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Lithium Prices Start To Spike Again, As StrongDemand From A Surprising Sector Pressures Supply
Source
American Shipper
Post Date
05/17/2019

The big news in the electric vehicle market today is being made by high-performance luxury brands.
The luxe brands, such as Porsche, have learned how to make technically advanced lithium ion batteries that can drive their EVs to speeds that will top 150 MPH.
But, the high performance batteries need to be huge – 95kWh and larger. Because it takes a lot of lithium to power a car from zero to 60 mph in three seconds or less.

By comparison, the average “underpowered” EV uses between a 10 kWh and 30 kWh Li-ion battery setup, deping on its range. Generally, 10 kWh translates to 100 miles.
The sudden new demand for lithium from luxe brands – in an EV market that already set to burst – could significantly favor three well-run lithium minersand their underlying shares.
The three are Clean Commodities Corp. (TSXV:CLE), Nemaska Lithium (TSX:NMX, OTC:NMKEF), and QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. (TSXV: QMC, OTC: QMCQF).

Quantum, as you’ll see, may have the highest upside though the tr favors each.
Exciting New EV’s Are Already Stressing Lithium Supplies
The favorable tr is because the sudden supply/demand crunch caught suppliers flat footed. That means EV makers will need new sources to meet demand.
For, as lithium expert Joe Lowry, of Global Lithium, put it, “I think the consensus on demand is the surprise, the positive surprise is on the demand side.”
That’s because the EV market’s new players –Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, and BMW – have one thing in common with down market brands: their vehicles are powered by regeable lithium ion batteries.
The difference however, is this: high performance luxury cars need very large batteries because ripping from zero to 60 MPH in 3.3 seconds, as the Porsche does, need a lot of power.

Moreover, Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen AG is set to crank out 50 new lithium-ion battery EV models at a rate of 2 million to 3 million vehicles a year.
Once A Doubter, Porsche Is Suddenly All In On EVs
For Porsche, the move to an EV is a major change of strategy because it wasn’t long ago that the company claimed all-electric powertrains didn’t offer enough performance to reach the level that their customers expect from the premium German brand.
Years of testing have changed its tune. In fact, CEO Oliver Blume now says that he expects half of Porsche’s production to be electric by 2023 – just four years from now
The Mission E, Porsche’s first pure EV, is about to enter production.
Blume said the company has plans to make 20,00 Mission Es this year but has doubled production to 40,000 units
Even more surprisingly, Blume said he sees Porsche’s EV reaching 50% of its total production as soon as 2023, which is much sooner than any established automaker.
Audi Has Big Li-ion Batteries, Too
Porsche’s sister brand, Audi is on the launch pad with outrageous high-performance EV’s as well.
It unveiled the E-Tron SUV in September and is already taking $1,000 deposits it. The $75,000 SUV will be available in the United States this spring.
Next up for Audi is the E-Tron GT, a sporty four-door car version that’s set to go on sale in 2020. Audi’s electric lineup will also include the E-Tron Sportback, a sportier electric SUV.
Each of the Audis will be powered by a 95 kWh Li-ion battery pack.

Jag’s And Tesla’s Need For Max Power
When it comes to owning a high-performance SUV already in showrooms, drivers have two choices, the Tesla X and the Jaguar I-Pace.
The Jag is powered by a big 90 kWh Li-ion battery pack.
That big battery packs a wallop, it 384 HP power plant could snap the I-Pace from zero to 60 MPH in about 1.8 seconds.
Car and Driver magazine reports the Tesla X jumps from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.

With a base price of about $100,000 the X offers big Li-ion battery power that ranges from 75 kWk on the low to 100 kWh.
Elon Musk Knows The Score
The sudden emergence of a high-performance EVs is more validation of a market set to explode.
A year ago Tesla slowed production of itsModel 3 because it lacked the lithium for its battery module production.
“Battery module production has been a limiting factor on Model 3 output,”said CEO Elon Musk.“We were a little overconfident and complacent in thinking this is something we know and understand.”

Tesla’s battery struggles show that the massive transition to electric vehicles won’t be without significant hurdles.
125 Million EVs Will Need Billions of Tons of Lithium
Much of the demand for lithium is taken up by the consumer electronics industry.
As automakers ramp up plans for EVs, lithium demand is expected to hit new highs, and competition for lithium will soar.
Because, in all, the number of electric vehicles on the road around the world will hit 125 million in the next 11 years, the International Energy Agency fores.
On the low , demand for lithium for EVs alone could be 5 billion tons.

And this is what is driving supply anxiety.
That’s because the smallest EV, the Nissan Leaf, uses 20 pounds of lithium in its battery, while a big EV, such as a Tesla uses more than 350 pounds of lithium.
The high performance EVs will use even more.
China and India, with nearly 4.5 billion citizens combined, will drive demand for EVs.
Tesla, though a big name in EV’s, will be a small player compared to General Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Ford—all of which see China and India as massive market opportunities.
GM needs to be the one of the most aggressive because it currently only has one EV, the Bolt. The company recently restructured its management in order to play catch up. GM plans to introduce 20 EV models in China during the next 14 years. Estimates are that it will be making 1 million EVs a year by 2020 or 2021.
Ford plans to invest $11 billion over the next three years with a goal of making 16 fully electric vehicles by 2023.
On the low , demand for lithium for EVs alone could be 5 billion tons.
China and India, with nearly 4.5 billion citizens combined, will drive demand for EVs.
Tesla, though a big name in EV’s, will be a small player compared to General Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Ford—all of which see China and India as massive market opportunities.
Unquenchable Demand Favors Large and Small Miners Alike
Of course, Ford’s investment pales when compared to Volkswagen, which is dedicating $50 billion over the next five years to its EV line of vehicles.
VW’s massive investment should yield 50 all-battery EV models, which it will crank out at a rate of 2 million to 3 million vehicles a year, by 2025.

The rollout across its s of 12 automotive brands is fore to comprise about 15 million vehicles over the next five years as VW transforms into a maker of self-driving, electric cars.
Majors lithium miners such as Albermarle (NYSE:ALB), and juniors like QMC Quantum Minerals (TSXV: QMC, OTC: QMCQF)will likely be running three shifts of workers in order to meet soaring demand.
These Three Small Companies Will Thrive Meeting the New Demand for Lithium
As noted Quantum is one of three small North American companies that could be the big winners as demand for lithium explodes.
If you are looking for a truly small junior with big potential, Clean Commodities Corp. (TSXV:CLE) could be very interesting. It has five potential mine sites comprising more than 78,000 acres near successful mines owned by Nemaska. But it has no defined proven and probable resource estimates yet. Wait for those estimates before investing.
Nemaska Lithium (TSX:NMX, OTC:NMKEF) has 24 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves at its Whabouchi mine in Quebec. It plans to mine ore there and haul it to its own nearby plant to produce lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. NMX could become one the world’s cheapest producer of these battery compounds

Meanwhile, QMCQuantum Minerals (TSXV: QMC, OTC: QMCQF) is the most exciting and least risky of the three.
Not only does it have the advantage of reing a former lithium mine for a fast startup, Quantum is an undiscovered gem for multiple reasons.
QMC Quantum Minerals (QMC) Can Jump Ahead of the Pack
Lithium investors did well playing the increased lithium demand thanks to laptops and cellphones. Then Tesla upped the game tenfold. Miners adjusted again.
Now, with the fore for 125 million new EVs, and the fast expanding energy storage market, the miners will need to go into overdrive.

Now we look to QMC to fast-track its production in time to meet this new surge in lithium demand. QMC is reing a historic lithium mine in Manitoba that was mothballed in 1957 when lithium prices were low. It’s perfectly placed for access to rail and highways in a province that welcomes mining.
But the best news is that QMC began stripping the overburden to proceed with re-testing and reing the mine last year. That means it can be ready to deliver lithium into growing demand very quickly.
Great Property, Superb Prospects
QMC has 22 claims covering 11,325 acresnear Cat Lake in Manitoba.
According to QMC, “… the property covers the former Irgon Mine and several known pegmatite dikes of which currently the largest and best exposed is the spodumene-bearing Irgon Dike.”
Let’s break that down. Pegmatites are intrusions of richly crystalized rock that were formed when hot magma cooled. In this case, the pegmatites are of spodumene, which is the name for the mineral lithium aluminum inosilicate. Usually spodumene is dull and ashy gray, but sometimes it appears as the clear gemstones hiddenite and kunzite. Spodumene that is rich in lithium is a potentially rapid source of lithium.

The Big Upside Is Wide Open to Small Producers
QMC’s ready-to-work holdings make it a surprisingly important company for its size.
The lithium industry is dominated by unfrily and uns sources. China and Chile now produce two-thirds of world supplies. Australia is third, but with only 12 percent.

You can easily see that a small increase in production for these large-scale producers isn’t likely to be a windfall for investors. Another ton of lithium to them is like adding a teaspoon of water to a gallon bucket.
But the majors shot themselves in the foot in an even worse way… To keep lithium prices from crashing, they decided not to expand production. Now they’re not ready and they cannot gear up rapidly for the coming surge.
How China and Chile Gave QMC a Head Start
This is the most important reason QMC should be a big mover this year. It can get lithium to market faster than the big companies.
That’s because there are two ways to produce lithium for manufacturers. The big Chinese and Chilean companies use the brining method. They flood large areas and allow the water to evaporate, leaving lithium salts behind.
For them, increasing production is a four-year process. One year to build new dikes and flow tems, three more years for the water to evaporate.
QMC is mining hard-rock lithium. As soon as it s the mine’s historical resource estimate of 1.2 million ton grading 1.51% lithium oxide, it can start moving some rock! QMC believes that report is accurate, all it needs to do is confirm.
9 Solid Reasons QMC Is the Best Lithium Play for 2019
1. QMC Is Working in a Mining Sweet Spot — In 2016, the Fraser Institute of Mining Companies rated Manitoba the Second Most Favorable spot for mining in the world. Frily government, good roads and rails… and rich properties bring it all together.
2. Credible Practices, Believable Numbers Rule in Canada — Canada hasa helpful government when it comes to mining, but not a careless one with investor’s money. Every publicly traded company with mineral propertiesmust submit an NI 43-101 report with exacting specifications and disclosures to protect investors.
3. 125 million EVs in the Next Decade — Volkswagen will lead this drive with a goal of building 15 million EV in the five years. GM want to build 1 million EVs a year.
4. Residential Energy Storage — The fore is for this market to grow as much as 700% in the next five years. The industry is already experiencing tight lithium supply against high demand.
5. Massive Demand — The amount of lithium needed to supply the EV market alone could be 5 billion tons.
6. Technology Keeps Moving the Needle in Lithium’s favor — EV’s are here. But other technologies are increasing Li demand, too. Samsung has developed a new Li-ion battery that can rege 5X faster, in just 12 minutes, because it uses graphene balls in both the anode and cathode. The use of graphene will enable batteries with 45% more capacity than today’s batteries.
7. High Performance Luxury EVs — Souped-up EVs from Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, and BMW all have one thing in common their vehicles are powered by regeable lithium ion batteries. Those batteries will likely use, at a minimum 350 pounds of lithium each.
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8. Pegmatites Mean Speed— Geological jargon can be daunting, but here’s what matters. QMC’s claims are on lands rich in pegmatites—formations of igneous rock that contain large crystals. Once a claim is established and mill is set up, production of lithium carbonate can within days.
9. Juniors Explore, Majors Buy — There could be a buyout to amply reward early investor in the future as QMC proves its Irgon Lithium Mine is championship quality.

8. Pegmatites Mean Speed — Geological jargon can be daunting, but here’s what matters. QMC’s claims are on lands rich in pegmatites—formations of igneous rock that contain large crystals. Once a claim is established and mill is set up, production of lithium carbonate can within days.
9. Juniors Explore, Majors Buy — There could be a buyout to amply reward early investor in the future as QMC proves its Irgon Lithium Mine is championship quality.
The Age of Lithium has Arrived at Full Throttle
Supply fears drove a price spike that saw lithium soar from $5,180 a metric ton in 2010, to more than $6,000 per metric ton in 2012 and $24,750 in March 2018… a 377% increase over 2010 levels.
Supply began to catch up with demand in late 2018 with lithium’s price per metric ton stabilizing around $16,000, which is still a 208% jump in eight years.
Demand is starting to spike again due to the mass expansion of electric vehicles.Mining experts say sudden lithium shortages are a “surprise.”
Potential Winners Are Staring to Emerge
Electric vehicles, of course, are headline makers that area driving the lithium tr.
Their acceptance across the globe is about to explode because EVs are fore to reach parity with internal combustion vehicles – in both price and performance – during the next four years.
Shortly after that happens, at least half the vehicle sales worldwide will be made up of electric vehicles, according DNV GL, an energy consultancy.
For that to happen, lithium supply must meet explosive demand.


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