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.
June 12, 2019
Welcome to June's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review. We've got a great line up this month again. We've relaunched the magazine in June to focus a little more on analysis than newsflow and we've got three great features on: The Skills Shortage in Battery Materials, The Outlook for Lithium Clay projects and Why you should take the fall in LME nickel inventories with a pinch of salt. We also include a recap of all the key sector and company newsflow and analysis on how the exploration and development reports compare with the peer group. Then we're into our EV sales recap, analysis of key trade and demand data and our equities round-up.
This month's interviews are:
Birimian/Mali Lithium (ASX:BGS) [9:03]: MD Chris Evans gives us an update on the Goulamina project in Mali, shares his views on why Hard Rock developers are struggling to hit recovery targets and highlights some of the forthcoming catalysts for his company.
Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX:MNS) [21:09]: MD Marc Vogts discusses his company's evolution from a graphite project developer into a battery developer and on into a battery manufacturer with its own Gigafactories now on the drawing board.
May 10, 2019
For May 2019, Recharge by Battery Materials Review has a great line up. As well as recapping all the key news for April in the world of batteries, raw materials, EVs and storage, we discuss our four feature articles for the month, on the Wesfarmers/Kidman bid, the structure of offtake agreements, Umicore's cathode materials profit warning and whether battery explosions threaten lithium-ion battery adoption.
We also have interviews with:
Roskill - Graphite (11:39): Suzanne Shaw, who has been a graphite analyst for over 10 years, discusses her outlook for the graphite industry in both the near and longer term, with some key insights into China; and
Terrafame (30:43): CEO Joni Lukkaroinen discusses his company's successful turnaround of Europe's largest nickel producer, Terrafame's plans for the future and some thoughts about nickel and its intermediates.
April 12, 2019
In April 2019's edition of Recharge, the podcast of Battery Materials Review, we recap all the key news in the Battery Materials industry in March, as well as focusing on funding and why, even though it's a tough environment, it's available for the right project, and we also discuss why self-sufficiency in battery materials may be a pipe dream for the US and Europe.
We also have interviews with:
Kibaran Resources (ASX:KNL): MD Andrew Spinks and Director Christoph Frey discuss the exciting potential of both Kibaran's up- and downstream projects and how being integrated into high purity graphite gives an edge.
AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ): MD Nigel Ferguson discusses the geological potential of the Manono project and goes on to explain how the project can be successfully developed.