Motherlode Lithium

May 22, 2018 08:00:31

NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Almost everyone is aware of the tear that lithium stocks have been on over the last couple years. Driven by the projected exponential increase of electric vehicles and coupled with broad-based, ever-increasing demand for lithium-ion (L-ion) batteries, many recognized names in the lithium mining sector tripled in value to reach all-time highs by the end of last year. Shortly after the start of 2018, lithium shares tumbled by 14 percent and more on a negative forecast by Morgan Stanley analysts. That forecast has since been widely derided by a wide range of lithium industry experts, which give the negative scenario less than a one percent chance of happening. Reflecting the true scale of the unfolding energy transformation, respected independent commodity forecaster Roskill recently tripled its demand forecast for lithium through 2026. Roskill originally forecast lithium demand would increase to 328,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent by 2026 and now predicts lithium demand to explode to over 1,00,000 tons within the next eight years ( Lithium-related stocks and ETFs have proved to be the best way to play our collective electric future in vehicles, electronics and high-density storage — all dependent on lithium batteries. Broadly diversified across the entire production chain, the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT) invests in the full lithium cycle from raw resource to battery production, reducing risk but limiting upside opportunity. Miners have been and should continue to be the best avenue to most directly and greatly profit from the burgeoning lithium demand and market imbalances. Even though lithium is trading near all-time highs, if demand increases 300 percent as many predict, miners in the renowned “lithium triangle,” such as Albemarle Corp. (ALB), Sociedad Quimica y Minera S.A. (SQM), and FMC Corp. (FMC) are likely to do well. However, given the location and value of its assets, a prospective junior miner, Lithium Chile Inc. (TSX.V: LITH) (OTCQB: LTMCF) (LTMCF Profile), may possibly outperform any other lithium player this year.

The Motherlode

Nearly 70 percent of the world’s lithium comes from brine water sources, and the rest comes from hard rock spodumene that is much costlier to mine. Salar brines (salt lake in Spanish) are the underground reservoirs that contain exceptionally high concentrations of dissolved lithium. Chile’s Salar de Atacama, the most renowned sector of the “lithium triangle,” holds the largest and highest-quality proven…


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