Palm Beach, FL – March 30, 2023 – FinancialNewsMedia.com News Commentary – The market for lithium-ion batteries is likely to grow significantly over the next several years as a result of the electrification of cars, which will spur lithium mining during that period. A report from ResearchAndMarkets projected that the Global Lithium market , which was valued at USD 4650 Million in 2021 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period of 2023-2028. The report said: “Due to the strict rules that ICE automakers must adhere to in order to minimize carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles, the automotive application market is predicted to increase significantly over the course of the projection period. This has caused automakers to become more interested in creating EVs, which is expected to increase demand for lithium and related goods. Together with investments in this area, government subsidies for EVs are projected to serve as an additional catalyst for the market’s expansion. Also, the growing lithium-ion battery market will be able to get enough products from the lithium sector. Direct lithium extraction (DLE) and direct lithium to product (DLP), which are anticipated to grow tenfold between 2021 and 2030, can be the driving factors behind the industry’s ability to react more quickly to skyrocketing demand.” Active mining stocks in the markets this week include: Lithium South Development Corporation (OTCQB: LISMF) (TSX-V: LIS), Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC) (TSX: LAC), Lithium Ltd. (NYSE: SLI) (TSXV: SLI), Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ: PLL), Pilbara Minerals (OTCPK: PILBF).
It continued: “Among the sources of lithium, the rising demand for high-capacity lithium-ion batteries will propel the demand for brine due to the enormous potential and significant technological advancements in the production of the product. Furthermore, the extraction of lithium from geothermal brines provides an opportunity to offer regions a reliable domestic supply of lithium to fulfill the rising needs of electric vehicles and other uses.” The report concluded: “The Global lithium market is not fragmented but oligopolistic in structure as there are few players controlling the supply and price dominance in the marketplace. The top 10 lithium companies control more than 60% of the industry, while the other companies in the industry control a combined 22% of the market.”
Lithium South Development Corporation (OTCQB: LISMF) (TSX-V: LIS), BREAKING NEWS: Lithium South Completes Final Hole of Resource Expansion Program at the HMN Lithium Project, Salta Province, Argentina – Lithium South Development Corporation is pleased to announce the completion of NM01, the final hole of the current resource expansion program at the Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project, Salta Province, Argentina. The hole is located on the Natalia Maria Claim Block, a 115 hectare area strategically located on the salar. Drilling at NM01 has intersected brine-bearing interbedded sediments and fractured halite from surface to a depth of approximately 200 meters. Below that, to the final borehole depth of 375 meters, the halite has lower permeability. Nine packer samples have been collected between 24 and 189 meters, with a density range of 1.215 to 1.218 g/mL and a conductivity range of 196.3 to 209.5 mS/cm. Samples will be sent to Alex Stewart Laboratories (ISO Certified Mendoza, Argentina) for analysis.
A monitoring well will be installed to test the upper, more permeable, halite. A separate shallow well will be installed on the same platform to test the shallow interbedded sediments. The goal of the monitoring wells are to provide a preliminary indication of whether the claim block will support one or more shallow pumping wells for potential future lithium production.
The 2022-2023 resource expansion program is comprised of a total of eight core wells, seven were drilled on the Alba Sabrina Claim Block, the largest in the project package at 2,089 hectares. Combined with the newly completed hole NM01 at the Natalia Maria Claim Block, and the 2018 drill program at the 383 hectare Tramo Claim, over 75 % of the salar located claims has now been drill tested.
A new updated lithium carbonate equivalent resource will be calculated under the supervision of Groundwater Insight, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Management expects to substantially add to the current 571,000 tonne LCE resource identified at the Tramo Claim Block in 2018 (October 02, 2018 News Release). The intent of expanding the current resource is to increase the project size potential from the 5,000 tonne per year operation defined in the 2019 Preliminary Economic Assessment (filed August 12, 2019). CONTINUED…. Read this release for the Lithium South news at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-lis/
Other recent mining developments in the markets include:
Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC) (TSX: LAC) recently announced the commencement of construction at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project (“Thacker Pass” or the “Project”) in Humboldt County, Nevada, following the receipt of notice to proceed from the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”).
“Starting construction is a momentous milestone for Thacker Pass and one we have been working towards for over a decade,” said Jonathan Evans, President and CEO. “We are excited about the prospect of generating economic growth in Northern Nevada and playing a major role in the domestic lithium supply chain for electric vehicles.”
Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE American: SLI) (TSX-V: SLI), a leading near-commercial lithium company, recently announced that, as part of its significant resource expansion work in the East Texas Smackover region, it has sampled, to the best of its knowledge, the highest confirmed lithium grade brine in North America, with a grade of 634 mg/L lithium. In Standard Lithium’s experience, the grade of lithium in brine used for Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) has a meaningful impact on both capital expenditures and operating costs in connection with the extraction process, with a higher grade typically resulting in lower overall costs.
Dr. Andy Robinson, President and COO of Standard Lithium commented, “We’re excited to discover this outstanding resource and to add it to our expanding portfolio of select projects in the Smackover Formation. We have built a large and technically diverse team of Smackover specialists who have been working for almost three years to understand the most prospective areas to secure the highest quality brine resources in East Texas. The technical group has been supplemented by a strong team of mineral and land professionals who have been securing the extensive brine rights in these key project areas. Based on this work, the Company acquired the rights to one existing well and to drill a new deep well. We are delighted that sampling from the new well has led us to find lithium brine with, to the best of the Company’s knowledge, the highest grade in North America.”
Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ: PLL), a leading global developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle (“EV”) supply chain, recently announced that its jointly-owned North American Lithium (“NAL”) project has successfully produced initial spodumene concentrate (“SC6”) as plans advance to fully restart the Quebec operation. Approximately 70 metric tons of spodumene concentrate were produced as part of commissioning with first shipment of saleable product targeted for Q3 2023.
Patrick Brindle, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Piedmont Lithium, applauded the progress toward full-scale production. “This initial production from NAL underscores the diligence and dedication of the management team to restart the mine and concentrator both on time and on budget. NAL is the most advanced lithium project in terms of development in the U.S. and Canada, and we expect the operation to provide the only major source of new SC6 production in North America in the near term.”
Pilbara Minerals (OTCPK: PILBF) recently said it took a final investment decision to increase production capacity at its flagship Pilgangoora lithium project in Western Australia. The Australian lithium miner said it plans to spend A$560M (~US$375M) expanding the plant to nearly double production to 1M tons/year of spodumene concentrate, up from 580K tons currently, by late 2025.
The company said it has begun exploring offtake agreements for the additional lithium, as well as partnerships that would include downstream refining of lithium chemicals. “This expansion step facilitates a major lift in production capacity, capitalizing on the substantial scale of this tier one hard rock asset which underpins a near-25-year mine life at this new expanded production level,” CEO Dale Henderson said.
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