NEW YORK, January 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --http://www.Financialbuzz.com
- Developments in renewable energy had an unexpected effect on the value of lithium. The rechargeable battery market and lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries in particular are expected to drive demand. According to The Freedonia Group, Inc. global demand for lithium metal is projected to rise 8.9 percent per year through 2019 to 49,350 metric tons, meaning the global lithium market is expected to reach a value of $1.7 billion. Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTC: MLNLF) (TSX-V: ML.V), Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM)
The report indicates that the Asian-Pacific region currently dominates the market. China is the largest market for lithium due to the country's massive output of goods manufactured with lithium - including batteries, glass, grease, air conditioning equipment, and synthetic rubber. Among other regions, according to the report, "North America is projected to post the fastest gains in lithium demand, buoyed by strong growth in the production of Li-Ion batteries in the US. "
Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: MLNLF) (TSX-V: ML.V) is an exploration and development company with a focus on quality lithium assets located in Argentina. Proyecto Pastos Grandes S.A. is the Company's key project and is 100% owned and strategically located within the Argentine portion of the "Lithium Triangle" which is one of the world's largest lithium resources. Yesterday the company announced the current drill program at Pastos Grandes was expanded to include a third drill site. The addition of this third drill site will enable Millennial to delineate a continuous resource block and complete an initial resource estimate, as final results are received.
According to Millennial Lithium, to date "the company has completed exploration drilling at two sites with favorable results. Both exploration holes encountered thick sequences of loose, brine-bearing sediments. Samples from both exploration holes have been shipped to laboratories in Argentina and Canada, and analytical results are expected shortly."
Earlier in December Millennial Lithium reported continued progress with its Phase I lithium brine drilling program at Pastos Grandes. Iain Scarr, VP of Development and Exploration said in a statement, "These results exceed our expectations in terms of brine availability and flow. Densities are only an indirect measure of brine lithium content, but based on past work in the area, we are very encouraged. We are excited to be able to advance this program to pumping trials and to reporting results as they are received."
Lithium prices are set to rise as Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) nearly doubles the company's global battery production during the first week of the New Year. Tesla's gigafactory in the state of Nevada will commence mass production of lithium-ion batteries for the use of Tesla's electric vehicles, the Model 3 as well as its energy storage systems. Tesla will be partnering up with Japanese multinational electronics company, Panasonic, and has plans to hire up to 4,000 employees for the new factory, and by next year, Tesla anticipates to manufacture 35 gigawatts of lithium-ion batteries annually.
Premier specialty chemicals company and leader in the production of lithium and lithium derivatives, Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) has recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of lithium business known as Jiangxi Jiangli New Materials Science and Technology Co. Ltd. It includes manufacturing assets and supporting business functions located in both Jiangxi and Sichuan, China focused on the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. "This acquisition, which combines Jiangli New Material's manufacturing excellence and Albemarle's leading resource position, will accelerate Albemarle's ability to meet our lithium growth plan," said David Klanecky, vice president of Albemarle's Lithium Division. "The facilities in both Jiangxi and Sichuan are strategically located in high growth regions and will enable us to enhance customer service and deliver exceptional product diversity across end markets, geographies and technologies, particularly in Asia Pacific."
FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) reported its third quarter Lithium sector generating revenue of $70 million, an increase of 22 percent from the prior-year quarter. According to the statement, segment earnings increased to $18 million in the quarter versus $2 million in the prior-year quarter. Higher average prices in all major products, lower operating costs and the devaluation of the Argentinean peso all contributed to the increase in segment earnings. For the full year 2016, segment revenue is expected to be in the range of $265 million to $275 million. The company has served the global agricultural, industrial and consumer markets with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. FMC acquired Cheminova in April 2015. Revenue totaled approximately $3.3 billion in 2015. FMC employs approximately 6,000 people throughout the world and operates its businesses in three segments: FMC Agricultural Solutions, FMC Health and Nutrition and FMC Lithium.
Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM) is a producer of potassium nitrate and iodine that produces specialty plant nutrients, iodine derivatives, lithium and its derivatives, potassium chloride, potassium sulfate and certain industrial chemicals. The company segments include specialty plant nutrients, industrial chemicals, iodine and derivatives, lithium and derivatives, potassium, and other products and services. Specialty plant nutrients are fertilizers that enable farmers to improve yields and the quality of certain crops. Industrial chemicals have a range of applications in chemical processes, such as the manufacturing of glass and industrial nitrates. Iodine and its derivatives are used in the X-ray contrast media and biocides industries, among others. Lithium and its derivatives are used in batteries, greases and frits for production of ceramics.
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