Electric Vehicle Demand Accelerates Lithium Ion Battery Market

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Based on data published by Global Market Insights, Inc., the global Lithium Ion Battery Market is poised surpass USD 60 billion by 2024, witnessing growth of over 8% over the forcast period. The report displays a positive outlook towards the automotive sector along with growing adoption of smart devices that will help product demand. In addition, increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) combined with government initiatives to promote sustainable energy expansion will drive the lithium ion battery market size. By segment, the industrial lithium ion battery market is expected to surpass USD 9 billion by 2024. These products find wide ranging applications across the defense and healthcare sector where capacity, energy density and safety are of paramount importance. MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY), Nemaska Lithium Inc. (OTC: NMKEF), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F)

Analysts project that the battery market is reliant on the development of EVs. The price of lithium has increased substantially in the past few years due to increased demand. David Whitten, Head of Global Natural Resources and a Fund Manager at Janus Henderson Investors, explained: "The battery industry is expanding capacity to meet the forecast EV demand, which is being mirrored by converters' capacity. The level of investment in the raw material part of the chain (hard rock mines and brines) is accelerating, but needs to accelerate faster."

MGX Minerals Inc. (OTCQB: MGXMF) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: XMG). Yesterday the company announced, "that geological mapping at Paterson Lake ("Paterson Lake" or the "Property"), 60 km north of Kenora, northwestern Ontario has successfully identified high-grade Lithium (Li) mineralization. The geological mapping program also identified three target areas for follow up exploration:

  • Western extension of Marko's Pegmatite
  • Rhea's Pegmatite
  • Cook's Pegmatite

Paterson Lake grab sample assay highlights from the western extension of Marko's Pegmatite include (Table 1 and Figure 1 and 2):

  • Three pure petalite samples (159037, 159201, 159222) with 4.43, 4.17 and 3.90 % Li2O
  • Two petalite dominate samples (159217, 159038) with 3.62 and 3.36 % Li2O
  • Sample 159218 with abundant petalite with 1.57 % Li2O

Petalite is an ore mineral of Lithium. Petalite (LiAlSi4O10) is the high temperature lithium aluminosilicate whereas spodumene (LiAlSi2O6) is the low temperature/high pressure lithium aluminosilicate.

In addition to Lithium, the western extension of Marko's pegmatite grab samples are also enriched in high grade Tantalum (Ta) and Cesium (Cs) with:

  • Sample 159219 with 1236 ppm Ta and 2473 ppm Cs
  • Sample 159221 with 725 ppm Ta and 472 ppm Cs.

The western extension of Marko's pegmatite's grab samples were collected between Marko's petalite pegmatite outcrop to the east and the J-series petalite pegmatite to the west. The grab samples are up to 260 m west of the historically known Marko's pegmatite outcrop. Historical mapping has shown that the Marko's pegmatite occurs along the contact between mafic metavolcanics, gabbro and iron formation. Grab sampling found the petalite pegmatite samples along strike of Marko's pegmatite along the same lithology contact. Historical mapping has shown that the Marko's pegmatite has a central core of petalite surrounded by blocky pegmatite which hosts Ta-oxide mineralization.

In 2002, historical drilling indicated that the Marko's pegmatite was 170 m long and made up of 2 to 12 m wide boudinaged lenses. The 2002 drilling also intersected North Marko's pegmatite, a 10 to 30 m wide pegmatite dyke, parallel to Marko's pegmatite with an unknown strike length. This historical drilling did not test the western extension of the Marko's pegmatite. Since Li-rich grab samples are along strike of the Marko's pegmatite and North Marko's pegmatite, there is an excellent potential for the Marko's pegmatite to extend westward.

Paterson Lake grab sample assay highlights from Rhea's pegmatite include (Table 1 and Figure 2):

  • Sample 159021 with 2.31 % Li2O and 111 ppm Ta
  • Sample 159022 with 198 ppm Ta.

Cook's pegmatite has elevated Li values up to 0.34 % Li2O and up to 161 ppm Ta. Rhea's pegmatite and Cook's pegmatite are 312 m apart along strike along the contact between mafic metavolcanics, metasediments and mafic tuffs. Rhea's and Cook's pegmatites are along the same contact between mafic metavolcanics and metasediments as other petalite pegmatites historically mapped by Ontario Geological Survey: Draven, Black Bear, Ballpeen, Pegmatites # 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. The exploration potential is excellent that more petalite pegmatites will be found along this contact on the Paterson Lake Property. The Cook's pegmatite is an enormous pegmatitic granite 420 m long by 140 m wide covered by black lichen. A thorough cleaning of the Cook's pegmatite may result in discovery of lithium mineralization similar to that at Rhea's pegmatite.

The Paterson Lake Property occurs within the Separation Rapids Greenstone Belt which is also home to the Big Whopper and Big Mack petalite pegmatites (Figure 2). Separation Rapids Greenstone Belt is known as the Bird River Greenstone Belt in Manitoba which hosts the Tanco pegmatite. The Property consists of 106 cell claims within the Paterson Lake and Treelined Lake Areas. The Property is approximately 7 km x 3 km in size. Power Metals optioned the Paterson Lake property in 2017 because the property has multiple known petalite pegmatite dykes on surface, but yet is still underexplored."

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) is the industry leader in lithium and lithium derivatives, one of the highest growth markets in the specialty chemicals industry. On May 9, 2018, the Company reported first quarter 2018 net sales of $821.6 million, earnings of $131.8 million and adjusted EBITDA of $248.7 million. First quarter 2018 earnings were $131.8 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, compared to $51.2 million, or $0.45 per diluted share in the first quarter 2017. The increase in 2018 was primarily driven by earnings growth of our Lithium segment and a loss on early extinguishment of debt of $0.34 per diluted share recorded in 2017. First quarter 2018 adjusted EBITDA increased by $37.3 million, or 17.7%, compared to the prior year. First quarter 2018 adjusted net income was $145.2 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, compared to $119.0 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, for first quarter 2017, an increase of 24%. Lithium reported net sales of $298.0 million in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 37.8% from first quarter 2017 net sales of $216.2 million.

Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. Earlier this year, the Company announced it has begun mass production of prismatic-type automotive lithium-ion batteries at its factory in Dalian, China. The market for eco-conscious vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles, is growing every year thanks to the increase in environmental awareness in recent years. To respond to the market demand, Panasonic has been gearing up to start production at this factory, which is its first production site for prismatic-type automotive lithium-ion batteries in China. Amidst expectations of expanding demand for automotive lithium-ion batteries, Panasonic manufactures the high-capacity and high-safety prismatic-type batteries at this factory and ships them to the North American and Chinese markets. Shipments will be expanded in the future to reach more destinations, helping to drive the spread of eco-conscious vehicles.

Nemaska Lithium Inc. (OTCQX: NMKEF) is a developing chemical company whose activities will be vertically integrated, from spodumene mining to the commercialization of high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. Earlier in July, the Company announced the signature of an agreement providing for the supply of battery grade lithium hydroxide by the Corporation to LG. Under this agreement, Nemaska Lithium agrees to supply LG, on a take-or-pay basis and through its wholly-owned subsidiary Nemaska Lithium Shawinigan Transformation Inc., with 7,000 tonnes per year of lithium hydroxide produced at the Corporation's commercial plant in Shawinigan, for an initial 5-year period scheduled to start in October 2020. Nemaska Lithium is entitled, if ever necessary, to reschedule the commencement of the supply period, within certain parameters set out in the agreement and based on the anticipated commissioning, ramping up and production start date for the Shawinigan plant.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. Earlier this year, the Company announced that it and Mahindra Group will jointly develop new SUVs, and a small electric vehicle as part of several initiatives between the two companies. The two companies signed five new memoranda of understanding (MoU) that further strengthen their strategic alliance and accelerate the development of key products for consumers in India and emerging markets. The MoUs, which are non-binding, mark the progress made by the two companies since announcing their alliance in September 2017. Mahindra and Ford also agreed to evaluate co-development of a compact SUV and electric vehicle, along with sharing powertrain portfolios, including the supply of Mahindra powertrains to extend Ford's product range.

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