NEW YORK, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The lithium ion battery market is expected to grow in value over the coming years, but it's the cobalt market that has been attracting a lot of attention. Cobalt is one of the main compounds implemented into rechargeable batteries, and it is a market that is facing a supply shortage. According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the growth of the global cobalt market can be attributed to the rising demand for lightweight electric cars, which are becoming more popular and reliable. A research by Markets and Markets projects that the lithium ion battery market is expected to be valued at USD 68.97 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 16.6% between 2016 and 2022. First Cobalt Corp. (OTC: FTSSF), Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F).
According to a report by Reuters, Consultants CRU Group said that electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could hit 4.4 million in 2021. Also projected to be more than six million by 2025, which is 1.1 million from last year. "Future demand for cobalt from the EV (electric vehicle) sector is looking tangible and is more positive than originally expected," as mentioned in the Reuters article of 14th February, 2017. "China has some aggressive plans in terms of electric vehicles. It will be a major driver behind cobalt consumption growth."
First Cobalt Corp. (OTCQB: FTSSF) also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol FCC. Announced today that, "the completion of a borehole geophysics and televiewer program at its Keeley-Frontier project near Cobalt, Ontario."
This phase of the program consisted of taking measures from within six drill holes completed in 2011 on the Beaver Lake Fault in an area known as the Keeley Extension. The Beaver Lake Fault was previously mined but only to a limited extent. The fault is located to the west of the main silver-cobalt ore zone of the Keeley-Frontier Mine.
The program is intended to help First Cobalt improve understanding of the controlling structures in the mineralized system. The Woods vein was historically the largest productive vein for Keeley and is well understood. However, other north-trending structures and east-west cross faults were not well understood. By improving the understanding of the broader structural environment, the Company anticipates it will be in a better position to predict where other vein structures may lie.
Dr. Frank Santaguida, Vice President, Exploration commented, "The completion of this phase of our exploration program at Keeley-Frontier is essential to our strategy to unlock the cobalt potential in this camp. These results placed into the context of the ongoing structural mapping program will provide the foundation for planning the drill program this summer, as it will help predict the location of previously unknown vein sets. I am very pleased with the hard work of the field team and we are looking forward to completing the interpretation of the geophysical data in the coming weeks."
Four of the six holes were surveyed for resistivity, natural gamma and magnetic susceptibility. Resistivity and natural gamma are measured to determine alteration of the rocks related to mineralization. Magnetic susceptibility variations, specifically in the host mafic volcanic rocks, can be used to determine their depth extension below the Huronian sedimentary rocks providing future targets for drilling. The data from this program could allow the Company to more accurately project the depth to the volcanic unit that hosts mineralization.
Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Panasonic Corporation have signed an agreement that lays out their cooperation on the construction of a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the United States, known as the Gigafactory. According to the agreement, Tesla will prepare, provide and manage the land, buildings and utilities. Panasonic will manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools based on their mutual approval. According to a blog by the Tesla Team on January 4, Tesla and Panasonic have begun mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory, which will be used in Tesla's energy storage products and Model 3.
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts. On March, 2017, the company announced that Talison, a joint venture between Albemarle and Tianqi Lithium Corporation, has approved the expansion of lithium concentrate production at its Greenbushes, Australia spodumene mine. Greenbushes is the world's largest active lithium mine. It has the largest hard rock lithium reserve, and contains the highest concentration of lithium oxide available of any active mine. The expansion is intended to more than double the LCE capacity at Greenbushes from 80,000 MT/year to more than 160,000 MT/year, of which Albemarle has a 50% interest in the offtake. Commissioning of the expansion is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019.
Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM) is an integrated producer and distributor of specialty plant nutrients, iodine, lithium, potassium-related fertilizers and industrial chemicals. SQM obtained the Certification ISO 9001:2008 to the Quality Management System for the production and sale of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. Lithium carbonate is used in a variety of applications, including batteries, frits for the ceramic and enamel industries, heat resistant glass (ceramic glass), primary aluminum, air conditioning chemicals, and continuous casting powder for steel extrusion, pharmaceuticals, and lithium derivatives. SQM produces lithium carbonate at the Salar del Carmen facilities, near Antofagasta, Chile, from solutions with high concentrations of lithium coming from the potassium chloride production at the Atacama Salar.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is at the forefront of driving electric vehicle technology and improving costs on batteries and motors for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles. On April, 2017, the company revealed the second of 13 new electrified vehicles the company plans to introduce in the next five years. The industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid police car, the all-new Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, is part of a $4.5 billion Ford investment to make electric vehicles that give customers greater capability, productivity and performance - plus better fuel economy. The plans are part of Ford's expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electric and self-driving vehicles, and new mobility solutions.
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