Tue, Mar. 15, 5:53 PM
- Argentina, where the new business-friendly Macri government has begun making sweeping changes in a bid to return the country to economic orthodoxy, has an opportunity to build a vital lithium export business, Reuters reports.
- More than half the earth's known reserves of lithium - the small but essentially irreplaceable component of rechargeable batteries, used in consumer devices like mobile phones and electric cars - are found in an area straddling Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.
- FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC) already is producing lithium from the salt flats in northern Argentina; lithium provides a small but growing part of FMC's revenues, with forecast sales of ~$250M this year.
- Western Lithium (OTCQX:WLCDF) is working with Korea's Posco (NYSE:PKX), whose chairman was in Argentina last month to meet with Macri and begin construction of a new lithium plant, due to begin commercial production within a year.
- Chile is popular with investors for its longtime free market credentials, while the dry desert climate is optimal for lithium production; local firm SQM has long operated there, and U.S. firm Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) is muscling in on SQM's turf after spending $6B to buy Rockwood.
Mar. 14, 2015, 10:41 AM
- BYD Company sold a subsidiary to Holitech this week for 2.3B yuan ($368M).
- The Chinese company said in its filing with the Hong Kong exchange that it intends to allocate more resources to develop its new-energy vehicle business to expand on existing levels of electric car and bus production.
- A new 3B yuan ($479M) bond offering from BYD is also in the works.
- BYD is emerging as the main competitor to Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the electricity storage industry with plans to triple battery production.
- Execs with BYD maintain the company could produce ~34 GWh of battery capacity by 2020 if demand trends are strong - a pace that rivals projections for Tesla's Gigafactory production.
- Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) owns a sizable stake in BYD Company (OTCPK:BYDDY, OTCPK:BYDDF).
- BYD's aggressive positioning could have some impact on companies tied to the lithium industry.
- Potential lithium plays: OTCPK:PCRFY, ARTX, SQM, ENS, OTCQX:WLCDF, FMC, LIT (add your own in the comment stream).
- Previously: Dark cloud over China auto market (March 4)
Mar. 11, 2015, 3:05 AM
- Boeing (NYSE:BA) has announced that high-density packages of lithium batteries like those used in cell phones and laptops pose fire risks and should not be carried on passenger planes until safer methods for carrying them are developed.
- The risk is "continually increasing (and) requires action to be taken," said the aircraft maker.
- A report that labels the batteries as "dangerous goods" is due to be considered in April by the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization. The recommendations would then need to be approved by the group in October, and by a broader air safety council next year.
- Lithium stocks: ARTX, CBAK, ENS, FMC, GB, JCI, OTCPK:LHMAF, OTCQX:NMKEF, OTCPK:OROCF, OTCPK:PCRFY, PPO, ROC, SQM, OTCQX:WLCDF
- ETFs: LIT
May 15, 2014, 8:11 AM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk sees exploding demand for low-cost lithium-ion batteries.
- The exec forecasts the automobile industry alone will need 200 gigafactories to supply it. Ground breaks on Tesla' first gigafactory in June.
- The Musk thesis is based on cars powered by electric batteries winning out over hydrogen cars, hybrids, and gas-powered vehicles. Toyota (TM) is expected to have a lot to say on that issue.
- Lithium plays: PCRFY, ARTX, SQM, ENS, WLCDF, FMC, LIT
Mar. 1, 2014, 12:54 PM
- The new Gigafactory from Tesla Motors (TSLA) could consume as much as 17% of the current global lithium output in a development that could ease concerns on oversupply, forecasts Goldman Sachs.
- The EV automaker is expected to build the large facility in either Nevada, Arizona, Texas, or New Mexico - regions which are all close to major lithium factories.
- Panasonic (PCRFY) will play a major role in the roll-out of the Gigafactory. Shares of the ADRs were up over 10% this week as enthusiasm built up over some of the potential down the road for the company in battery production.
- Goldman notes that lithium producers such as Rockwood Holdings (ROC) could be well-positioned if Tesla's Gigafactory helps support market demand for lithium.
- A rising tide lifts all lithium boats: If lithium demand improves, other companies to watch in the lithium-ion battery industry include Arotech (ARTX), Polypore Internationak (PPO), Western Lithium (WLCDF), FMC Corporation (FMC), EnerSys (ENS), and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM).
- Related ETFs: LIT
Lithium Americas Corp. is positioning itself as a major U.S. and Argentinian based supplier to support the rising global demand for lithium that is expected from the increased use of hybrid/electric vehicles, consumer electronics, and consumer and industrial lithium battery energy storage... More
Sector: Basic Materials
Industry: Steel & Iron
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