May 13, 2020
Welcome to May 2020's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review.
We start with a recap of all the key news items for April in batteries and battery materials, give a little more detail on our Focus article and analyse some of the key data points. Our Focus article in this month's Review is on the topic of Hydrogen. We discuss whether Hydrogen and Batteries should be seen as mutually exclusive or as complementary technologies.
Our interview this month is with with Jean-Louis Le Mée, CIO of Westbeck Capital's Energy Opportunities Fund and co-CIO of Westbeck's Volta Fund. Jean-Louis' fund is one of the best-performing energy funds over the past few years and, in a fascinating and far-reaching interview, he discusses the near-term and longer-term outlook for oil prices and the likely impacts of his oil outlook on demand for electric vehicles and batteries.
April 16, 2020
Welcome to April 2020's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review.
We start with a recap of all the key news items for the month in batteries and battery materials, give a little more detail on our Focus articles and analyse some of the key data points. Our Focus articles in this month's Review are on the Impacts and Opportunities of the Covid pandemic for the battery industry; and also on what battery materials stocks are best to invest in for a recovery
Our interview this month is with Ken Brinsden, Managing Director of ASX-listed hard rock lithium miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) [08:19]. In a far-reaching interview Ken talks about his company's progress at Pilgangoora, the effects of Covid-19 on the lithium industry, and what differentiates Pilbara Minerals from many other stocks out there.
March 11, 2020
Welcome to March 2020's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review.
This month's edition is a focus on Battery Recycling, which is a topic of great importance in the sector but one that's not well understood.
Before that we recap all the key news items for the month in batteries and battery materials, give a little more detail on our Focus articles and analyse some of the key data points.
We have two interviews on the Recycling theme:
Circular Energy Storage [07:16]: Director Hans Eric Melin shares his thoughts on the efficacy of battery recycling, how much of it is actually happening, how much it can contribute in terms of raw materials supply and how environmentally friendly it is.
Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) [34:44]: MD Adrian Griffin talks about his company's Envirostream subsidiary which, when it IPOs later this year, will be the world's first pure player battery recycling stock.
February 14, 2020
Welcome to February 2020's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review, in which we discuss all the recent news and developments in the batteries, end markets and battery materials sectors.
Our Focus topics this month are on Graphite, which we still believe have significant potential, despite not stellar performance in 2019; and the CoronaVirus. We are particularly concerned that the market is understating the impact that the virus is having on the battery industry in China, given that China is 90-100% of processing capacity in a number of segments. We see potential for significant supply chain disruption which is not priced into equities currently.
This is a shame because two key datapoints indicated we may have turned the corner in Q4/19; EV sales rose in December, and the WA spodumene concentrate shipment/inventory ratio troughed in Q3/19. The recovery may now be pushed out further because of the virus.
There are no interviews this month because of travel commitments, but we'll have some next month.
December 13, 2019
In December's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review we have the usual recap of all of November's key news from the world of battery materials, batteries and end markets, as well as analysis, and discussion on this month's focus pieces - on the growth of the Korean battery makers, as well as the growing skills shortage along the whole of the battery value chain.
This month's interview is with Justin Brown, MD of ASX-listed Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25) [5:55] which is developing the Butcherbird Manganese project in Western Australia. We discuss the key project development milestones as well as the growth of importance of the high purity manganese market for batteries.
November 13, 2019
In November's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review we've got two fascinating interviews, as well as a recap of all of October's key news in the world of battery materials, batteries and end-markets, analysis, and a discussion of this month's focus pieces on the future for EVs and on the lithium market.
We've gone all-in on nickel this month, and we present interviews with CEOs of two companies with interesting nickel sulphide development projects that would be classified as Class 1 nickel, thus suitable for battery use:
Amur Minerals (AIM:AMC) [07:21]: Robin Young, CEO, discusses his company's Kun-Manie project in Russia's Far East, its size and development potential following its PFS, as well as its proximity to key markets.
Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) [23:40]: Scott Williamson, MD, discusses his company's fascinating exploration portfolio, headed by the brownfield Ta Khoa polymetallic project in Vietnam, which he believes could be a company-maker.
October 11, 2019
For October’s edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review we’ve got two great interviews, as well as a recap of all of September’s key news, both upstream and downstream in the sector, and a discussion of this month’s BMR focus piece on Rare Earths.
Our feature looks to discuss and dispel some of the common myths associated with Rare Earth mining, focus on what are the key attributes to look for in a Rare Earth project, and then discusses our analysis of a slate of over 30 Rare Earth projects globally to highlight which are the most exciting development projects currently.
This month’s interviews are:
Western Areas (ASX:WSA) [6:18]: Dan Lougher, Managing Director, discusses his company’s operations and growth project potential and goes on to give a fascinating insight into the nickel industry, likely development directions for the industry and the impact of the battery material demand event on nickel.
Nano One Materials (TSXV:NNO) [31:17]: Dan Blondal, CEO, gives a fascinating insight into the processes for manufacture of lithium-ion battery cathodes, likely developments in technology, and highlights how his company’s proprietary technologies can revolutionise the industry. He discusses its projects with it Blue-Chip partners, including Volkswagen and Pulead Technologies, and focuses on his company’s model for benefiting from this.
September 16, 2019
For September’s edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review we’ve got two great interviews, as well as a recap of all the key news both upstream and downstream in the sector for the month and a discussion of this month’s BMR focus piece which was on the 811 battery chemistry.
We asked whether, given that nickel prices could increase substantially from here, 811 should really be the target battery chemistry or if other battery chemistries might be preferable? We also discuss the demise of Alita Resources, the first major loss of the lithium downturn. Will it be the last and what lessons can management teams and investors learn from it?
This month’s interviews are:
Rho Motion [8:17]: Adam Panayi is a consultant covering the automotive supply chain who does a lot of work on the impact of battery chemistries on raw materials. Our far-reaching interview covers the growth and outlook for the 811 battery chemistry, the impact of mass-market manufacturing on EVs and some thoughts about battery costs. You can find Adam’s website at https://rhomotion.com
Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) [30:16]: CEO Keith Phillips discusses his project’s strategic location in the industrial heartland of the US as well as its exceptional resource quality and potential to become a lowest quartile integrated lithium hydroxide project.
August 9, 2019
Welcome to August’s edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review. Really excited about this month’s interviews. Both companies are in commodities that are not well-known in the battery material space, or even in the mining space as a whole. Both commodities, in fact, are more widely-known as constituents of steel production than in the battery space thus far.
In addition to the interviews we’ve also got a round-up of all the month’s news in both upstream and downstream and briefly discuss this month’s focus article. August’s focus piece discusses our view that EVs are currently at an inflection point as governments transition from the carrot to the stick approach to subsidies.
We also round up the month’s trade data, recap key commodity price developments and summarise our equities performance review.
This month’s interviews are:
Euro Manganese (TSXV:EMN) [8:49]: CEO Marco Romero talks about how the high purity manganese market is differentiated from the manganese for steel market, shares some views on market growth and developments and discusses his company’s Chvaletice project in the Czech Republic.
Bushveld Minerals (AIM:BMN) [25:55]: Group CEO Fortune Mojapelo and Bushveld Energy CEO Mikhail Nikomarov discuss their company’s strong structural position in the vanadium market, growth potential and it’s plans in vanadium batteries. They give a fascinating introduction to vanadium batteries, their main markets and their significant growth potential.
July 10, 2019
Welcome to July's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review. In this edition we discuss all the key news and developments in July in the Batteries and Raw Materials segments. Our Focus topics for this month are: the risk of more Chinese strategic stakeholders selling down and which companies are most at risk. We also ask, given recent announcements of curtailed spodumene concentrate sales, if the situation in lithium is worse than we thought? Our final Focus recounts the keynote address by Vivas Kumar at the Benchmark Minerals World Tour event on qualification, and we highlight why this is such a vital topic for the raw materials industry and for investor understanding of the space.
There's some interesting news on financings and particularly in the REEs and graphite segments, and some key newsflow in downstream. Our monthly EV analysis is not so positive however and we discuss the implications of that.
We add two new equity baskets this month, a Manganese one and a Downstream one and note that they have very contrasting performance with most of the rest of our Raw Material baskets.
Unfortunately there are no interviews this month because of travel commitments, but we'll have two great company interviews next month.