The world is in desperate need of lithium supply. Right now, global demand for lithium batteries is expected to jump five-fold by 2030, according to Li-Bridge, as noted by Reuters. All as demand for electric vehicles, and energy storage systems soar. In fact, according to Li-Bridge, “Demand for lithium batteries in the United States is expected to grow more than six times and translate into $55 billion per year by the end of the decade, but still the country is expected to depend on imports for supply.” After all, without lithium the brakes could be put on the electric vehicle story. That supply-demand issue is significant for companies, such as Grounded Lithium Corp. (TSXV: GRD) (OTCQB: GRDAF), Standard Lithium (TSXV: SLI) (NYSE: SLI), Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB), Livent Corp. (NYSE: LTHM), and Lithium Americas (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC).
We also have to consider that automakers – under intense pressure – are just starting to secure lithium supplies from miners. Goldman Sachs, for example, recently said it would invest $650 million in Lithium Americas, and could pick up even more land. That’s because “Automakers are starting to realize that the only way to guarantee lithium supplies is to own or have a controlling stake in the source,” added CNBC.
Look at Grounded Lithium Corp. (TSXV: GRD) (OTCQB: GRDAF), For Example
Grounded Lithium Corp. announced the entering into a purchase and sale agreement with Hub City Lithium Corp., owned 75% by EMP Metals Corp. (CSE: EMPS OTCQB: EMPPF) with the remaining 25% owned by ROK Resources Inc. (TSXV: ROK), to acquire an additional 33 sections (8,498 hectares) of highly prospective lands in our core Kindersley area. The acquisition will bring GLC’s total corporate landholdings, both Crown and freehold, to 333 sections (86,229 hectares), with approximately 300 sections (77,477 hectares) alone in the Kindersley Lithium Project. GLC expects to close the acquisition on or around March 15, 2023, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent.
Transaction Terms & Highlights
– Total consideration – $425,000 comprised of cash consideration of $175,000 and the issuance of $250,000 of GLC common shares based on the 10-day volume weighted average trading price of the Shares at Closing. For illustrative purposes, if the issuance price was based on the 10-day volume weighted average trading price of the Shares as of the date hereof, the number of Shares issued as consideration would equal 945,500 common shares or 1.4% of the Company’s current outstanding Common Shares;
– The Shares issued will be subject to a contractual escrow to be released in equal 1/3rd tranches on the 4, 8 and 12 month anniversaries from Closing;
– The price of the Assets equals $50 per hectare, which is substantially lower than recent land sale processes in the nearby area (see “Rationale and Strategic Benefit of the Acquisition” below), and the Company believes the acquisition is accretive based on current valuation metrics such as enterprise value per tonne; and
– This acquisition directly adjoins and is contiguous with the Company’s lands where we previously announced our initial development plan for our first commercial project, and thus represents a strong strategic asset for future growth and development.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Standard Lithium announced that its Carbon Capture Pilot Plant has been successfully installed at the final testing location in southern Arkansas. The Carbon Capture Pilot Plant will assess the technical and financial viability of capturing CO2 directly from natural gas burning flue-gas streams, and will inform how Standard Lithium can use technology to minimize CO2 emissions at future production facilities. Dr. Andy Robinson, President and COO commented, “Standard Lithium is committed to ushering in a new generation of sustainable mineral extraction by exploring novel, cutting-edge technologies designed to minimize carbon emissions. We look forward to testing this innovative carbon capture technology to better understand how Standard Lithium can engage in the most sustainable production processes, while integrating low-carbon lithium products into North America’s energy transition supply chain.”
Albemarle, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, today announced the official brand launch of Ketjen, its wholly owned subsidiary that crafts tailored, advanced catalyst solutions for the petrochemical, refining and specialty chemicals industries. The company shared the new name of its catalysts business in November 2022 after announcing plans to operate the business as a subsidiary. As a distinct brand, Ketjen will continue to support customers in their unique energy transition journeys from fluidized catalytic cracking to clean fuels to hydro-processing to organometallics and curatives. “As the industry responds to global market dynamics, our customers need innovative solutions to help them navigate their changing landscapes,” said Ketjen President Raphael Crawford. “Ketjen will continue to provide its portfolio of advanced catalyst and specialty chemicals solutions, which are unique to each customer’s needs, to increase production performance and business value.”
Livent Corp. and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) announced a research collaboration that is intended to drive new advancements in sustainable lithium battery technologies. The joint project will be led by Professor Madhavi Srinivasan, Executive Director of the Energy Research Institute at NTU and Co-Director of NTU-Singapore CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy, a center for excellence in innovative solutions for recycling and recovering valuable elements from e-waste. “Livent has played an important role in many breakthroughs in battery research and development. By expanding our R&D partnerships, we build on our rich heritage of innovation and continue to push the boundaries of what is possible,” said Walter Czarnecki, Chief Commercial Officer at Livent. “We are excited to begin this journey with a pioneering, distinguished scientist like Professor Srinivasan and the entire team at NTU, as we explore new pathways to support advancements in battery technology.”
Lithium Americas received a favorable ruling from the US District Court, District of Nevada on February 6, 2023, for the appeal filed against the Bureau of Land Management for the issuance of the Record of Decision relating to the Company’s 100%-owned Thacker Pass project located in Humboldt Country, Nevada. The Federal Court has declined to vacate the ROD for the mining Plan of Operations. The favorable ruling by the Federal Court confirms the permitting process for Thacker Pass was conducted thoroughly and responsibly, and results in there being no impediment to commencing construction. The Federal Court ordered the BLM to consider one issue under the mining law relating to the area designated for waste storage and tailings and did not impose any restrictions expected to impact the construction timeline. “We are pleased that the Federal Court has recognized the BLM’s decision to issue the Federal Permit, reflecting our considerable efforts to ensure Thacker Pass is developed responsibly and for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Jonathan Evans, President and CEO. “The favorable ruling leaves in place the final regulatory approval needed in moving Thacker Pass into construction.”
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