NEW YORK, May 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
According to a research report published by Technavio, the global lithium-ion battery market is projected to reach USD 81.65 billion by 2021 and at a CAGR of over 11%. The increased usage of lithium is due to rising demand for batteries to power portable consumer electronics and electric vehicles (EVs). Earlier this year Bloomberg reported that Volkswagen AG, the world's largest carmaker, secured 20 billion euros ($25 billion) in battery supplies to support its strong investment in EVs. The move is expected to put more pressure on Tesla Inc. as it copes with production issues for their mainstream Model 3. According to the report Volkswagen plans to equip 16 factories to produce electric vehicles by the end of 2022, compared to three factories presently. Additionally, Volkswagen expects to manufacture 3 million cars a year by 2025. MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC), FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM)
A recent report published by Industrial Minerals is showing that the increasing popularity of EV's has translated into a record demand for lithium. Chinese battery-grade lithium carbonate prices have increased to almost record highs. The spot price for battery-grade lithium carbonate (min 99.5% Li2CO3) increased to 150,000-160,000 yuan ($23,676-$25,254) per ton. One of the largest lithium producers in the world, Chilean producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), commented on the industry. Patricio de Solminihac, CEO of SQM, said in the company's first-quarter results statement this week, "Average prices during the first three months of this year surpassed $16,000/mt given a tight supply and demand balance. We believe that this price pressure will continue throughout the first half of the year."
MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the Ticker (CSE: XMG). Yesterday the company announced breaking news that, "a progress report on its expanding silicon portfolio in British Columbia along with planned 2018 development activities. MGX is investigating the potential to source high-grade silica as a feedstock to be used in industrial silicon metal and solar silicon metal applications.
Acquisition of New High-Grade Silicon Property: The Company is pleased to report it has acquired the Gibraltar property (the "Property") located approximately 95 kilometers northeast of Cranbrook, BC (B.C. MINFILE 082JSW001). The Property features high purity quartzite that has the potential for technological applications, consisting of snow white coloured, high purity silica that contains >98.8% SiO2 and < 1.2% impurities such as Al2O3, Fe2O3, CaO, MgO, Na2O, K2O.
The Gibraltar quartzite unit is located in the foreland thrust zone of the Hughes Range of the Rocky Mountains. It covers a sedimentary clastic-carbonate rock package located near the confluence of Kootenay and White River. Sedimentary rocks generally have a north-northwest strike, but locally a north-northeast strike is prominent. Minor folding was noted in the carbonate sequence immediately adjacent to quartzite unit. Two westerly dipping thrust faults (Hay, Carter, 1988) are believed to run north-south close to the eastern edge of the Gibraltar property.
The main exploration target on Gibraltar includes a moderately dipping, 20-30 meter wide high purity quartzite bed exposed over a strike length of approximately 420 meters. Fieldwork carried out in 2017 consisted of geological mapping (approximately 10 hectares), geochemical sampling (7 rock chip samples submitted for whole rock geochemical analysis, ALS code ICP06), and GPS surveying quartzite outcroppings. A total of 7 rock chip quartzite samples (ID numbers 15GIBR-1 to 15GIBR-7) were taken from the base of the Main Zone.
Based on sum of SiO2%/Total% values, the mean value of the SiO2%/Total% for 6 out of 7 rock chip samples analyzed is 98.8%. The relatively high SiO2 content of 6 out of 7 samples (17GIBR-1 to 3, and 17GIBR 5 to 7) taken along approximately 300-meter strike length of well exposed Mt Wilson Formation quartzite, compares favourably with other silica producers such as Moberly, Hunt and HCJ Properties near Golden, BC. Impurity compounds of interest (Al2O3, MgO, CaO, Fe2O3) approach specifications required for producing ferrosilicon alloy. Based on the range of %SiO2 and impurity values such as MgO, CaO, P2O5, Al2O3, and Fe2O3, it is possible that the Gibraltar quartzite silica is suitable for use as a raw material for ferrosilicon or silicon metal production.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/68586c89-9329-4f20-9c89-9449180fd7b9
As consideration, MGX has issued 100,000 common shares of the Company to the vendors of the Property. The vendors were Glen Rodgers and Andris Kikauka. Mr. Kikauka, is a non-arm's length party to the Company by virtue of being a Director and Vice President of Exploration of the Company. Mr. Kikauka is entitled to 50% of the purchase price of the Property. The acquisition of the Property was considered a "related party transaction" pursuant to Multilateral Instrument 61-101 - Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions ("MI 61-101"). The Company was exempt from the requirements to obtain a formal valuation or minority shareholder approval in connection with Mr. Kikauka's participation in the transaction in reliance of sections 5.5(a) and 5.7(a) of MI 61-101.
Wonah and Koot Silicon Project Updates: MGX is also pleased to report it has received permits to conduct drill programs at its Wonah ("Wonah") and Koot ("Koot") silicon properties (collectively the "Projects") located in British Columbia. The Company will complete 13 combined drill holes and along with a metallurgical program to test the Projects for suitability of upgrading to silicon metal and solar grade silicon.
At Wonah, the main target includes the ridge where steeply dipping Ordovician age quartzite is exposed over a strike length of approximately 850 meters. Geological mapping, geochemical sampling, and surveying identified a series of white quartzite outcroppings (Wonah Quartzite Formation) that form 2 lenses, the 'Central Zone' that has been traced for approximately 500 m, and South Zone traced for 350 m along strike. The Central and South Zones consist of a highly competent quartzite unit that trends N to NNE, is approximately 50 meters in width, and has a steep east dip.
At Koot, historic Exploration conducted by Cominco (now Teck-Cominco) during the 1980's outlined a mineralized zone spanning approximately 400 meters consisting of high-purity silicon dioxide (SiO2). Whole rock analysis of composite samples in six of seven shallow diamond drill holes returned values ranging between 98.7% and 99.3% SiO2 (Assessment Report 10160). The zone remains open along strike and at depth to the north, east and west. Cominco also conducted decrepitation testing of rock fragments at 1,000 degrees Celsius from three quartzite outcrops and noted no decrepitation."
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA)'s mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. Tesla has broken new barriers in developing high-performance automobiles that are not only the world's best and highest-selling pure electric vehicles-with long range and absolutely no tailpipe emissions-but also the safest, highest-rated cars on the road in the world. According to a blog by the Tesla Team in 2017, Tesla and Panasonic begin mass production of lithium-ion battery cells, which will be used in Tesla's energy storage products and Model 3. The high performance cylindrical "2170 cell" was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic to offer the best performance at the lowest production cost in an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products. Model 3 cell production will follow in Q2 and by 2018, the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells, nearly as much as the rest of the entire world's battery production combined.
Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC), together with SQM, is developing the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project, located in Jujuy, Argentina, through its 50% interest in Minera Exar. Recently, the company announced the filing of a technical report for the Thacker Pass lithium project, formerly Stage 1 of the Lithium Nevada project. The Thacker Pass Project in Nevada, United States, is 100% owned by Lithium Nevada Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lithium Americas. In addition, Lithium Americas owns 100% of the Thacker Pass Project, and RheoMinerals Inc., a supplier of rheology modifiers for oil-based drilling fluids, coatings, and specialty chemicals.
FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) has served the global agricultural, industrial and consumer markets with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. The company operates its businesses in two segments: FMC Agricultural Solutions and FMC Lithium. Earlier this month, the company reported first quarter 2018 revenue of $1.2 billion, an increase of 103 percent year-over-year. MC Lithium reported first quarter segment revenue of $103 million, an increase of 57 percent versus the prior-year quarter. Segment EBITDA nearly doubled year-over-year to $50 million in the quarter. Higher volume from debottlenecking projects in Argentina and the hydroxide expansion in China, higher year-over-year prices on all product categories and lower operating costs were the main contributors to growth. The outlook for Lithium for the full year has been increased. Segment revenue for the full year of 2018 is in the range of $430 million to $460 million, an increase of nearly 30 percent at the mid-point compared to 2017, while the outlook for full-year segment EBITDA is in the range of $193 million to $203 million.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), its subsidiaries and joint venture entities produce and sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands. Last year, the company announced how it is executing on a major element of its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Given customers' various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification - battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements. GM also introduced SURUS - the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure - a fuel cell powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame that's driven by two electric motors. With its capability and flexible architecture, SURUS could be used as a delivery vehicle, truck or even an ambulance - all emissions free.
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