July 14, 2020
In July 2020's edition of Recharge by Battery Materials Review we discuss this month's focus topic from the Review which is the impact on our materials demand forecasts of an increase in our EV sales forecasts. Basically our more bullish EV sales forecasts bring forward the expected supply/demand gap from the mid-2020s to the early-2020s. This means that it's now more urgent than ever for capital to be invested in the battery raw materials sector.
We also have the usual recap of upstream and downstream news, exploration, financing, trade and equity market analysis.
Our interview this month is with John Downie, Managing Director of ASX-listed Pure Minerals (ASX:PM1). Pure Minerals is looking to develop a Ni/Co refinery to process laterite nickel ore without going down the HPAL route, utilising a technique piloted in the early-2010s. Given our view that nickel is likely to be one of the most under-supplied battery materials, all methods of expanding production are of interest.
June 15, 2020
Welcome to June 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 (1) EU Green stimulus which I believe will be enormously positive for battery raw materials. European EV sales are set to surprise on the upside this year which will have substantial knock-on impacts on battery demand and hence raw materials demand for batteries. Given that inventories of many products are low, any increase in shipments has the potential to clear them out rapidly, leading to a significant pop in prices; and (2) The importance of Piedmont Lithium’s PFS into a merchant spodumene concentrate/lithium hydroxide converter and what its implications are for hard rock developers around the Atlantic Basin.
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.