Companies are innovating and developing new lithium-ion battery technologies.
The growth of the Li-ion battery (LIB) market has led to an increasing demand for lithium. LIBs are a crucial component in the development of future energy infrastructure. For example, a Tesla Model S battery contains about 12 kilograms of Li, while grid storage solutions are currently being built to make renewable energy more affordable and reliable.
Electric vehicles are promoted as a sustainable mode of transport due to their lifecycle basis, as they emit fewer greenhouse gases than conventional vehicles. Tesla, for example, is planning next-generation EV batteries, which would focus on bringing Li-iron phosphate batteries to market.
This will reduce vehicle costs, increase vehicle range to 400 miles or more, and allow batteries to last up to 1 million miles. And according to data from Fortune Business Insights, the size of the global lithium market was US$3.64 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$6.62 billion in 2021-2028 at a CAGR of 8.1%.
Infinity Stone Ventures Corp. (OTC: GEMSF) (CSE: GEMS), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (NYSE SQM), Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ: PLL), SIGMA Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: SGML), QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE: QS)
Manufacturing Li-ion batteries is challenging due to the need for cobalt, a key component of the cathode in most lithium-ion batteries that is traditionally mined mainly in Congo. The price of cobalt, which was $32,000 per tonne at the end of 2017, rose to $82,000 last spring. It has since fallen to $55,000.
Manufacturers have responded to the cost and volatility by looking for alternative chemicals.
Meghan NuttingExecutive Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Sunnova, a Houston-based residential solar developer, said:
Many manufacturers have started to switch from lithium ion batteries to lithium phosphate as phosphate is more readily available.
Infinity Stone Ventures Corp. (OTCQB: GEMSF) (CSE: GEMS) last week provided “an exploration update on its Camaro and Hellcat lithium project (the “Camaro Hellcat Project”) alongside Patriot Battery Metals (“PMET” or “Patriot ”) ready lithium discovery in the James Bay lithium district of Quebec.
The Fall exploration program conducted by Infinity Stone’s technical team, Axiom Exploration Group (the “Fall Program”) has been extremely successful in confirming historically mapped pegmatites and identifying new showings.
87 samples were collected on 3,850 hectares of claims adjacent to the Patriot discovery. Samples have been shipped to the Saskatchewan Research Council (“SRC”) laboratory in Saskatoon, Sask., with assay results expected to be returned in the coming weeks.
One of the significant highlights of the fall program was the identification of a cluster of highly prospective pegmatite veins and transverse structures near the northern margin of the Hellcat claims that are expanding northward, resulting in the Company expanding its claim area.
The white, coarse-grained pegmatite veins in this area have been mineralogically characterized by tourmaline, garnet and muscovite, which are common LCT (Lithium Cesium Tantalum) pegmatite indicator minerals in the area.
The Hellcat claims lie under a 9 km strike length of underexplored greenstone and metasediments of the Mesoarchean Rouget Formation and the neoarchean Marbot Formation, respectively.
The underexplored greenstone belt of the Rouget Formation represents an attractive exploration target geologically similar and close to the Guyer Group greenstone that hosts the PMET Corvette pegmatites.
Infinity Stone is in the process of defining the next steps of its exploration program, including completing a geophysical survey of the project ahead of a planned drilling program in early Q1 2023. With the improved infrastructure in the region, winter access and operability, the Corvette lithium trend has evolved significantly improved, ultimately enabling winter drilling on the Camaro-Hellcat project.
Zain KaljanCEO of Infinity Stone said:
We look forward to continuing our exploration efforts at the Hellcat-Camaro project with the identification of pegmatites beneath the Rouget greenstone that show parallels to the geology underlying Patriot’s Corvette discovery and warrant further exploration.
“The progress made on our James Bay property, combined with ongoing exploration on our other assets, is timely given the rapid growth in the lithium and battery metals market over the past few months. Almost every day there is another announcement to expand the North American battery metals supply chain.”
“Every major automaker and battery maker is in the process of building infrastructure in Canada and the U.S., all in the context of significant government support, including the Biden administration’s recent announcement of $2.8 billion to support manufacturing and processing companies in the battery metal room,’ promoted Mr. Kalyan.”
Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (NYSE SQM) announced last year that it had entered into a long-term agreement to supply lithium hydroxide to Johnson Matthey (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies and a member of the Global Battery Alliance.
Richard RamosChief Executive Officer of SOM, commented:
We are very pleased to announce the signing of this contract as this is just one result of our efforts to sustainably increase lithium production.
“We are strongly committed to the important transition to zero-carbon transport. Last year we announced our ambitious goal to produce carbon neutral lithium products by 2030. We are the first lithium producer to join IRMA as a dependent member and we believe this, combined with our own internal efforts, will help ensure the widest implementation of strict standards for sustainable lithium production in the Salar de Atacama in Chile.”
“We are working on a major lithium expansion plan to achieve 180,000 and 30,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, respectively. These expansions will come concurrently with our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint by halving our brine extraction and freshwater use by 2030. Additionally, we are continuing work in Australia to develop our lithium hydroxide project with Wesfarmers.”
Piedmont lithium (NASDAQ:PLL) was announced on October 24ththAtlantic Lithium has completed infill and exploration drilling at its flagship Ewoyaa project in Ghana. Assay results confirm high grade mineralization providing further confidence in resource conversion and potential mine life extension.
Keith PhillipsPiedmont’s President and Chief Executive Officer commented:
Drill results at Ewoyaa continue to be very impressive with high lithium grades over wide widths and near surface.
“We are working closely with our partners at Atlantic Lithium to release a Definitive Feasibility Study on the Ewoyaa Project in the first half of 2023 and these final drill results are expected to result in longer mine life and even stronger economics for this world to lead. class project.”
“When fully operational, the Ewoyaa project will be a major supplier of spodumene concentrate for lithium hydroxide conversion in Tennessee and it is encouraging that both projects are progressing so positively.”
SIGMA Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: SGML) posted a corporate update on August 19ththfrom a transformative second quarter of 2022. Sigma Lithium ended the quarter ended June 30, 2022 with $123.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, providing sufficient liquidity to bring the Grota do Cirilo project (the “Project”) into production .
Phase 1 construction of the project remains on track, with commissioning expected to begin in December 2022.
Ana Cabral-GardnerCo-CEO of Sigma Lithium said:
We are pleased to have further strengthened our operations team with the addition of industry-leading executives, completing a world-class management team at Sigma Lithium.
“Having achieved all of our implementation milestones to date, the delivery of a transformational quarter demonstrates the ability of this team to propel us forward on our successful journey of becoming a global protagonist in lithium minerals for electric vehicle batteries.”
QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE: QS) and Fluence Energy Inc. announced on January 13tha multi-year agreement to introduce solid-state lithium-metal battery technology for stationary energy storage applications.
The strategic partnership brings together two companies at the forefront of technological innovation focused on accelerating the adoption of clean energy and reducing global carbon emissions.
The companies will collaborate on what they believe to be a unique solution to integrate QuantumScape’s battery technology into Fluence’s stationary energy storage products once certain technical and commercial milestones are met.
Jagdeep SinghCo-Founder and CEO of QuantumScape said:
Fluence and QuantumScape share the same mission of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and adoption of energy storage technologies, so our collaboration is a natural fit.
“Although we have historically focused on automotive applications, we believe our battery technology has broad applicability and can play a role in other sectors that contribute to a lower-carbon future.”
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Companies Look to Innovation and Developing New Lithium-Ion Battery Technology, NEW YORK, October 31, 2022