NEW YORK, January 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
According to Global Market Insights, Inc. the global Lithium Ion Battery Market is poised surpass USD 60 billion by 2024. Li-ion batteries are broadly used as a power supply for consumer electronics as well as hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs). More and more countries advocate for eco-friendly vehicles, increasing lithium ion batteries demand as a result. The report indicates that the growing adoption of electric vehicles coupled with government initiatives to promote sustainable energy utilization will drive the lithium ion battery market size. MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC)
A lead metals and minerals research analyst at Technavio, Mahitha Mallishetty, explained, "The range of EVs can be improved, and the fuel consumption of hybrid EVs can be reduced using lithium-ion batteries. The diverse types of rechargeable batteries, distinguished by the materials used for the electrodes and electrolytes, have a short-range due to lower energy density and have a short operational life when compared with that of lithium-ion batteries. Growth in vehicle fleet leads to a proportionately faster change in the acceptance of EVs, thereby providing growth prospects for the global lithium market."
MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the Ticker 'XMG'. Just earlier today the company announced breaking news that, "has increased its ownership in engineering partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions ("PurLucid") from 34% to 46% by investment of C$1.45M. The Company maintains the right to acquire 100% of PurLucid through successive future investments.
Investment Recap - Since announcing an acquisition and engineering partnership agreement in September 2016, MGX and PurLucid have invented new technology and filed patent application related to brine treatment and selective lithium recovery. PurLucid's exclusively licensed nanoflotation technology, which purifies wastewater brine, has since been integrated with a newly developed lithium recovery process. Combined, this Cleantech process reduces the capital cost of recovery compared with traditional solar evaporation, as it does not require the investment in very large, multi-phase, lake sized, lined evaporation ponds, greatly reducing the physical footprint and enhancing the quality of extraction and recovery across a complex range of brines previously considered unprocessable due to complexity or geographical location outside of solar evaporation appropriate zones. This includes oil and gas wastewater, natural brine, and other brine sources such as lithium-rich mine and industrial plant wastewater.
Nanoflotation and Nanofiltration Technology - PurLucid and MGX system utilizes a highly charged Replaceable Skin Layer (RSL™) membrane related to the nanofiltration and High Intensity Froth Flotation (HiFF) system, known as nanoflotation, which collectively have demonstrated performance superiority over other processes typically used to remove contaminants. The technology allows ultra-high temperature water treatment (up to 700oC) at 10-30 times the efficiency of existing ultrafiltration systems and offers numerous environmental benefits, including contaminant removal, mineral recovery, reduced energy demand, smaller footprints and lower capital costs. The technology was a 2017 finalist for the Most Disruptive Technology in the World award by Katerva (see press release dated February 21, 2017).
Petrolithium Technology - MGX and Purlucid are implementing the lithium recovery process, commissioning of the first 750 barrel per day system is underway, extending the success achieved with the Petrolithium pilot recovery system deployed in August 2017 (see press release dated August 1, 2017). Although combined system development and deployment are cornerstone to the engineering partnership, MGX holds the global rights to the jointly developed lithium extraction technology while PurLucid retains the rights to the pre-treatment water purification and core technology.
Government Grants - PurLucid was recently awarded a non-repayable contribution totaling up to C$8.2 million in government funding to support the commercialization of a low energy water treatment system for the oil and gas industry (see press release dated November 6, 2017). Purlucid will fabricate and deploy a commercial-scale unit within an operating steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) facility in Alberta. The contracted operation will generate upto C$2.0 million a year based on a per cubic meter environmental processing fee that is approximately 50% lower cost than current disposal costs (deep salt cavern). This project will serve as a template for additional contracts currently under negotiation with other oil and gas producers.
Lithium Extraction System Nearing Deployment - Full commissioning of the commercial-scale NFLi5 lithium recovery system, capable of processing 750 barrels (120 cubic meters) of brine per day, is nearing completion. Deployment of this unit is expected to take place within the next 60 days."
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. with the opening of the Gigafactory and the acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla now offers a full suite of energy products that incorporates solar, storage, and grid services. As the world's only fully integrated sustainable energy company, Tesla is at the vanguard of the world's inevitable shift towards a sustainable energy platform. According to a blog published by The Tesla Team, Tesla was selected to provide a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system to be paired with global renewable energy provider Neoen's Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. Tesla was awarded the entire energy storage system component of the project. Upon completion by December 2017, this system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost power during the blackout period.
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 December 20, 2017, the company announced that it and its subsidiary SQM Australia Pty, have finalized the purchase of 50% of the assets of the Mount Holland Lithium Project in Australia. This purchase is from MH Gold Pty Ltd, Montague Resources Australia Pty Ltd y Kidman Resources Limited, as the result of compliance of the conditions established in the purchase agreement agreed by the Sellers and informed to the Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros on September 11, 2017. SQM Australia and the Sellers have also signed a joint venture agreement describing the development, construction and mining operations, concentration and refining plants for the production of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. This joint venture agreement will also allow for the exploration and exploitation of Sellers's lithium rights which are not included in the Agreement.
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts. On November 8, 2017, the company reported third quarter 2017 net sales of $754.9 million, earnings of $118.7 million and adjusted EBITDA of $209.4 million. Lithium and Advanced Materials reported net sales of $343.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, an increase of 42.9% from third quarter 2016 net sales of $240.4 million. The $103.1 million increase in net sales as compared to prior year was primarily due to favorable pricing impacts, increased sales volumes and $1.6 million of favorable currency exchange impacts. Adjusted EBITDA for Lithium and Advanced Materials was $130.2 million, an increase of 42.0% from third quarter 2016 results of $91.7 million. The $38.5 million increase in adjusted EBITDA as compared to the prior year was primarily due to favorable pricing impacts and increased sales volumes, partially offset by Lithium growth spending, a $3.9 million negative impact from hurricane Harvey on Performance Catalyst Solutions ("PCS") and $0.2 million of unfavorable currency exchange impacts.
FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) has served the global agricultural, industrial and consumer markets with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. On November 6, 2017, the comapny reported third quarter revenue of $646 million, which is an increase of 3 percent year-over-year. FMC Lithium reported third quarter segment revenue of $94 million, an increase of 28 percent sequentially and an increase of 35 percent versus the prior-year quarter. Segment earnings increased over 50 percent sequentially and more than doubled year-over-year to $37 million in the quarter. Higher volume from FMC's new hydroxide operations in China and higher year-over-year prices were the main contributors to growth. The outlook for Lithium segment revenue for the full year of 2017 remains in the range of $340 million to $360 million, an increase of 33 percent at the mid-point compared to 2016, while the outlook for full-year segment earnings has been raised to a range of $124 million to $128 million.
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