NEW YORK, August 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The lithium-ion battery industry has undergone significant changes in several raw material markets such as metals and minerals over the last two decades. Each lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is a complicated assembly of materials. According to a research report by Roskill, battery cell assembly requires a complex supply chain of largely unrelated product groups, where nonferrous metals (metals that do not contain Iron, are not magnetic and are usually more resistant to corrosion than ferrous metals) and minerals play a major role. Nonferrous metals and minerals used in Li-ion batteries are lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, graphite, copper and aluminum. The Roskill research indicates that complex multi-metal cathodes are now a standard. For example, lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminium-oxide paired to silicon-doped blended graphite anodes in electric vehicles or lithium-iron-phosphate cathodes paired to lithium-titanium-oxide anodes for energy storage systems. Berkwood Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: BKR), Mason Graphite Inc. (OTC: MGPHF), Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY), Lundin Mining Corp. (OTC: LUNMF), Taseko Mines Ltd (NYSE: TGB)
A report published by Variant Market Research, projects that the global Lithium-ion battery market will reach an estimated $56 billion in value by 2024, and growing at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2016 to 2024. Li-ion batteries are now widely implemented as the power or energy source for a wide variety of products, including portable electronics and electric vehicles. Increasing adoption of smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras has contributed to demand of these batteries. A major factor that is already changing the scope of the industry is the exponentially increasing popularity of electric vehicles.
Berkwood Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: BKR) is currently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker 'BKR'. Yesterday the company announced that it has completed two holes and collared a third on its Lac Gueret South Graphite Project located in Quebec. The Company is pleased to confirm that the initial two holes have intersected visual graphite at depths consistent with conductive units detected using electromagnetic ('EM') geophysical techniques. These techniques were applied by the Company to develop its initial group of targets, and drill pads have been prepared for the initial suite of targeted PhiSpy conductive anomalies, located in the Zone 1 area (refer location descriptions below). The initial holes and their visually logged intercepts are important as they justify continued prosecution of the planned program. The Company anticipates completing up to 14 further inclined drill holes (of between 60m and 120m in length) in this initial phase of work.
The drill program started at Site #1 with DDH BK1-01-17 inclined at -45? on azimuth 358?. The 2nd hole on the same site, BK1-02-17, was inclined at -70?. These initial holes were located on the southern margin of the SW extent of a large airborne and ground EM and magnetic anomalous area in order to confirm the modelled dip direction of the large structure and to test for the presence of graphite. The dip on section appears to be about 70? to the south, confirming the geophysical model in this part of Zone 1. The drilling intersected visually identifiable graphite over intercepts at 40.2m - 45.3m (3.1m) and between 99.48 and 137.77m (38.29m) in BK1-01-17; and over intercepts from 43.6 - 46.3 (2.7m) and from 63.1 - 73.0 (9.9m) in BK1-02-17. These intercepts are as drilled intercepts, and do not represent true widths. The reader is cautioned that visual recognition of graphite does not equate to grades of significance.
Lac Gueret South Property, Quebec - Lac Gueret South is located in Cote Nord, Quebec, a three hour drive from Baie-Comeau in an area of very good infrastructure. The Project directly borders Mason Graphite's (TSX-LLG) advanced Lac Gueret Project to the South. With a market capitalisation of over $200 million Mason owns one of the largest high grade graphite deposits in the world, and is planning on building a new graphite mine and processing plant.
Tom Yingling, President and CEO states, "I am pleased to provide early confirmation that we have intersected graphite in the initial holes in our program. This confirms the effectiveness of our targeting methods and justifies further exploration of the extensive and very compelling conductive zone, in a district in which the world class Mason graphite deposit is now in development. We caution investors that visual confirmation of graphite should not be treated as equivalent to assay data: however, the observed intercepts fully justify continuation of the planned program."
Mason Graphite Inc. (OTCQX: MGPHF) earlier in June announced that the company and the Innu Council of Pessamit signed the Mushalakan Agreement, an Impact Benefit Agreement ('IBA') resulting from the 2014 Cooperation Agreement between the Parties. The Mushalakan Agreement, negotiated directly between the Pessamit Council and the executives of Mason Graphite, reflects the willingness of the Parties to work closely together to ensure that the Lac Guéret graphite mining project is a success and benefits the Pessamit Community and the population of Manicouagan. "We are very proud to announce today the Mushalakan Agreement, which is based on a principle of equity between nations. This Agreement will benefit the people of Quebec and the Pessamiuilnut with respect of their rights and their territory" said Benoît Gascon, CEO of Mason Graphite.
Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) announced earlier in April, that it has opened a new automotive lithium-ion battery factory in Dalian, China. The factory is Panasonic's first automotive battery cell production site in China. The tech company will further strengthen its global competitiveness in the automotive battery industry by the establishment of production sites in Japan, the United States, and China. "With an increasing awareness of environmental issues, the market for eco-friendly vehicles is expanding every year, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles. Panasonic has provided automotive lithium-ion batteries to a number of auto manufacturers on a global basis and is leading the automotive battery market," Panasonic states in a press release.
Lundin Mining Corp. (OTC: LUNMF) is a diversified Canadian-based metals mining company, primarily producing copper, nickel and zinc. Earlier in July the company reported quarterly earnings. Lundin's reported cash flows of $179.2 million generated from operations in its second quarter of the year, with net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Lundin Mining shareholders of $49.0 million ($0.07 per share) for the quarter ended June 30, 2017. Paul Conibear, President and CEO of the copmany commented, "Our operations delivered another quarter of strong aggregate performance including excellent production from Candelaria and Eagle that surpassed plan. Copper production guidance has been updated and tightened, and nickel production and cash cost guidance improved. All growth projects are on schedule and budget including the Neves-Corvo Zinc Expansion Project which recently received preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment approval following a timely and efficient review process with Portuguese authorities.
Taseko Mines Ltd (NYSE: TGB) is the owner (75%) and operator of the Gibraltar Mine, the second largest open pit copper-molybdenum mine in Canada. On August 2nd the company reported a cash flow from operations of $62.3 million in the second quarter of 2017. Russell Hallbauer, President & CEO commented, "In the first half of 2017 we built on the successes realized in the fourth quarter of 2016, and capitalized on rising copper prices. Over the past nine months we have generated $192 million of cash flow from operations and $147 million in earnings from mining operations before depletion and amortization."
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