FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
New York, NY (1/12/2022) – The global lithium market has seen a substantial rise in demand in recent years. To illustrate the rise in prices of lithium, data by S&P Global shows that Seaborne lithium carbonate prices have gained 413% since the start of 2021, growing to USD 32,600/mt CIF North Asia on Dec. 1st. Meanwhile, lithium hydroxide prices have climbed 254% over the same period to USD 31,900/mt CIF North Asia. In large part, the boosted demand is the result of the ever expanding electric vehicle (EVs) market. According to Platts Analytics, global plug-in light-duty EV sales are expected to rise to 6.5 million units in 2022 and 10.5 million units in 2025, up from an estimated 6 million units in 2021 and 3.1 million units in 2020. Foremost Lithium Resource & Technology Ltd. (CSE: FAT) (OTC: FRRSF), Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC), Snow Lake Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: LITM), Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI), Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE: SLI)
Lithium-ion batteries are heavily adopted due to their compact size, rechargeability, recyclability and high-density energy output. “The push by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and battery manufacturers to continually reduce battery pack costs continues,” says William Tokash, Senior Research Analyst with Navigant Research. “This effort, led by improving battery manufacturing processes and maturing supply chains, is anticipated to yield a market driven by battery electric vehicles (BEVs), where both large and small capacity Li-ion battery-pack-equipped vehicles have markedly improved driving ranges.”
Foremost Lithium Resource & Technology Ltd. (CSE: FAT) (OTC: FRRSF) announced last week breaking news that, “it has received a permit from the Province of Manitoba to extract a bulk sample from its Zoro Lithium Project located in the historic mining district of Snow Lake, Manitoba.
Foremost Lithium plans to extract a 500-kilogram bulk sample of spodumene-bearing pegmatite from Dyke 1 on its Zoro Lithium Project. The bulk sample will be shipped to a reputable third party for metallurgical testing and process development. A 2020 peer reviewed technical publication co-authored with SGS Mineral Services concluded that spodumene-bearing pegmatite from Zoro Dyke 1 can be processed using industry standard metallurgy to produce a 6% battery-grade lithium (Li2O) concentrate.i The goal for the upcoming 500 kg bulk sample is to demonstrate that pegmatite from the Company’s Zoro Lithium Project is suitable to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide (LiOH) thereby making it viable to market its lithium to strategic partners prior to development.
Scott Taylor, President and CEO of Foremost Lithium states ‘In addition to the Zoro Lithium Project, recently collected samples from our Jean Lake Lithium Project returned high-grade assays of 3.89% to 5.17% Li2O%. Given the similarity in mineralogy of the Beryl pegmatite to Dyke 1 on the Zoro property, the potential to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide from the Beryl pegmatite is a distinct possibility. As such, the extraction of a bulk sample at the Beryl pegmatite for purposes of third-party metallurgy is currently being planned. This is the first step in our journey and commitment to shareholders to deliver a secure domestic supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.’
About Foremost Lithium: Foremost Lithium is an energy tech company driven to being one of the first North American Companies committed to produce high quality battery-grade lithium hydroxide domestically to fuel the electric vehicle battery market. Given the importance and global focus on increasing energy decarbonization, especially when it comes to vehicles, The Company is hyper-focused in continued exploration and growth on its three lithium properties, Jean Lake and Zoro located in Snow Lake, Manitoba, and Hidden Lake in the Northwest Territories. Foremost Lithium also holds assets in precious commodities with its Winston Gold/Silver Project in New Mexico, USA.”
Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC) reported last week that approximately 98% of Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSXV: ML) (“Millennial”) shareholders and warrantholders voted in favor to approve the acquisition by Lithium Americas of all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Millennial by way of a statutory plan of arrangement, as previously announced on November 17, 2021 (the “Transaction”). Approval from Millennial shareholders and warrantholders is a pivotal step in the Transaction, and the parties are now in a position to proceed with the final court order and then closing of the Transaction, with closing expected to occur on or about January 25, 2022. Lithium Americas is a development-stage company with projects in Jujuy, Argentina and Nevada, United States.
Snow Lake Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: LITM), d/b/a Snow Lake Lithium Ltd. announced on December 20th, 2021, an update to it’s stakeholders on it’s progress toward commercial lithium production. Snow Lake has entered into a contractual agreement with SGS Natural Resources in Lakefield, ON to perform the necessary metallurgical testing required for the preliminary economic assessment, or PEA, and for the subsequent pre-feasibility study, or PFS. CEO of Snow Lake Lithium, Philip Gross, commented “We are currently running to achieve full scale production and seeking to quantify all unknown variables. The SGS metallurgical studies will provide the critical data needed to complete our PEA, initiate a PFS and confirm our trajectory to becoming the first B Corp fully renewable, carbon neutral North American hydroxide producer to the EV industry.”
Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) announced on January 1st that the Company delivered 14,087 Li ONEs in December 2021, representing a 130.0% increase year over year. This took its fourth quarter deliveries to 35,221, up 40.2% quarter over quarter and 143.5% year over year. Total deliveries in 2021 increased 177.4% year over year to 90,491. The cumulative deliveries of Li ONE reached 124,088 since the vehicle’s market debut. “We set another record with more than 14,000 deliveries in December. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our family users for their trust and support. In December, we released the OTA 3.0 update to all our Li ONE users, further enhancing their in-car experience. This update includes our full-stack, self-developed Navigation on ADAS (NOA), which allows over 60,000 users to enjoy safer and easier driving. In 2022, we will continue to bring our users safer, more convenient and more refined products and services. We look forward to growing with more users, creating homes on the move that bring happiness to the entire family,” said Yanan Shen, co-founder and president of Li Auto.
Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE: SLI) reported last month that it has signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Koch Engineered Solutions (“KES”) for support with pre-front end engineering design (“pre-FEED”) at the Company’s proposed first commercial plant located at the Lanxess facility in southern Arkansas. The intent of the LOI is to organize and use several business units under the KES umbrella to form an Integrated Project Management Team (“IPMT”) that will help Standard Lithium to execute key pre-FEED work. The IPMT will largely draw on strategically aligned resources from Koch Project Solutions (“KPS”), Koch Separation Solutions (“KSS”) and Optimized Process Designs (“OPD”). The IPMT will be structured to assist the Company in evaluating process scale-up solutions, equipment options, preliminary engineering design, scheduling, budgeting and other project management activities relating to the first commercial lithium plant proposed at the Lanxess facility in southern Arkansas. The proposed site for the first commercial facility currently houses the Company’s continuously operating pre-commercial Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) Demonstration Plant.
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