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Mar 15, 2022, 09:00 ET
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NEW YORK, March 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Lithium prices are on the rise as a result of tight supply and strong, growing demand in China. According to data published by metal.com, the SMM spot prices of domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate gained 2,000 yuan/mt to 497,000-505,000 yuan/mt on March 10th. Since the beginning of the year, the average spot price of domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate has increased by 223,000 yuan/mt or 80.22%. In the meantime, the U.S. is racing to reduce its rare earth dependence on China. "With the global lithium-ion battery market expected to grow rapidly over the next decade, DOE is making it possible for the United States to be prepared for market demand," the Department of Energy said last month. "Responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing of the critical materials used to make lithium-ion batteries — such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite — will help close the gap in supply chain disruptions and accelerate battery production in America." Foremost Lithium Resource & Technology Ltd. (CSE: FAT) (OTC: FRRSF), Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ: PLL), Livent Corporation (NYSE: LTHM), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE: QS)
Additionally, the growing awareness about the amount of carbon emissions released into the environment from automobiles has helped spur the adoption of electric vehicles around the globe. This, in turn, has put the onus on manufacturers to offer electric vehicles running on lithium-ion batteries, instead of adopting other battery alternatives due to their lightweight nature, high energy density, and low cost. Now, it is expected that the global lithium-ion battery market will grow at a CAGR of around 26.04% to reach a value of around $160.21 billion by 2026, having stood at $42.30 billion in 2020, according to Research and Markets.
Foremost Lithium Resource & Technology Ltd. (CSE: FAT) (OTC: FRRSF) announced yesterday breaking news that field operations have commenced for its ten (10) diamond drill hole ("DDH") 1,500-meter program. This is the first drilling program for the Company since 2018. The focus of this drill program is to test ten (10) new spodumene pegmatite targets on the Zoro project. Gogal Air Services (Snow Lake, Manitoba) has mobilized Bodnar Drilling of Sainte Rose du Lac, Manitoba to the FM-21-064 drill pad by helicopter to begin drilling. Gogal Air Services shall also provide rotary air support, core storage, and preparation facilities for the project. Drill core samples will be shipped to Activation Laboratories (Ancaster, Ontario) for assaying services. Drill and helicopter pads for each of the 10 holes were cut and prepared by Moss Linecutting of Snow Lake. Figure 1 below shows an image of the location of the FM-21-064 drill pad…
Scott Taylor, President, and CEO of Foremost Lithium states: ‘I’m pleased to confirm that we are now executing our drilling operations on Zoro. Foremost is finally getting back to work for its shareholders. The Company is anxious to test these 10 new high-quality targets for high grade lithium oxide (Li20) mineralization based upon data interpretation by our technical team headed up by Dr. Mark Fedikow. We seek to replicate this proven exploration approach and develop more drill targets for further extensive drilling in 2022. Results of the program will be released once available to keep shareholders fully up to date on any new discoveries.’
This 1,500-metre diamond drill hole program on the Zoro Lithium Property is being supported by the $300,000 grant awarded in September to Foremost Lithium from the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund ("MMDF"). The MMDF was launched by the Government of Manitoba in August 2020 with the specific goal of jump-starting mineral and economic development initiatives throughout the province. The MMDF is administered through the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and aims to support new economic development opportunities that capitalize on existing assets and infrastructure across Manitoba.
Technical information contained in the press release has been approved by the Company’s VP of Exploration, Dr. Mark Fedikow, P. Geo, who is a "Qualified Person" within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects."
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Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ: PLL) has reported on March 9th, the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA" or "Study") for a proposed merchant lithium hydroxide plant ("LHP-2") to expand Piedmont’s planned U.S. manufacturing capacity to 60,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide. The LHP-2 PEA results demonstrate the potential for Piedmont Lithium to expand its lithium hydroxide manufacturing business using spodumene concentrate from market sources, including under existing offtake agreements with Sayona Quebec and Atlantic Lithium. "2021 was a transformative year for electrification in the United States," said Piedmont President and CEO Keith Phillips. "Current and forecasted battery manufacturing capacity now exceeds 500 gigawatt-hours ("GWh") with public announcements of over $25 billion in capital investments to occur by 2025. The potential lithium volume these battery plants will require reinforces the importance of developing a domestic lithium supply chain and solidifies our decision to aggressively evaluate and pursue expansion opportunities for a second lithium hydroxide plant. The planned 2023 restart of North American Lithium in conjunction with our partner, Sayona Mining, and potential for spodumene production at Ewoyaa in partnership with Atlantic Lithium as early as 2024 ensures that our LHP-2 operations will have dedicated material supply from day one. With prevailing spot lithium prices at approximately triple the fixed pricing assumptions used in the PEA, Piedmont has substantial leverage relative to higher lithium prices across our entire portfolio of projects," commented Phillips.
Livent Corporation (NYSE: LTHM) announced on February 15th, that it has begun a voluntary, third-party assessment of its brine-based lithium extraction and manufacturing operations at the Salar del Hombre Muerto, Catamarca, Argentina. This independent assessment of the company’s Fenix site is the next step in the multi-stage review against the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining. "We began our journey with IRMA knowing that it would be an intensive, multi-year undertaking. Despite the demanding process, our teams are excited about beginning this next stage and welcome it as an opportunity for Livent to strengthen our sustainability program, including our efforts to engage with our local communities," said Paul Graves, president and chief executive officer of Livent. "We fully support IRMA’s mission and are confident that Livent’s participation in IRMA will result in better outcomes for our company, our stakeholders in Argentina and around the world, and the lithium industry as a whole."
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) announced on March 2nd, that it has signed a non-binding letter agreement with Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) ("MRL") to explore a potential expansion of the MARBL Lithium Joint Venture ("MARBL"). "The expansion of MARBL would be consistent with our corporate strategy to pursue profitable growth and to be disciplined stewards of capital," said Kent Masters, Albemarle CEO. "Broadening our partnership with MRL would allow us to expand lithium conversion capacity with increased optionality and reduced risk to help meet our global customers’ growing need for high-quality, reliable lithium supply."
QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE: QS) and Fluence Energy Inc. reported earlier this year a multi-year agreement to introduce solid-state lithium-metal battery technology to stationary energy storage applications. The strategic relationship brings together two companies leading in technology innovation focused on accelerating clean energy adoption and reducing global carbon emissions. The companies will collaborate on what they believe to be a first-of-its-kind solution to incorporate QuantumScape’s battery technology into Fluence stationary energy storage products as specific technical and commercial milestones are met. "Fluence and QuantumScape share the same mission to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and adoption of energy storage technologies, so our collaboration is a natural fit," said Jagdeep Singh, co-founder and CEO of QuantumScape. "While we have historically focused on automotive applications, we believe our battery technology is broadly applicable and can play a role in other sectors contributing to a lower-carbon future."
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