A Growing Reliance on EVs is Driving Demand for Lithium

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NEW YORK — The lithium market started this year with numerous price increases. Additionally, the production of lithium, like other raw materials, is failing to keep up with demand. In fact, demand for lithium has been skyrocketing in recent years, since it is a material that is required for the development of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). And now, this market is facing further economic challenges including limited plant maintenance and pandemic-related labor shortages in Australia. “The lithium market is extremely tight at present, so spot prices are very sensitive to any supply disruptions,” Alice Yu, analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, wrote in an email, according to a report by Bloomberg. Foremost Lithium Resource & Technology Ltd., Snow Lake Resources Ltd., Fisker Inc., QuantumScape Corporation, Standard Lithium Ltd.

While the EV industry remains in its infancy even as battery technology advances, demand for lithium in the sector is only expected to accelerate. According to data provided by Allied Market Research, the global electric vehicle market was valued at USD 162.34 Billion in 2019, and is projected to reach USD 802.81 Billion by 2027 while registering a CAGR of 22.6%. Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region has been the highest revenue contributor, accounting for USD 84.84 Billion in 2019, and is estimated to reach USD 357.81 Billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 20.1%. Nevertheless, the North America region is expected to grow faster, as it is estimated to reach USD 194.20 Billion by 2027 at a significant CAGR of 27.5%. 

Foremost Lithium Resource & Technology Ltd. announced last week breaking news that, “it has received a permit from the Province of Manitoba to extract a bulk sample from its Zoro Lithium Project located in the historic mining district of Snow Lake, Manitoba.

Foremost Lithium plans to extract a 500-kilogram bulk sample of spodumene-bearing pegmatite from Dyke 1 on its Zoro Lithium Project. The bulk sample will be shipped to a reputable third party for metallurgical testing and process development. A 2020 peer reviewed technical publication co-authored with SGS Mineral Services concluded that spodumene-bearing pegmatite from Zoro Dyke 1 can be processed using industry standard metallurgy to produce a 6% battery-grade lithium (Li2O) concentrate.i The goal for the upcoming 500 kg bulk sample is to demonstrate that pegmatite from the Company’s Zoro Lithium Project is suitable to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide (LiOH) thereby making it viable to market its lithium to strategic partners prior to development.

Scott Taylor, President and CEO of Foremost Lithium states ‘In addition to the Zoro Lithium Project, recently collected samples from our Jean Lake Lithium Project returned high-grade assays of 3.89% to 5.17% Li2O%. Given the similarity in mineralogy of the Beryl pegmatite to Dyke 1 on the Zoro property, the potential to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide from the Beryl pegmatite is a distinct possibility. As such, the extraction of a bulk sample at the Beryl pegmatite for purposes of third-party metallurgy is currently being planned. This is the first step in our journey and commitment to shareholders to deliver a secure domestic supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.’

About Foremost Lithium: Foremost Lithium is an energy tech company driven to being one of the first North American Companies committed to produce high quality battery-grade lithium hydroxide domestically to fuel the electric vehicle battery market. Given the importance and global focus on increasing energy decarbonization, especially when it comes to vehicles, The Company is hyper-focused in continued exploration and growth on its three lithium properties, Jean Lake and Zoro located in Snow Lake, Manitoba, and Hidden Lake in the Northwest Territories. Foremost Lithium also holds assets in precious commodities with its Winston Gold/Silver Project in New Mexico, USA.”

Snow Lake Resources Ltd., d/b/a Snow Lake Lithium Ltd. announced on December 20th, 2021, an update to it’s stakeholders on it’s progress toward commercial lithium production.  Snow Lake has entered into a contractual agreement with SGS Natural Resources in Lakefield, ON to perform the necessary metallurgical testing required for the preliminary economic assessment, or PEA, and for the subsequent pre-feasibility study, or PFS.  CEO of Snow Lake Lithium, Philip Gross, commented “We are currently running to achieve full scale production and seeking to quantify all unknown variables. The SGS metallurgical studies will provide the critical data needed to complete our PEA, initiate a PFS and confirm our trajectory to becoming the first B Corp fully renewable, carbon neutral North American hydroxide producer to the EV industry.”

Fisker Inc. last week showcased its Fisker Ocean all-electric SUV at CES in Las Vegas, highlighting the vehicle’s state-of-the-art Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). Fisker showcased the all-electric Fisker Ocean SUV at CES in Las Vegas, following the vehicle’s global reveal at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. Called Fisker Intelligent Pilot, the ADAS platform integrates four types of sensors: an industry-leading surround-view camera suite, a camera-based driver-monitoring system, ultrasonic technology, and a Digital-Imaging Radar System that Fisker expects will be first to market when the Fisker Ocean begins production in November 2022. Called Fisker Intelligent Pilot, the ADAS platform integrates four types of sensors: an industry-leading surround-view camera suite, a camera-based driver-monitoring system, ultrasonic technology, and a Digital-Imaging Radar System that Fisker expects will be first to market when the Fisker Ocean begins production in November 2022.

QuantumScape Corporation and Fluence Energy Inc. reported yesterday a multi-year agreement to introduce solid-state lithium-metal battery technology to stationary energy storage applications. The strategic relationship brings together two companies leading in technology innovation focused on accelerating clean energy adoption and reducing global carbon emissions. The companies will collaborate on what they believe to be a first-of-its-kind solution to incorporate QuantumScape’s battery technology into Fluence stationary energy storage products as specific technical and commercial milestones are met. “Fluence and QuantumScape share the same mission to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and adoption of energy storage technologies, so our collaboration is a natural fit,” said Jagdeep Singh, co-founder and CEO of QuantumScape. “While we have historically focused on automotive applications, we believe our battery technology is broadly applicable and can play a role in other sectors contributing to a lower-carbon future.”

Standard Lithium Ltd. reported last month that it has signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Koch Engineered Solutions (“KES”) for support with pre-front end engineering design (“pre-FEED”) at the Company’s proposed first commercial plant located at the Lanxess facility in southern Arkansas. The intent of the LOI is to organize and use several business units under the KES umbrella to form an Integrated Project Management Team (“IPMT”) that will help Standard Lithium to execute key pre-FEED work. The IPMT will largely draw on strategically aligned resources from Koch Project Solutions (“KPS”), Koch Separation Solutions (“KSS”) and Optimized Process Designs (“OPD”). The IPMT will be structured to assist the Company in evaluating process scale-up solutions, equipment options, preliminary engineering design, scheduling, budgeting and other project management activities relating to the first commercial lithium plant proposed at the Lanxess facility in southern Arkansas. The proposed site for the first commercial facility currently houses the Company’s continuously operating pre-commercial Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) Demonstration Plant.

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