Originally published on Renewables International.
Maybe you missed it, but China is now “The Center of the Lithium Universe.” China is already the world’s largest electric vehicle market, says Kirill Klip, President of International Lithium Corp.
The recent Volkswagen scandal has once again shed light on polluting vehicles and the health hazard they pose to the public and environment. In hopes of ending this tainted legacy governments have began implementing regulations to phase out emission causing vehicles. Respectively, all major automakers have followed suit and pledged to build dozens of electric vehicles in years to come.
BYD, the Chinese company backed by Warren Buffet, is the largest EV manufacturer in the world, thus the Chinese companies are producing the largest amount of lithium chemicals for the batteries required to make them. The market is booming, there are currently 25 companies making 51 models of electric cars in China. Over 500,000 EVs will be sold in China this year alone. By comparison it took GM 7 years to sell 100,000 Chevy Volts since 2009 which was also the total of sales for BYD in a year.
Now there are reports that China is pushing for the very aggressive California style Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program. “8% of new cars to be electric by 2018, 12% by 2020.” Let’s put it into perspective: this year there are just over 1% of new cars sales in China. By 2018 they are talking about a factor of 8x that and 12x by 2020. That’s a 12x increase in the number of electric cars to be produced in China! Let’s digest it all for a moment…
Chinese companies currently control the majority of the Lithium Hydroxide market, a critical chemical product (so-called battery grade lithium) that goes into EV batteries. The same product that also goes into Tesla batteries, which Panasonic makes lithium cells for.
This month Magazine “Industrial Minerals” reported about Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi Lithium from China and their incredible growth: “Lithium boom continues to fuel Chinese majors” – Tianqi Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium both saw turnovers more than double in the first nine months of 2016.
International Lithium stands out among other companies developing lithium resources with its Strategic Partner – $4.5 Billion dollars Market Cap giant from China Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd.
Last month the news came out: Strategic Partner Ganfeng Lithium to Increase Equity Ownership in International Lithium.
“I am very pleased that Ganfeng Lithium is reinforcing its strategic stake in International Lithium. Ganfeng is a worldwide leader in lithium materials production based in China. They provide not only the capital to advance our joint venture projects in Argentina and Ireland, but technology to facilitate potential production to their particular needs as a lithium end-user. Ganfeng holds 19 patents and is the only company producing lithium chemicals both from brine and hard rock spodumene sources” states Kirill Klip, President of the Company.
International Lithium develops lithium projects on three continents: in Europe, Argentina and Canada. This year $17 million Canadian dollars were allocated to all ILC projects for development until the end of 2017.
Two J/V with Ganfeng Lithium are financed by ILC’s Strategic Partner: Avalonia in Ireland and Mariana in Argentina.
Now ILC has entered into a new strategic partnership with Pioneer Resources from Australia for their Mavis Lake and Raleigh Lake projects in Canada.
This is the implementation of ILC’s new strategy, developed for the security of lithium supply for North America. International Lithium is advancing a multitude of smaller deposits in the Upper Canada region that possess near perfect accessible infrastructure and that can supply a central lithium carbonate processing facility.
With the increasing demand for high tech rechargeable batteries used in vehicle propulsion technologies and portable electronics, lithium is paramount to tomorrow’s “green-tech”, sustainable economy. By positioning itself with solid development partners and acquiring high quality grass roots projects at an early stage of exploration, ILC aims to be the resource explorer of choice for investors in green tech and build value for its shareholders.
Info about Lithium reserves: Worldwide identified reserves in 2008 were estimated by the US Geological Survey (USGS) to be 13 million tonnes, though an accurate estimate of world lithium reserves is difficult. Deposits are found in South America throughout the Andes mountain chain. Chile is the leading producer, followed by Argentina. Both countries recover lithium from brine pools. In the United States, lithium is recovered from brine pools in Nevada. However, half the world’s known reserves are located in Bolivia along the central eastern slope of the Andes. In 2009, Bolivia negotiated with Japanese, French, and Korean firms to begin extraction. According to USGS, Bolivia’s Uyuni Desert has 5.4 million tonnes of lithium. A newly discovered deposit in Wyoming’s Rock Springs Uplift is estimated to contain 228,000 tons. Additional deposits in the same formation were estimated to be as much as 18 million tons.
Reprinted with permission.