Battery Deals, Charging Infrastructure, and Li Project Updates

July 9, 2018

A lot has happened in the lithium space over the past few weeks.  Here are a few stories we found to be interesting:

  • A couple of weeks ago we published the first edition of our Lithium CEO Roundtable in which the heads of Nemaska Lithium, Orocobre Limited, Pilbara Minerals, and Sigma Lithium Resources shared their thoughts on the lithium mining industry as it relates to investor concerns.  Given the depth of the answers given by the CEOs, we decided to publish it uncut in a two part series that can be found at the following locations:
  • Bloomberg wrote an interesting article outlining something we’ve mentioned quite a bit- while lithium fundamentals remain strong, the funding markets aren’t necessarily supporting the story.  
  • Nemaska Lithium and LG Chem announced a 5-year supply agreement for 7,000 tpa of lithium hydroxide.  This is just another story keeping the positive newsflow momentum going for Nemaska. Despite the newsflow, it seems investors are unimpressed, as the stock has sold off over 60% since hitting all time highs in January.
  • Savannah Resources announced that they raised 11.5m pounds in an oversubscribed private placement.  The funds, which will be used to further progress their lithium project in Portugal, is expected to support the company’s cash needs to the mine decision point.  The stock is down over 20% in the past week.
  • Lithium Americas announced Preliminary Feasibility Study results for their Thacker Pass project in Nevada.  Highlights include a estimated capex requirements of $581m, a 46 year mine life, a flowsheet developed in coordination with Ganfeng Lithium, and low estimated operating costs of $3,043/t of carbonate (all-in).
  • The UK’s department of transportation announced proposals to help cut emissions by 80% (compared to 1990) by 2050.  As part of those proposals, the country will assess the need to require that new homes are built with EV charging points, and will allocate more capital to support EV charging infrastructure.  While many governments around the world have unveiled ICE vehicle bans, it’s certainly a positive step to see a major world power taking it a step further with new proposals to help reach an all-EV future.
  • Norway, which is already one of the world’s top electric car buyers, tested a two-seater electric plane on Monday.  Also, they predicted that passenger flights on such aircrafts will begin by 2025. The full story can be read here.
  • Electric car maker BYD announced that they will spend $3B by 2020 to nearly quadruple their capacity to produce EV batteries.  The company is hoping that the move will help them keep up with CATL.  
  • Speaking of CATL, the company announced today that they reached a deal worth $4.7B with BMW to supply batteries for EVs.  Unsurprisingly, CATL will build their first European production plant in Germany.  The stock is up almost 200% from its IPO price, demonstrating the strong investor appetite for the EV story.
  • Sticking with the theme of battery companies and automakers making deals, Volkswagen announced that they invested $100m in California-based solid state battery startup QuantumScape.  QuantumScape holds over 200 patents on solid state batteries and is targeting to have a production ready solid state battery by 2025.
  • ICYMI: we outlined cool new EV models from Porsche, BMW, Fisker, and Tesla that we expect will help drive consumer enthusiasm over the coming few years.

Stay tuned via twitter and email to get our analysis as it hits the tape!