000 employees and total assets of approximately A$17 billion.
Fujian Metallurgical’s holdings include a majority ownership interest in XTC New Energy Materials Co. Ltd., China’s largest battery cathode producer, and Minguang New Material, which is developing a 40,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) battery anode manufacturing facility in China’s Shanxi Province.
China continues to be the dominant market for PSG. Chinese anode production capacity represents around 85% of global capacity, and over 90% of capacity currently under construction.
Renascor is concurrently discussing additional potential PSG offtake agreements and undertaking PSG validation with other anode and battery companies, with a view to securing binding commitments for its planned 28,000tpa PSG operation.
Renascor enters into non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with one of China’s leading battery anode companies, Jiangxi Zhengtuo New Energy Technology Co. Ltd. (Zeto), 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.
Zeto is a top ten anode producer globally, with current anode production capacity of 30,000tpa and an additional 20,000tpa under construction and planned to be in operation by 2022.
Zeto supplies anodes to some of the world’s largest battery makers, such as Hong Kong listed BYD Co. Ltd, the world’s second largest manufacturer and retailer of electric vehicles, with a current market capitalisation of around US$100 billion.
Together with Renascor’s other PSG MOU with anode company Shanxi Minguang New Material Technology Co. Ltd. (Minguang New Material), Renascor now has non-binding offtake agreements in place for up to 20,000tpa, which represents approximately two-thirds of Renascor’s planned annual PSG production capacity of 28,000tpa.
Renascor achieves first stage product qualification of Siviour PSG with Minguang New Material. Minguang New Material is part of one of China's largest battery supplier groups. The results of the product qualification tests enable Renascor and Minguang New Material to enter into negotiations regarding binding PSG offtake.
Cash position of approximately $4.6m as of 31 December 2020.
Authier Lithium Project’s environmental studies progress, with completion of response to Québec Government queries as approval process advances.
Tansim Lithium Project in Québec further expanded as part of development of Abitibi lithium hub.
Collaboration with Australian clean tech provider, Integrated Carbon Sequestration (ICS) over its sustainable lithium hydroxide production technology.
Sayona resumes 100% ownership of Pilbara gold/lithium tenements; gold exploration commences.
Bankable Feasibility Study (“BFS”) confirms strong business case for Syrah’s natural graphite Active Anode Material (“AAM”) production at Vidalia facility in USA, with robust economics.
Syrah produces Active Anode Material (“AAM”) using Vidalia precursor to target specification and AAM product qualification commenced with potential customers.
Improved natural graphite market conditions during the quarter – higher prices observed, increased enquiry.
Syrah signs Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) for solar and battery project to provide environmental and cost benefits at Balama.
Syrah remains on track to become a vertically integrated producer of natural graphite AAM to service ex-Asia markets.
Balance sheet strengthened via completion of a A$56 million (US$42 million)1 Placement and a $12 million (US$9 million) Share Purchase Plan (SPP) to be completed post quarter end.
In addition, Syrah proposes A$56 million (US$42 million) in convertible notes, issuable at Syrah’s option and subject to shareholder approval.
Syrah ends quarter with strong cash balance of US$75 million.
Battery anode company Talga Group Ltd advises it has successfully completed its Share Purchase Plan (“SPP”) announced on 15 December 2020.
The SPP, targeting A$1O million, was heavily oversubscribed with eligible applications received for A$53.5 million at the issue price of A$1.45 per share. Talga received 3,991 applications, representing a participation level of ~53% of eligible shareholders.
Given the strong support from shareholders, and the potential to bring toward a number of development opportunities and further de-risk project development, the Talga Board has exercised its discretion under the terms of the SPP to increase the size of the offer to ~A$30 million.
The Zero Carbon Lithium® Project’s1 first Pre-Feasibility Study (PPS) demonstrates strong potential to develop a cutting edge, combined renewable energy and lithium hydroxide project, in the centre of Europe, with net zero carbon footprint.
Positive post-tax NPV of €2.25B (full project, no phasing); phased option shows €700m NPV in Phase 1 and €1.4B NPV in Phase 2.
Combined renewable energy-lithium project (no phasing) pre-tax IRR of 26% and post-tax IRR of 21%. Lithium as separate entity from energy shows pre-tax IRR of 31% and post-tax IRR of 26%.
Reasonable starting capital cost of €226m for geothermal wells and plant, and €474m for Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) plants and Central Lithium Plant (CLP) (Phase 1, Taro). Phase 2 total CAPEX €1.14B, full project (no phasing) CAPEX €1.74B.
Sensitivity analysis shows robust project economics. Geothermal energy part of project supported by favourable feed-in tariff and recent German parliament support for geothermal.
Maiden Probable Ore Reserve of 1.12 Mt LCE at 181 mg/l Li across Ortenau and Taro licenses.
Main focuses of 2021 to be Definitive Feasibility Study (DPS) work, permitting, lithium extraction test-work scale up and advancing current discussions with European lithium offtakers.
Post December 2020 Quarter to Date of Reporting
Subsequent to the Quarter, Zero Carbon Lithium® Project’s first Pre- Feasibility Study (PPS) demonstrated strong potential to develop a cutting edge, combined renewable energy and lithium hydroxide project, in the centre of Europe, with net zero carbon footprint.
Positive post-tax NPV of €2.25B (full project, no phasing); phased option shows €700m NPV in Phase 1 and €1.4B NPV in Phase 2. Maiden Probable Ore Reserve of 1.12 Mt LCE at 181 mg/l Li across Ortenau and Taro licenses. Projected to be one of the lowest OPEX lithium producers globally.
December 2020 Quarter
Vulcan announced an updated and reclassified Taro Indicated JORC Resource Estimation of 0.83 Mt contained Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) at a grade of 181 mg/l Li. The updated Taro Inferred JORC Resource Estimation was revised upward to 1.44 Mt contained LCE at a grade of 181 mg/l Li.
The Company also announced an updated and reclassified Ortenau Indicated JORC Resource Estimation of 2.06 Mt contained LCE at a grade of 181 mg/l Li. This represented a 131% increase in the total Upper Rhine Valley Project (URVP) JORC Indicated Resource Estimate, with 23% of Vulcan’s total URVP lithium-brine (Li-brine) Resource now in the Indicated category. Vulcan’s total combined URVP resource is now estimated at 15.85 Mt LCE at a grade of 181 mg/l Li (Indicated & Inferred Resources), the largest JORC lithium resource in Europe, and with further growth potential. The Ortenau project was subsequently integrated into the PPS at the Vulcan Zero Carbon Lithium® Project.
German Parliament and Federal Council (Bundesrat) enacted positive legislative amendments related to geothermal electricity feed in tariffs to further encourage geothermal energy production.
Proposed new Regulation from the European Commission underpins the Company’s Zero Carbon Lithium® strategy through new EU mandatory requirements on carbon footprint rules and responsibly sourced materials within lithium-ion batteries production and consumption in the EU. From 1 January 2026, lithium-ion batteries will have to bear a carbon intensity performance class label and from 1 July 2027, must comply with maximum carbon footprint thresholds.
Pres. Biden: "The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers."https://t.co/figJbDMrpt pic.twitter.com/racgwk9VGw— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) January 25, 2021
The number of electric ferries in Norway is going up very quickly. 31 in operation, 28 more coming in 2021. https://t.co/PkfOwPDpYM— Colin Mckerracher (@colinmckerrache) January 26, 2021
This electric ferry carries up to 200 cars, 600 passengers. It has a 4 MWh battery and charges at up to 9 MW.— Colin Mckerracher (@colinmckerrache) January 26, 2021
Electrification keeps making inroads into areas that were considered off limits just a few years ago. https://t.co/0A5U4eFdaH
SQM: “With regards to our joint venture in Western Australia the final investment decision will be made during the first quarter of this year. The current plan is to build a refinery for 50,000 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide.”https://t.co/eOKPJu2kcr— Lithium News (@batt_li) January 26, 2021
'Record-setting 210Wh/kg LFP battery cells'— James Frith (@JamesTFrith) January 25, 2021
what really stands out to me though is the mention of commercial pre-lithiation technology.
This process could boost energy density of any cell/chemistry by ~15% on average.https://t.co/3v9YbiInF7
Lithium prices quoted in China (@benchmarkmin) being pushed up 20% to 25% at the moment. Will be interesting to see how much of that sticks - 10% 15%?— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) January 24, 2021
Either way it’s clear we are now in a rising price environment for lithium. #EV https://t.co/m0BlxE9co9
#Tesla battery factory gets green light in Berlin https://t.co/aNFCysq00H— The Driven (@TheDriven_io) January 25, 2021
Latest @Roskill_Info analysis shows that in 2020, LFP accounted for around 20% of global #cathode materials production. In 2021, the market share of LFP cathode materials is forecast to increase to 25% #lithium #iron #phosphatehttps://t.co/knv4W0WLZZ— Dr. Jack Bedder (@jackbedder) January 21, 2021
BYD is the the latest in a growing line of Chinese Electric vehicle makers to tap capital markets for funding. https://t.co/6TngI5KJks— Financial Review (@FinancialReview) January 21, 2021
Congrats @LithiumAmericas on substantially upsized $350M overnight offering. 2021/22 will be BIG years for full funding North America &????????#lithium mines/chemical plants. IMO $4-5B to be raised next 6-18 months. e.g. $TSLA $PLL $LAC $BCN $CRE $INR $EMH $SAV $SLL #Nemaska $LTHM pic.twitter.com/ajngedE28j— Howard Klein (@LithiumIonBull) January 20, 2021
It's official, we own the Altura Lithium Project. This cost-effective, well-timed, strategic acquisition makes us the leading, ASX, pure-play lithium company and the largest, independent hard-rock #lithium operation globally, with open offtake #pilgangoora https://t.co/b9mxIZ2GzH pic.twitter.com/OKKbGmmouu— PilbaraMinerals (@PilbaraMinerals) January 20, 2021
Well in a quick turn of events #Canada will soon have more domestic demand for EV batteries as @GM invests $800m into EV production in Ontariohttps://t.co/ALIgiCJU5f https://t.co/HXU4SMlzOu— James Frith (@JamesTFrith) January 18, 2021
The EC’s proposal sheds light on what future standards will likely look like, and what tier 1 battery producers looking to supply the EU’s EV market can expect - carbon footprint and recycled materials increasingly on the agenda. Read here: #ESG #batterieshttps://t.co/vSMm8tzQd7— Sarah Colbourn (@ColbournSarah) January 8, 2021
????????️— Alex (@alex_avoigt) January 17, 2021
For the Sylvia, modules from two Tesla Model S battery packs have been re-arranged into one 190 kWh battery pack that can drive the 85kW motor for up to 14 hours of cruising between charges. https://t.co/8kA3GrrTlm
Battery cell production is the fundamental rate-limiter slowing down a sustainable energy future. Very important problem. https://t.co/MYOUSAC2AK— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2021
Lithium ion battery cost: as a % of Raw materials have risen from 55% in 2015 to up to 78% total cost of lithium ion batteries.— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) January 14, 2021
⬆️ Nickel Prices
⬆️ Lithium Prices
⬆️ Cobalt Prices
Proper analysis below from @benchmarkmin @andyleyland1 https://t.co/8KBKBkMJKf
Rare earths as a geopolitical tool is back. But this time it clashes with the start of a commodity super-cycle and the rise of electric vehicles.— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) January 16, 2021
China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM): 2020 Chinese #ElectricVehicle sales 1.3 million vehicles, December sales up 50% y-o-y, 2021 EV sales to reach 1.8 million=more demand from #China for battery raw materials— Maynie Yang (@maynieyang) January 13, 2021
????Reported in the South Korean press: Ecopro, largest battery material company in SK, will build its first cathode plant in Europe, in Hungary. One more investment supporting the development of a local Li-ion battery supply chain @UmicoreGroup @VulcanEnergyRes @BASF @northvolt pic.twitter.com/TFQrNU0Asa— Vincent Ledoux Pedailles (@LedouxPedailles) January 14, 2021
Solid-state battery adoption will happen this decade, and cells could be cheaper than liquid based cells.— James Frith (@JamesTFrith) January 13, 2021
$85.6/kWh - Liquid based NMC (622)
$69.3/kWh - Solid electrolyte, NMC (622), lithium metal
$51.7/kWh - Solid electrolyte, next gen. cathode, Li metal
Thread #battchat pic.twitter.com/ZnkxAvgPWW
We are all in on electrification, and our commitment to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. The inflection point for our company, and our society, has arrived. Now the question is – are you in? #GMExhibitZero https://t.co/JWWmly8F9s pic.twitter.com/dnPOBt7X39— Mary Barra (@mtbarra) January 12, 2021
Australia SC6 exports LTM NOV 20:— Daniel Jimenez Sch (@D_Jimenez_Sch) January 7, 2021
- Total 173 kMT-LCE down from 193 kMT-LCE Sep 19
- Esperance (GXY, Mt. Marion) and Port Headland (@PilbaraMinerals, @AlturaMining ) at historic records
- Bunberry (Talison) 60 kMT-LCE down from 86 kMT Sep 19. How long will Talison hold back? pic.twitter.com/m70HEPOscm
Hyundai Is in ‘Early’ Talks on Apple Tie-Up; Shares Jump. https://t.co/Um0Br83JCN— Thematica (@Thematicafunds) January 8, 2021
Norway car sales 2020: Record share of BEVs at 54.3%. PHEVs at 20.4% share and #ElectricVehicles combined: 75%! Audi e-tron the most popular car. @colinmckerrache #elbil See thread for more info https://t.co/7KPNMAaZr5 pic.twitter.com/z1eOSR8O2t— Eyvind Aven (@eyaven) January 5, 2021
The @EU_Commission recently made public this product watch report on solid-state batteries for electric vehicles prepared by the @FraunhoferISI. It is an interesting document to get an overview of the value chain and main actors in R&D and industry. https://t.co/WpeoqoXY1f pic.twitter.com/QEVu626o5Q— Jordi Sastre (@jordi_sastr3) January 4, 2021
Lithium ion battery cell prices:— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) January 4, 2021
“Av mid-point price of a lithium ion battery at a cell level per kWh, used in large automotive or electric vehicle (EV) contracts over 5 GWh/year, now stands at $110/kWh yet 6 yrs ago it was at $290” @benchmarkmin https://t.co/VLumrn4cFS
*2020 YEAR-END #LITHIUM EQUITY SCOREBOARD*— Howard Klein (@LithiumIonBull) December 31, 2020
HAPPY NEW YEAR!#EV #Battery #CleanEnergy #EnergyTransition pic.twitter.com/rwObfb3vn3