NEW YORK, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
According to data compiled by Allied Market Research, the global lithium ion battery market is expected to reach $46.21 billion by 2022 and at a CAGR of 10.8 percent. The increasing adoption of rechargeable products such as portable devices and electric vehicles are primary drivers for the market. Currently, portable devices control majority of the lithium ion market share, but in the coming years, electric vehicles are expected to be the biggest market driver. Electric vehicles are growing more popular due to its environmentally impact, which led governments to aggressively encourage developments in the industry and companies to invest in R&D. Cameo Resources Corp. (OTC: CRUUF), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM), FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC), Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY)
As demand for lithium ion batteries increases, the components of the batteries will also increase heavily. The batteries are mainly comprised of lithium and cobalt, which is also expected to see an increase in demand during the transitional phase into electric vehicles. Wood Mackenzie analysts forecast cobalt demand to outpace lithium growth. Cobalt demand has seen a substantial increase as prices from 2016 to 2017 doubled, and in February prices were up 133% year over year.
Cameo Resources Corp. (OTC: CRUUF) also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: CRU). Earlier today the company announced breaking news that it is, "pleased to note that Orion Mine Finance II LP ("Orion") and Nemaska Lithium Inc. have concluded a USD $150M streaming agreement. Nemaska Lithium Inc. holds the Whabouchi Lithium deposit claims, which extend to within 1 km of Cameo's Montagne Lake Property in central Québec. Nemaska Lithium's Whabouchi lithium deposit is one of the most important spodumene lithium deposits in the world, and Nemaska Lithium is currently raising funds for the construction and commissioning of its proposed Whabouchi Mine and Shawinigan Plant project.
As reported by Nemaska Lithium (news release dated April 12, 2018) the Streaming Agreement provides for the sale and delivery to Orion of 14.5% of all lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate produced at the Shawinigan plant and sold to third parties (collectively, "Stream Products"). Orion's purchase price paid to Nemaska Lithium under the Streaming Agreement will be 40% of the sales proceeds of such Stream Products. Nemaska Lithium will act as Orion's agent in the sale of the Stream Products to third-party off-takers. Through this arrangement, Orion will receive 60% of the sales proceeds from such Stream Products, which will result in Orion receiving a net portion of approximately 8.7% of the Stream Products sales. The maximum amount of Stream Products deliverable per year will not exceed the equivalent of 5,000 tonnes of refined lithium products.
Orion originated as part of one of the world's largest metals-dedicated fund groups, co-founded in 2004. Orion provides senior debt, equity and royalty investments and off-take services to mining companies in both the base and precious metals sector. Cameo's Whabouchi Regional Lithium ("WRL") Project in Quebec covers more than 19,000 ha in two blocks on either side of Nemaska's proposed Whabouchi lithium mine including Cameo's 4,484 ha Montagne Lake Property immediately to the west of Nemaska's proposed Whabouchi lithium mine, and the Dumont Property 6 km to the east.
Cameo's CEO, Akash Patel states, "Yet another strategic investment will signal the significance of the Whabouchi region to the energy metals sector. Cameo looks forward to building on the momentum of this recent announcement with a meaningful spring exploration campaign".
Although Nemaska Lithium's proposed mine at Whabouchi is proximal to Cameo's WRL Project, the spodumene lithium mineralization on Nemaska's ground is not necessarily indicative of similar mineralization on Cameo's property and Cameo's qualified person is unable to independently verify the information reported by Nemaska Lithium Inc. Harrison Cookenboo, Ph.D., P.Geo., is a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101. He has reviewed and is responsible for the presentation of technical information in this news release."
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts. Recently, the company announced that it has named Dr. Glen Merfeld as Albemarle's Chief Technology Officer for its Lithium business, effective immediately. As Chief Technology Officer, Merfeld will be responsible for research and development in the area of energy storage and will lead all Lithium technology efforts in the areas of both material and data science. Merfeld joins Albemarle as a distinguished thought leader in the field of energy materials and battery science, as well as a seasoned executive with over 20 years in advanced materials with General Electric. He personally holds 14 patents, 28 invention disclosures, and more than 35 publications.
Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM) is an integrated producer and distributor of lithium, iodine, specialty plant nutrients, potassium-related fertilizers and industrial chemicals. On February 28, 2018, the company reported earnings for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 of US$427.7 million (US$1.63 per ADR), an increase from US$278.3 million (US$1.06 per ADR) reported for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016. In January 2018, the Company announced that it reached an agreement with CORFO to finish the arbitration processes that started in May 2014. The agreement included a one-time payment of approximately US$20 million that is reflected in the fourth quarter 2017 results. As part of the agreement, SQM is allowed to produce and sell up to 2.2 million MT of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) through 2030, albeit at higher lease payments to CORFO and other associated cost. The new payment structure will become effective, as of the moment the agreement is approved by regulatory authorities in Chile, which we expect to occur during March 2018.
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. Last month, the company announced that Paul Graves, executive vice president and chief financial officer, has been appointed chief executive officer for the previously announced new, publicly traded lithium materials company, which will be created by separating FMC's lithium business in the second half of 2018. Gilberto Antoniazzi, CFO for FMC Agricultural Solutions, has been appointed CFO for the new lithium materials company.
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. Last month, the company announced it has begun mass production of prismatic-type automotive lithium-ion batteries at its factory in Dalian, China, and held a ceremony to mark the first shipment. 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.
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