Thursday, 23 November 2017

Tesla's rEVolution: The Dramatic Increase In Demand For Lithium Will Require Accelerated Production From All Known Reserves Of Lithium.




I am a very strong believer in the ongoing fundamental shift in technology which is happening these days. We are entering the era of Post Carbon Economy. The Oil ICE Age is over: for centuries we have been burning things just to get the energy and it was mostly oil for the last 100 years, but now we can produce electricity by using Solar and Wind Power Generation.





Electricity is the best and the most efficient form of energy known to us and now we can store it and use it when we really needed it. Cheap lithium batteries change everything. Electric Cars will become cheaper to own than comparable models of fuel powered cars next year according to UBS. Tesla Model 3 with more than 400,000 reservation is starting the real mass market for electric cars, now Bloomberg estimates that more than 200 models of electric cars will be available by 2020.






We are at the tipping point for the mass market of electric cars. It took us all human history to get to 1 million electric cars on the roads by 2015 and then less than couple of years to double this EV fleet. I expect that in 2018 worldwide sales of EVs will overtake 1 million units per year.






We are in the exponential stage of the adoption rate for electric cars, but most of the investment banks who are following lithium batteries supply chains are still estimating 5% - 10% of the electric cars being sold in the next 5 years. I have a different view: that all cars will be electric mush faster than a lot of people are anticipating. We are talking here about the disruption of $4 trillion Transportation and $8 Trillion Energy industries. 

Energy storage for Solar and Wind power generation will be consuming even more lithium batteries than transportation in the future. Disruption of $12 Trillion industries is based on the lithium market which was last year around 200,000 T of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent ("LCE") in production terms. In monetary value it was close only to $2.5 Billon dollars in sales even after dramatic increase in lithium prices. 





This is why we are witnessing very strong prices this year, when spot prices in Shanghai are above $20,000 for both LCE and Lithium Hydroxide and long term prices are reaching $15,000 per LCE T. This view of the ongoing fundamental shift and that The Switch is already happening when millions of people will be buying electric cars now is finally making its way in the mainstream media and in the reports of government agencies and major financial institutions.









The views on the rate of adoption for electric cars can be different, but industry trends are already supporting this very bullish case for lithium. "Old Lithium Big Three": Albemarle, SQM and FMC "had to accept" the new aggressive players: Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi from China. "The New Lithium Top Five" now looks more like: Albermarle, SQM, Ganfeng Lithium, Tianqi and FMC. But if we will be talking about lithium supply chain in terms of lithium chemical products used in lithium batteries, China is already in the lead and controls close to 75% of supply. For example, Tesla Gigafactory lithium supply chain goes all around the globe and back to China as well. And now there are 24 Lithium Megafactories have been announced to be built all around the world with majority of them being located in China.





We are already witnessing the wave of consolidation in the sector in order to secure the supply of lithium as raw material, which is becoming critical. SQM is diversifying this year from brine lithium operations into hard rock lithium mining with its JV partner Kidman Resources in Australia following Albemarle. Tianqi bought 51% in Talison Lithium in Australia with Rockwood holding 49% in 2014 and after that Albemarle has acquired Rockwood and this way becoming partners with Tianqi.






Ganfeng Lithium, the largest integrated lithium producer from China, was very early in securing the supply chain for lithium raw materials. Ganfeng has acquired strategic stake in International Lithium IPO in 2011 and now operates two JVs with ILC: Mariana lithium brine project in Argentina and Avalonia with lithium hard rock exploration in Ireland. Ganfeng has bought stake in Neometals and in its lithium hard rock mining operations at Mt Marion lithium project in Australia in 2015. This year Ganfeng has bought a stake in Lithium Americas and its JV developing lithium brine operations with SQM in Argentina. And after that last spring Ganfeng acquired another stake in Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals, this time 5% stake has shown that Ganfeng is really after the security of supply. The main part of the deal is the off-take agreement for 160,000 T of lithium concentrate.




But M&A in the lithium sector can only redistribute the existing known resources of lithium. The next phase of the game to secure supply for the Energy rEVolution is the advanced exploration and new technologies to recover lithium. We are talking a lot about the new groundbreaking technologies for electric cars and lithium batteries. Now it is time to consider the most advanced technologies for the production of lithium as a raw material. The increasing usage of lithium batteries is driving the demand for lithium as a raw material and new extraction technologies will provide the technological advantage to the most progressive companies investing in the future.







My lower estimate for future demand is that 36 million tonnes of LCE (Lithium Carbonate Equivalent) must be produced by 2040 in order to meet the IEA's target for the 600 million electric cars necessary to keep global temperature increase below 2%. However, over 100 million tonnes of LCE will be needed if all new cars are to be electric by 2040, this being one of IMF's scenarios for the future. Now let's just start adding here the Energy Storage for Solar and Wind Power Generation.

Our starting point for electric cars is just over 1% of total auto sales in the world and only 200,000 tonnes of LCE produced in 2016. The dramatic increase in demand for lithium will require accelerated production from all known reserves of lithium and new resources will need to be found and put into production, this being crucial to the Energy rEVolution.





At International Lithium, we are very interested in processes developed for the recovery of Lithium Hydroxide directly from brine. Lithium Hydroxide is the highly sought strategic commodity which is used in lithium batteries as Tesla and Panasonic are doing for example at Tesla Gigafactory


LEGAL DISCLAIMER

Please read legal disclaimer. There is no investment advice on this blog. Always consult a qualified financial adviser before any investment decisions. DYOR.





All latest information is available in Company's filings on SEDAR www.sedar.com




In September International Lithium has announced that it has received a final report, "Proof of Concept Study — Lithium Recovery Using Membrane Separation" (the "Study") prepared by Synexus (Pty) Limited of South Africa ("Synexus"). The Study was conducted utilizing (filtered) raw brine from the Salar de Llullaillaico, location of the Mariana lithium brine joint venture project ("Mariana") in Salta, Argentina. Results from the Study indicate that the selective recovery of lithium directly from raw (filtered) brine, with the simultaneous rejection of other cation and anion species, using a proprietary lithium selective separation process (the "technology") is possible. Lithium was selectively recovered from the raw brine to produce lithium hydroxide ("LiOH"), a high value ingredient used directly in lithium battery manufacturing, as a final product.







Summary of Study Results:
  • The use of the technology presents a possible alternative to the natural evaporation process currently proposed at Mariana.
  • The technology could provide a process route to produce lithium hydroxide directly from the raw brine without the need to remove contaminants like magnesium by liming, as would be required in the natural evaporation process. 
  • Based on initial estimates, the technology can achieve higher recoveries than natural evaporation even with relatively low concentrations of lithium.*
  • Use of technology has the potential to enable a considerable increase in production rate compared to evaporative ponds. Lithium is directly removed from the brine and the (spent) brine can be returned to the basin with little effect on the water balance.* 
  • With further refining, the technology could also permit the recovery of potassium and other cations if desired.


Now Mariana JV partners Ganfeng Lithium and International Lithium are studying the results of this report and the best way to incorporate the advanced lithium extraction technologies into  Mariana Lithium development phase leading to Preliminary Economic Assessment and Pre Feasibility studies of the project. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Elon Musk Goes Maximum Plaid In Lithium Race With The Fastest Car Ever Made: Unveiling New Tesla Roadster From Electric Tesla Semi Truck.



Elon Musk has reminded everybody yesterday who is calling all the shots in the most advanced lithium technology which will be propelling all our transportation in the future. Performace data for the Tesla Electric Semi Truck is really incredible and economics to operate it will make The Switch happening in the trucking industry as well. According to Elon Musk, Tesla Semi Truck can even beat rail on cost! Tesla Semi Truck will have 500 miles range and can be charged by Tesla Supercharges. The Super Electric Truck from Tesla is coming in 2019 with enhanced automatic driving as standard.





New Tesla Roadster unveil was a total surprise and now we can enjoy the next breakthrough in the extreme performance of the Electric Supercars. 250 kWh of lithium batteries will give you "stupid" power and over 1,000 km range on a single charge. Tesla Roadster is scheduled for production in 2020.





The future is very bright for Tesla, just do not expect its share price to go always only up. Tesla Model Y will add to the Tesla portfolio proposition and will be taking on the most lucrative business of other automakers. The ramp up of Tesla Model 3 production will be the most important for Elon Musk now, following by the security of lithium supply, which I have been discussing at length below. I do hope that Elon Musk will position his dream about fully autonomous driving in the right way and those unavoidable setbacks in this particular part of technology will not put an unnecessary strain on the otherwise incredible technological advance made by Tesla.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

Please read legal disclaimer. There is no investment advice on this blog. Always consult a qualified financial adviser before any investment decisions. DYOR.

All latest information is available in Company's filings on SEDAR www.sedar.com



Lithium Race To Mass Market For Electric Cars: First In-Depth Look At Tesla Model 3 - The Best Affordable Electric Car.



Tesla Model 3 Club guys continue their brilliant work on promoting the first best affordable electric car: Tesla Model 3. Now you can appreciate the most important electric car in the 21st century in 4k with full details. We hear a lot about production problems at Tesla these days, but do not make any mistake - the history is already made. Tesla has brought the earthquake to the auto industry, now all automakers have to follow the lead and the real Tsunami of Electric Cars is coming.





Regarding the problems, expect more to come, but they will all be gone in time. Ramping production is never easy, but Tesla is ahead of everybody else in EV game. My real concern is that autonomous driving can become the bad spell on incredible magic made by Elon Musk. I wish him all the luck but really would like to see that he is taking his own success seriously.





Elon Musk is jump-starting the real mass market for electric cars now. Security of lithium supply will be so much more important than autonomous driving in the next few years. Tesla cannot just rely on Panasonic and Samsung to deliver the cells for Tesla batteries. Tesla supply chain for lithium goes all over the globe and back to China.





Autonomous driving is great and will be happening, but not before technology and, the most important, our society are both ready for it. Any problems here, which will be unavoidable, will be used against Tesla and can, potentially, hold it back. If China starts the real control of Lithium Supply Chain allocating resources first to its own EV and Lithium Battery makers, then Tesla and all automakers in the West will be facing the real problem. Mass production of electric cars will be happening in China. I do hope that this message is getting through now.







Chasing Tesla: Who Controls The Supply Chain For The Energy rEVolution - 20 Lithium Megafactories Are Coming.



Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has launched another blockbuster event covering the Lithium rEVolution - Cathodes 2017. Simon Moores and his team are the best in connecting the rapid growth of Electric Cars and Energy Storage industries with in-depth analysis of supply chains which are making this Energy rEVolution happening. Tesla has brought the earthquake to the auto industry, Elon Musk is "thinking hard about new Gigafactories number 3, 4, 5 and 6"; but there are already another 19 are in the making.

This month Simon has delivered his message to the US Senate - access to the critical commodities will define the new geopolitical power set for the 21st century. Billions of dollars in investments in the whole battery supply chain are needed urgently just to keep access to the raw materials. Private companies in the West like Tesla are competing with The New Energy Plan in China.







While the Old Empire was fighting wars protecting the Oil blood flowing in the world economy, state-level planning in China has been building the totally new landscape for the economic growth in the Post Carbon Economy. One by one all critical bottlenecks in the new supply chains were taken under control. The ICE Age is over and new players are taking over. This geopolitical tectonic shift after Tesla earthquake is happening very fast, the Tsunami of Electric Cars is coming and lithium is the magic metal at the very heart of this energy rEVolution.






Lithium Race And Energy rEVolution: Reds Are Going Green - Electric Cars Are A Hit With Chinese Consumers.




Wall Street Journal made a very good report on the electric cars rEVolution which is happening today in China. The video report is stressing that all this success is the result of the industrial policy by the government in China. We have The New Energy Plan for the transition to Post Carbon Economy in action in China on a state level. With announcements from GM and Ford embracing electric cars, we have some hope in the West now not to be left in the poisonous DIEsel and Gas ICE Cars dust as well. 


As you know, I have been preaching for years that security of lithium supply will be the most important factor determining the competitive advantage among different producers of critical raw materials for the Energy rEVolution. This Lithium Race will have the very far-reaching geopolitical implications. Now it looks like that Tesla is realizing that there is no secure supply of lithium for its massive expansion of operations from the underneath of Gigafactory floor in Nevada. Even if Panasonic is producing cathode for lithium cells which are made at Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada the supply chain is going all over the globe and back to China.





The real test to the market and supply chains for Energy rEVolution will come with the coming tide of Electric Cars and the following tsunami of Energy Storage. Bloomberg has recently reported that there will be more than 120 models of electric cars by 2020 and you should not be surprised as we have discussed here before that there are more than 70 models of electric cars on sale in China already. The next few years will determine who will have the keys to the new Energy rEVolution and control the supply chains. Hungry Dragons are flying high already and mostly in China, the question remains who and how will feed them without fear of being burnt in the process. 






Lithium Race: The Switch Is On - China Sets New Deadline For Electric Car Quota From 2019.




We have finally actual steps taken by China in its transition into the Post Carbon Economy and leaving literally The ICE Age in the poisonous dust behind. China is The Centre of The Lithium Universe and now they are ready to start geopolitical shift which will affect everything. BYD is talking about China going all electric from 2030, but today we have the first major step in that direction with an introduction of a quota for electric cars from 2019. In short two years time, all automakers in China with over 30,000 cars in annual sales will have to produce at least 10% electric cars. It can be translated in over 2.8 million new electric cars in China being sold in 2019! Last year China has seen the fastest growth pace in three years with total auto sales climbing to 28.03 million cars. From 2020 automakers will have to produce 12% of electric cars.

Now we have a better understanding why Ganfeng Lithium: JV partner of International Lithium - was going vertical last few months. This kind of news is traveling very fast in the state corridors of power in China. This geopolitical move will have very wide political and economic implications as we have discussed it here for a long time. China is very well positioned to take the lead now and the ICE Age Of Oil is officially over.



We are reaching the tipping point this year: convergence of technology, new players who bring competition and prices down; and anti-pollution movement by the most important countries for the automakers. DIEselGate was the last drop and auto lobby cannot just swipe it under the rug anymore, consumers are not buying "Clean DIEsel".





Needless to say that lithium supply chains are not even close to the coming Tsunami of electric cars after Tesla Model S Earthquake. Countries like China and India are very serious to clean up their skies from deadly pollution and now we have lithium technology to make it possible: electric cars will take the world over much faster than a lot of people think.

Electrification of China and India will drive the next phase of the worldwide growth in EV fleet. India has announced that all new cars on sale will be electric by 2030 and they are taking it seriously making the first tender for 10,000 EVs to be supplied for the government ministries and agencies now. Transfer of the best technology for Lithium Batteries and Electric Cars will be next. China is already The Centre of The Lithium Universe and exercises its state-level New Energy Plan step by step with the military discipline, starting with securing a Lithium Supply Chain.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

Please read legal disclaimer. There is no investment advice on this blog. Always consult a qualified financial adviser before any investment decisions. DYOR.




All latest information is available in Company's filings on SEDAR www.sedar.com






Thursday, 16 November 2017

Lithium Race From DIEselGate: VW Has A $12 Billion Plan To Bring 40 New Models Of Electric Cars To China.




Finally, the world largest automaker is taking seriously the opportunity for electric cars in the world largest auto market. Volkswagen unveils its plan to invest $12 billion dollars in the building with its partners in China facilities to produce 40 new models of electric cars by 2025. This is very serious money for the very serious disruption of the status quo in the auto industry. Cheap lithium batteries change everything. You cannot resist this change anymore. China is going green and will ban all DIEsel and gas cars very soon, now all automakers have to follow the New Energy Plan.





We are talking here about the mass market for electric cars. The Switch is happening now. Even if Chairman of Volkswagen "still believes in DIEsel", it does not mean that customers will believe him and continue to buy cancer polluting hazard on wheels, which is very ironically called "Clean DIEsel". There is no place for "Clean Diesel" on our roads anymore and only corrupt politicians are keeping it alive - there are still millions of illegal cars on our roads poisoning everything around them. But time is different now, all believers in DIEsel will be facing many billions of dollars in stranded assets and very angry shareholders after it. 







Needless to say that lithium supply chains are not even close to the coming Tsunami of electric cars after Tesla Model S Earthquake. Countries like China and India are very serious to clean up their skies from deadly pollution and now we have lithium technology to make it possible: electric cars will take the world over much faster than a lot of people think.

Electrification of China and India will drive the next phase of the worldwide growth in EV fleet. India has announced that all new cars on sale will be electric by 2030 and they are taking it seriously making the first tender for 10,000 EVs to be supplied for the government ministries and agencies now. Transfer of the best technology for Lithium Batteries and Electric Cars will be next. China is already The Centre of The Lithium Universe and exercises its state-level New Energy Plan step by step with the military discipline, starting with securing a Lithium Supply Chain.



LEGAL DISCLAIMER

Please read legal disclaimer. There is no investment advice on this blog. Always consult a qualified financial adviser before any investment decisions. DYOR.

All latest information is available in Company's filings on SEDAR www.sedar.com



Lithium Race: The Switch Is On - China Sets New Deadline For Electric Car Quota From 2019.




We have finally actual steps taken by China in its transition into the Post Carbon Economy and leaving literally The ICE Age in the poisonous dust behind. China is The Centre of The Lithium Universe and now they are ready to start geopolitical shift which will affect everything. BYD is talking about China going all electric from 2030, but today we have the first major step in that direction with an introduction of a quota for electric cars from 2019. In short two years time, all automakers in China with over 30,000 cars in annual sales will have to produce at least 10% electric cars. It can be translated in over 2.8 million new electric cars in China being sold in 2019! Last year China has seen the fastest growth pace in three years with total auto sales climbing to 28.03 million cars. From 2020 automakers will have to produce 12% of electric cars.

Now we have a better understanding why Ganfeng Lithium: JV partner of International Lithium - was going vertical last few months. This kind of news is travelling very fast in the state corridors of power in China. This geopolitical move will have very wide political and economic implications as we have discussed it here for a long time. China is very well positioned to take the lead now and the ICE Age Of Oil is officially over.



We are reaching the tipping point this year: convergence of technology, new players who bring competition and prices down; and anti-pollution movement by the most important countries for the automakers. DIEselGate was the last drop and auto lobby cannot just swipe it under the rug anymore, consumers are not buying "Clean DIEsel".





Needless to say that lithium supply chains are not even close to the coming Tsunami of electric cars after Tesla Model S Earthquake. Countries like China and India are very serious to clean up their skies from deadly pollution and now we have lithium technology to make it possible: electric cars will take the world over much faster than a lot of people think.

Electrification of China and India will drive the next phase of the worldwide growth in EV fleet. India has announced that all new cars on sale will be electric by 2030 and they are taking it seriously making the first tender for 10,000 EVs to be supplied for the government ministries and agencies now. Transfer of the best technology for Lithium Batteries and Electric Cars will be next. China is already The Centre of The Lithium Universe and exercises its state-level New Energy Plan step by step with the military discipline, starting with securing a Lithium Supply Chain.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

Please read legal disclaimer. There is no investment advice on this blog. Always consult a qualified financial adviser before any investment decisions. DYOR.




All latest information is available in Company's filings on SEDAR www.sedar.com




Lithium Race And Energy rEVolution: Reds Are Going Green - Electric Cars Are A Hit With Chinese Consumers.




Wall Street Journal made a very good report on the electric cars rEVolution which is happening today in China. The video report is stressing that all this success is the result of the industrial policy by the government in China. We have The New Energy Plan for the transition to Post Carbon Economy in action in China on a state level. With announcements from GM and Ford embracing electric cars, we have some hope in the West now not to be left in the poisonous DIEsel and Gas ICE Cars dust as well. 


As you know, I have been preaching for years that security of lithium supply will be the most important factor determining the competitive advantage among different producers of critical raw materials for the Energy rEVolution. This Lithium Race will have the very far-reaching geopolitical implications. Now it looks like that Tesla is realizing that there is no secure supply of lithium for its massive expansion of operations from the underneath of Gigafactory floor in Nevada. Even if Panasonic is producing cathode for lithium cells which are made at Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada the supply chain is going all over the globe and back to China.


The real test to the market and supply chains for Energy rEVolution will come with the coming tide of Electric Cars and the following tsunami of Energy Storage. Bloomberg has recently reported that there will be more than 120 models of electric cars by 2020 and you should not be surprised as we have discussed here before that there are more than 70 models of electric cars on sale in China already. The next few years will determine who will have the keys to the new Energy rEVolution and control the supply chains. Hungry Dragons are flying high already and mostly in China, the question remains who and how will feed them without fear of being burnt in the process. 






CNN Money:


"The world's largest automaker is putting big money into electric vehicles in China.

Volkswagen (VLKAF) and its local partners plan to invest more than €10 billion ($11.8 billion) to build electric and hybrid cars in the country -- the world's biggest auto market -- over the next seven to eight years. 
More electric vehicles are sold in China than anywhere else on the planet -- and the national government is pushing companies to design and build them on Chinese territory..."