Friday, 9 June 2017

Industrial Minerals: Lithium 2017 - Supply, Demand And China's Booming Market Take Centre Stage In Montreal.

Industrial Minerals reports from Montreal, you have to subscribe to read the full article, but you can get the idea of what is really happening now in our industry. Security of lithium supply is the most critical issue for all players:

"Industrial Mineral's lithium conference in Montreal last week saw the great and good of the sector gather to debate the supply and demand outlook. Amid a booming Chinese battery market lithium juniors took to the stage eager to paint their project as the solution to any perceived shortage of material while existing producers were kept busy on the sidelines by endless meetings with consumers eager to secure supply agreements. Industrial Minerals"

Ganfeng Lithium has finally closed its deal with Lithium Americas and now Argentina will be becoming the real Powerhouse of Energy rEVolution. Lithium is the magic metal at the very heart of this Energy rEVolution and International Lithium is Lithium Strategic Investments and Royalty Company which is plugged-in the most dynamic EV and Energy Storage markets in China with partners like a giant from China Ganfeng Lithium. Read more.

Awakening: Tesla Model 3 And The Hot Summer 2017 For The Lithium Supply Chain.

Very slowly Lithium Industry is starting to get some attention from the investment crowd, but the real awakening is still ahead of us. This summer will be very hot for the lithium supply chain, and the first real test is coming. Tesla Gigafactory will start mass production of Tesla Model 3 batteries in July and 4 Lithium Megafactories are coming online in China.

Ganfeng Lithium has made a very interesting public disclosure in China about SQM "stopping a supply of Lithium Brine to Ganfeng in June". It is very difficult to judge the scope of this interruption in the lithium supply chain for Ganfeng at this moment, its reasons and when the situation will normalize, but the message is clear - the security of lithium supply is the critical issue for all the major players in this exponentially growing market. And the real test is still ahead of us, the auto industry is still talking about 5% - 10% - 15% of electric cars in total auto sales, but what will happen when all cars will be electric after 2025?


It looks like the change is affecting SQM's supply of concentrated brine to Ganfeng as raw material and changes in import and export policies in Chile demand to produce high value added products in the country. These products will cut the margins for converters - producers of lithium chemicals from raw materials like lithium brine. Argentina is coming to the front line of lithium brine projects developments now.

I expect this trend to be continued, lithium is taking its geopolitical place now and countries hosting these deposits will move up the value chain producing lithium chemicals, batteries and EVs finally. The recent visit of Tesla's officials to Argentina is showing the dramatic change in the attitude to the lithium supply.EVs and ESS producers will have to migrate to the countries with resources to feed Energy rEVolution. International Lithium's JV operations with Ganfeng attract a lot of interest as an entry point in the building of vertically integrated lithium business with one of the world's top lithium producers and we are examining these strategic opportunities.

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