Thursday 8 October 2015

Joe Lowry: China - The New Center of the Lithium Universe?


  I am back from all the latest disruptions. Somebody on Twitter wrongly got my slogan: Join Disruption Or Be Disrupted and they started Censoring me on DieselGate and Volkswagen scandals. Now it is on the Capitol Hill and I loved one representative asking Volkswagen U.S. CEO during his testimony: "What are you going to read in jail". Lets courts do their job. Prosecutors have already raided Volkswagen in Germany today. For us the one thing is very important now: all cost accounted, including medical bills and damage to the planet, Electric Cars are already better and cheaper than the ones with Internal Combustion Engines (ICE). 
  Now I can get back to business and would like to share with you Joe Lowry's article on Lithium and my thoughts on China's military plan how to build Electric Cars as Strategic Industry for Post Carbon Economy and Next Industrial rEVolution.

BBC On DieselGate: Air Pollution Second Only To Active Smoking - The 'Invisible Killer' Of The Air On Our Streets.


Joe Lowry: The Tesla Lithium Supply Question.

  After all my excitement about Tesla Model X launch, time is to Play Imany's Slowdownand to check Joe Lowry's latest insights from behind the scenes of the most dramatic ongoing technology disruption in the 21st century. Elon Musk is taking on 4 Trillion auto-industry and Energy with Utilities are next. He smiles a lot, but he will not take any prisoners. Apple is rushing into the 1 Trillion market cap dream with its very own Electric iCar now as well. Where are the Lithium Bottlenecks and who is holding the keys to the future of Transportation, Mobile Communication and Energy Storage?

Watch Launch Event Video: Powered By Lithium: Tesla Model X - The Safest SUV Ever, Bioweapon Defense Mode Included.

   There will be a heavy silence this morning in a lot of Oil and Auto Boardrooms, which will be followed by the very heavy drinking. The Time Has Come. Dump The Pump And Go Electric. Elon Musk presents the ultimate fighting machine against "Clean Diesel and Dirty Oil.
  Tesla Model X is "the safest SUV ever", according to Elon Musk. It equipped with emergency breaking and side collision avoidance systems, which are active all the time! Air filtration system is comparable to "the operating room in a hospital". Bioweapon defense mode … is included. You have just to see it. The best example of Lithium Technology is here - electric cars are just better.
  People will start to talk about the price. Yes, it is very expensive, but when you compare it to the high end luxury cars Elon Musk's Tesla Model X beats them on all accounts: safety, performance and it is clean. This is the future. After the air pollution charts about the life expectancy reduction in major world cities demonstrated by Elon Musk, wealthy buyers will be piling up to buy Tesla Model X. What is left for the rest of us? Volkswagen, other ICE cars with "Clean Diesel" and "Not So Dirty Petrol" scam jokes? Thank you, but No, Thank you.
  This wait will be over very soon. Cheap lithium batteries will change everything, Tesla Gigafactory will drive us to the Holy Grail for EVs with dramatically reduced cost of lithium batteries to $100 per kWh. It means that Tesla Model X battery with 90 kWh will cost less than $10k! This is where the 600 miles range for Tesla in two years time will come from, Elon Musk is talking about.
  My personal EV magic formula is 20/200, when $20k buys you Electric BMW 2 sedan class with 200 miles range! We will get there. Average price paid for the new car in U.S last year was $23k. With $20k price, better performance and without air pollution mass murder participation Electric Cars will take over the world by the storm.
  For now just stop buying air polluting rubbish and finance 100 years old ICE technology. I would like to introduce the very simple ultimate emissions test. Let's put every Auto CEO with their cars with engines running for a night into the closed garage. I will go first, Elon Musk, please, give me Tesla!
  Spread the word, please, donate your RT and buy your own electric car once you can. There is no other excuse for Range Rover crowd any more, just the availability of Tesla Model X.  Electric Cars have reached The No Return Point and Elon Musk will start the mass market for electric cars with Tesla Model 3 to be unveiled at Geneva Auto Show next March with 35k price tag and 200 miles range.

Joe Lowry: Why Tesla Does Not Have A Supply Agreement With A Lithium Producer.

  Joe Lowry continues his education about the reality in the very tight Lithium Market. Billions of dollars in investments needed now to secure supply of Lithium Hydroxide. Who holds the keys to the supply chain for the lithium battery with chemistry of choice by Tesla Motors? China is rising very fast in the Lithium Technology space. New players from China already control 75% of the Lithium Hydroxide market. You can find details on the links below.

Tesla And "Virtual Lithium Producers" - Joe Lowry: The Lithium "Paper Chase".


  Joe Lowry is the source to go for the real analysis of what is going on in his "Opaque Lithium Kingdom". He spent more than 20 years at the very heart of very secluded Lithium Market and worked with one of the "Big 3" - FMC. You can find more about Joe on my blog, just search his name and visit his LinkedIn page. He is the must follow in the Lithium Industry. 
  His ability to separate the flies and the burgers is the most important for us. You know my opinion about Tesla and Elon Musk breaking Lithium Oligopoly. In one brilliant stroke with Bacanora Elon Musk has finished Lithium Oligopoly and all that talk that they can "Supply Lithium For Another One Thousand Years." Thank you, but No thank you. Nobody wants to be at the mercy of the former "Big 3" even if they can really produce enough, here where Joe is the best to cut down to the chase through all wishful thinking.
  Everybody would like to have the security of lithium supply, meaning multiple sources ideally and, even better, owing her own "Sugar Beach" to produce "Next Coca-Cola." Lithium will become the commodity when its availability is more important than its price. The amount of money to be made downstream the value chain of the lithium business just not allow any risk with your ability to produce these batteries - you have to secure your access to the critical metal Lithium. We are talking here about the Next Industrial rEVolution. Trillion dollar industries are under disruption: Communication Industry with Mobile Devices, Auto Industry and Energy with Utilities.
  This is what Ganfeng Lithium is doing by building its Vertical Lithium Business with International Lithium now. This is what Tesla "pretends to do, as Joe questions their "Lithium Supply Agreements." In my personal view it is great for lithium industry: by loaning his name Elon Musk is not risking anything and guys like Bacanora and Pure Energy will have to go and do all the heavy lifting: raise capital, develop the mines and technology to produce lithium. He is just opening the flood gates and VCs and Hedge Funds are rushing in to participate in the Lithium Fever. Here where Joe Lowry will help you to get a grip on what is really going on.
  In contrast to any Gold or Copper deposit Lithium production is more like a chemical operation in the end when the right technology is matching the particular type of lithium source. It can make the difference between life and death for a lithium junior miner. This is why with International Lithium access to the Ganfeng Lithium provided capital is crucial, but Ganfeng Lithium Technology will play its major role in our new advanced stages of J/Vs development in Ireland and Argentina.
  One of my new partners in International Lithium has just told me that after VolkswagenGate I am pushing into the open door. I do hope that it is the case now. So, please, use this opportunity to avoid the mistakes and chase too many windmills - this blog and link are for your to learn.

International Lithium And Ganfeng In "Top Lithium Producers."

  Ganfeng Lithium has enjoyed the exponential growth in the last years and has grown to the ranks of Top Lithium Producers. It supplies BYD, LG Chem and Panasonic, which supplies cells for Tesla Motors. It became the strategic partner of International Lithium and finances our two lithium J/Vs now in Argentina and Ireland. During the last Shareholder Meeting in China on September 21st Ganfeng has presented latest information on its incredible growth, market share and that security of Lithium Supply is its major concern. You can find more details on Ganfeng Lithium website.

International Lithium: President's Message And Private Placement.


  Today I have the opportunity to share with you, finally, the very good news which all our International Lithium Team was working very hard to deliver. It is one of many more to come and a very small token of appreciation of the value that we all have managed to build despite of the total massacre in the junior mining.
   We have found new very strong partners who is sharing our vision of the future. This future is already here, it is just unfortunate that not everybody has it noticed. All cars will be electric. Lithium is the magic metal at the very heart of this rEVolution.
  International Lithium is plugged into this Next Big Thing with our Team, Projects and Strategic Partners. Now the tide is coming: we have the beautiful boat, very strong Crew seasoned by the storms and today we are putting up our sails. 
  We are making our financing at the more than double premium to our market price just one month ago: at 8 cents vs 2.5 cents low in August. Any journey is full of uncertainties and risks; and it is always safer to stay on shore. Please read carefully all our legal disclaimers.
  Nothing is for certain apart from death and taxes in this world, but we know how to navigate once we are at sea. And today I am pleased to share with you our destination:


International Lithium Corp. - A Green-Energy Metals Company.

  "I have written extensively about International Lithium and our strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium. Our J/Vs in Argentina and Ireland are financed by this giant from China and we have very important access to the technology. Basically we are building the secure supply chain for Ganfeng Lithium using their expertise in raw materials needed for production of battery grade lithium from the very beginning. Our brine bulk sample from Mariana is being tested at Ganfeng state-of-the-art R&D facilities in China and in Ireland we have identified 22 exploration targets. Now, according to our latest NR, we are waiting for the approval of the budgets for both projects to be rapidly advanced after very encouraging results were received from the last exploration stage this year.
   Today I would like to show you another side of International Lithium. We have the very strong technical team headed by our CEO Gary Schellenberg. Anthony Kovac - our COO and John Harrop - our VP of Exploration are among very few top level exploration managers and geologists in lithium sector. This Team depth has allowed International lithium to attract Ganfeng and strike two major J/V deals in all our industry. These days we are getting the first fruits of this very hard work. Coming volume shows that market is waking up and we are receiving at least some recognition of the value we have been building all these years. 
  I am talking a lot about the security of lithium supply and Tesla Lithium Hydroxide Supply Deal is another proof and was noticed by market overnight. Now venture capital is knocking on all doors chasing the upstream supply chain for electric cars and Energy rEVolution. 
  We have another great project at International Lithium: Mavis Lake Lithium And Tantalum Project which is located in mining friendly Canada in the area with excellent infrastructure and very encouraging initial exploration results with high grade Lithium and Tantalum. It will be our next strategic advance for the company. With J/Vs moving forward we are looking for the strong Strategic Partner to develop this project for the potential supply of this strategic commodity for the ongoing Next Industrial rEVolution. West will wake up one day to the fact that China has managed to control now not only over 90% of REE production, but 75% of Battery Grade Lithium Hydroxide as well. 
  Security of Supply means exactly this - Security. When the price is taking the second consideration and availability of critical materials is taking the central stage. My personal mission is to make this Security happen for the Western world for real as well, even if this part of the World still lives by HFT rules and Q by Q performance reflecting the coming bonuses. Our Asian friends are beating us all here with the state-level plans looking for The Next Fifty Years and building new strategic industries like Electric Cars in China.
  We have Elon Musk, we need more like him, but it is a very good start. Our strategic partner for Mavis Lake is waiting somewhere in between of latest Q performance reviews. If you know the one - you know whom to call. Now I do not have really to explain any more What Is Lithium For - Elon Musk has made the great job and every single Tesla Model S is the best moving ad of the things to come. All cars will be electric and it will be very soon. And by the way any new hard rock mine for Lithium will take 5-7 years to build Lithium brine operations will take 4-5 years at best. 
  Why International Lithium? You can check presentation above. Read more."

International Lithium Corp. Reports on Continuing Work in Argentina and Ireland With Ganfeng Lithium.

Mr. Kirill Klip, President, International Lithium Corp. comments, "Our projects are advancing in tandem with rising lithium prices. The lithium supply chain is being stressed even before the commissioning of the Tesla Gigafactory and other megafactories from BYD, Foxconn, Boston Power and LG Chem. Our joint ventures with Ganfeng Lithium demonstrate that cooperation between companies with varying expertise in the raw materials supply chain can work to secure a supply of strategic commodities. In this case, lithium which is necessary for the clean energy initiatives announced by the U.S. and China. These two countries alone will provide mass markets for electric cars and home energy storage units increasing the demand for lithium batteries."

Joe Lowry:

China - The New Center of the Lithium Universe?

Just over three months ago I wrote a short post about the 2004 - 2014 transition of the lithium market as part of a series on the "End of the Lithium Big 3" (see below). Since that post:
1) Albemarle announced expansion plans with no details, no location and a five year time horizon. Their earnings call highlighted the contribution of Talison earnings. Just a reminder - Talison is majority owned by a Chinese company Sichuan Tianqi. Tianqi along with China based Ganfeng and Sichuan Yahua are the world's fastest growing lithium companies.
2) Tesla's name was used in the announcements of two junior mining companies who have projects that are not fully financed and not close to producing. The reality of the lithium supply going to Tesla's current production is - the highest  share of lithium hydroxide supply is coming from China not FMC or Albemarle. Just three years ago FMC had > 90% of the lithium going into Tesla batteries.
3) What's next? Look for Chinese investors to continue to support capacity expansions in China AND make a significant investment lithium investment outside China.
I always loved the title and timing of Winston Churchill's 1938 book "While England Slept". Perhaps it is time for a lithium version  - "While the Big 3 Slept"?

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