NEW YORK, October 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Sometimes revolutions take time to develop before arriving without almost no recognition. Over the course of the last dozen years, lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) have quietly become ingrained in society and have transformed every aspect of life. Commonly recognized as power sources for portable electronics like laptops and cell phones, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are lighter and smaller than lead acid batteries, have a high tolerance for movement and temperature changes, recharge much faster than other chemistries and, importantly, maintain their power delivery during use. Li-ion batteries have found their way into a myriad of other applications far beyond our indispensable electronic devices. Power tools, lawn mowers, implanted medical devices, wheelchairs, hearing aids, boat motors, solar power storage, military technology, emergency power backups and, increasingly, electric vehicles (EVs) are all powered by the now ubiquitous lithium-ion battery. With seemingly endless applications, it's apparent that the lithium revolution has arrived. The unabated demand for Li-ion batteries has engendered an insatiable appetite for lithium and sparked a global quest for new resources.
Surging demand and inadequate market supply are intensifying the quest by lithium mining companies like Standard Lithium Ltd. (TSXV: SLL) (OTC: STLHF) (FRA: S5L) (STLHF Profile), Liberty One Lithium Corp. (TSX-V: LBY) (OTC: LRTTF), Galaxy Resources Ltd. (OTC: GALXF) and Nemaska Lithium, Inc. (TSX: NMX) (OTC: NMKEF), while Global X Lithium & Battery Tech (NYSE: LIT) provides a deeper look into the health of the lithium industry.
Demand for lithium is projected to mushroom over 300% within eight years. Growth projections are largely based on increased consumer uses and the global proliferation of electric vehicles. However, the estimates may be vastly understated and could skyrocket much further. A recent Wall Street Journal article uncovered what may be an even greater demand driver. Multiple states and municipalities, in conjunction with utilities, are revamping their electric grids and utilizing high-density Li-ion energy storage solutions to power homes and make the grid more efficient (http://nnw.fm/M1LJu). Utility companies now store energy in neighborhood battery junction boxes during off-peak hours and use it during peak demand. The utility then avoids purchasing expensive peak demand electricity. The largest home energy storage project in the country is being undertaken by Arizona's Mandalay Homes, with plans to build 4,000 ultra-energy-efficient homes equipped with 8 kilowatt-hour Li-ion batteries. In Vermont, Green Mountain Power has offered homeowners a Tesla Powerwall for $15 a month. The 13.5 kilowatt-hour batteries are engaged when the electrical grid is strained to maximum capacity, preserving the grid and saving the utility company money. Many believe that modernization of the nation's electric grid will drive the need for lithium far beyond current projections.
Positioned to exploit the burgeoning demand, Standard Lithium Ltd. (TSX-V: SLL) (OTCQX: STLHF) (FRA: S5L) is actively engaged in further exploration and the immediate development of its Bristol Dry Lake brine project located in the Mojave region of California. Standard Lithium's Bristol Dry Lake project encompasses 16,600+ acres of important placer mineral claims. Geophysicists concluded a comprehensive gravity survey over the entire basin, and data interpretation indicates that the basin is both deep and expansive. Historical drilling and sampling to total depths of approximately 500 feet have produced meaningful brine samples with lithium values over 100 mg/L for the entire drilled interval.
Acquired through a strategic mineral lease agreement with National Chloride Corporation of America, the Bristol Dry Lake area has long been surface-mined to produce chloride for industrial applications. Consequently, the area has exceptional mining infrastructure already in place, mitigating the primary challenges of cost effective lithium mining and production - location, access and infrastructure. Standard Lithium's location has easy road and rail access and abundant electricity and water sources, and it is already permitted for extensive brine extraction and processing activities. Electric power and water are on the property with a major paved road on the western edge and a rail siding nearby. The mineral lease agreement with National Chloride allows Standard Lithium immediate access to conduct exploration brine sampling and extraction, evaporation and processing activities, enabling a fast-tracked project development schedule. The project is in a mining friendly, clean energy development jurisdiction with proven near surface brines which provide for efficient geophysical exploration drilling programs. The company expects selective lithium recovery through a combination of membrane, chemical precipitation and solvent extraction. With a market cap around $70 million, successful strategy execution could easily propel Standard Lithium to new heights as a significant low cost domestic producer of battery grade lithium materials.
To exceed objectives and market expectations, Standard Lithium has established a world class Scientific Advisory Council of lithium extraction scientists and process engineers that is in charge of the lithium extraction process testing work (http://nnw.fm/8hErG). As Standard Lithium CEO Robert Mintak stated, "Standard Lithium has a very clear focus…we have the ideal team with a blend of experience, knowledge, technical agility and pragmatic problem-solving abilities, to develop optimal process solutions for Standard Lithium's world-class assets". Standard Lithium is determined to produce low cost domestic lithium and capitalize on the immense global shortages.
A Canada-based exploration company, Liberty One Lithium Corp. (TSX-V: LBY) (OTCQB: LRTTF) is focused on the acquisition and development of high grade lithium brine deposits. The company recently announced that it had received the requisite environmental and drilling permits for its Pocitos West property in Salta Province of Northern Argentina and intends to immediately commence drilling. The property is located in the Pocitos Salar, Los Andes Department, Western Salta Province of Argentina and consists of over 39,000 acres in the middle of the renowned lithium triangle. Liberty One also has 233 placer claims encompassing 4,480 acres located in the Paradox Basin in Grand County, Utah.
Australia-based Galaxy Resources Limited (OTC: GALXF) owns lithium production facilities, hard rock mines and brine assets in Australia, Canada and Argentina. It wholly owns and operates the James Bay lithium pegmatite project in Quebec, Canada, and the Mt. Cattlin mine in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia, which is currently producing spodumene and tantalum concentrate. Galaxy is also advancing plans to develop the Sal de Vida lithium and potash brine project in Argentina, situated in the lithium triangle, which is currently the source of 60% of global lithium production.
Nemaska Lithium, Inc. (TSX: NMX) (OTCQX: NMKEF) is a Canadian exploration stage lithium miner focused on finding and producing the metal through exploration and development of hard rock lithium mining and the processing of spodumene (lithium aluminum silicate) into lithium compounds. The company has yet to produce lithium but claims a proprietary process to produce lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate, for which patents have been filed. Trading near its all-time high, the company has a $500+ million market valuation.
Global X Lithium & Battery Tech (NYSE: LIT) further demonstrates the strength of lithium, earlier this week clipping a new 52-week high of $39.96. As reported by CNBC in September (http://nnw.fm/Etvr9), the exchange traded fund (ETF) gained $143 million within a roughly a week after China announced its intention to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. China represents the world's largest market for EVs, and is one of seven countries on track to ban the use of internal combustion engines (https://www.networknewswire.com/lithium-driving-global-push-end-gas-powered-vehicles/). Global X Lithium & Battery Tech's net assets are $931,501,203.83.
From fire to fossil fuels, quality of life has been governed by the taming of energy sources. There's a titanic shift underway revolutionizing energy utilization. The meteoric demand for Li-ion batteries will remain unabated as grids modernize to handle the massive influx of battery-powered homes, electric vehicles and evermore devices. To profit from this titanic energy transformation, investors must have direct or indirect exposure to the lithium revolution.
For more information on Standard Lithium please visit: Standard Lithium Ltd. (TSXV: SLL) (FRA: S5L) (OTCQX: STLHF)
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