The world is in desperate need of lithium supply. For one, “lithium might run out by 2025. And as electric cars begin to take over the roads, lithium stocks could turn out to be some of the biggest winners,” as noted by Forbes. Two, the world could need five times more lithium that is currently mined to meet global climate targets by 2050, according to the World Bank, as noted by BBC. Three, by 2030, the world could see about 125 million EVs on the road, which will only drive even more demand for lithium supply. In fact, “It is anticipated demand for vehicle battery metal will increase sharply over the next several years as automakers abandon internal combustion engines for EVs,” says Resource World. All of which could be a major catalyst for companies such as E3 Metals Corp. (TSXV:ETMC)(OTC:EEMMF), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC)(TSX:LAC), American Lithium Corp. (TSXV:LI)(OTC:LIACF), and Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ:PLL).
Look at E3 Metals Corp. (TSXV:ETMC)(OTC:EEMMF), for example.
E3 Metals Corp., an emerging lithium developer and leading direct lithium extraction (“DLE”) technology innovator is pleased to provide an update on its ESG initiatives. E3 Metals objective is to deliver an environmentally and socially responsible Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) project that produces a high-grade lithium product for direct sale to the global battery market. In a commercial operation, the Company plans to demonstrate that all the brine brought to the surface for lithium extraction is recycled back into the aquifer in a closed loop system. Unlike conventional lithium projects, DLE enables a significantly smaller surface footprint to accomplish the same amount of lithium production.
As E3 Metals’ Clearwater Project does not mine lithium in the traditional sense, it uses no evaporation ponds, no open pits and has no interaction with freshwater aquifers. In addition, E3 Metals plans to produce lithium without a carbon footprint.
One option for the Company is powering the project using the abundance of natural gas in the province, supporting the local economy, and sequestering the resulting carbon dioxide. To achieve this, E3 Metals can deploy local technology and expertise to capture the majority of the carbon, which can be sequestered locally, reducing to eliminating the carbon emissions and enabling a carbon neutral lithium hydroxide.
To help manage the growth of carbon sequestration and reducing its total carbon emissions provincially, the Alberta Government is looking at issuing carbon sequestration rights through a competitive process that enables the development of carbon storage hubs. A carbon sequestration hub will be an area of pore space overseen by a company who can effectively plan and enable carbon sequestration of captured carbon dioxide from various emissions sources as a service to industrial clients, potentially including E3 Metals.
On January 19, 2022, Enhance Energy (“Enhance”), a carbon management company, announced its Origins Project, a proposed carbon sequestration hub located near one of E3 Metals’ project areas. This would provide a local sequestration option for the Company. E3 Metals and Enhance are collaborating on the proposed development of carbon sequestration as it relates to lithium production and as a potential location for any CO2 sequestration by E3 Metals, should the Company select this option. This includes an evaluation of both technical and regulatory synergies for both Enhance and E3 Metals.
“E3 Metals is excited to see the Province of Alberta work with industry to provide options for decarbonizing its grid,“ commented E3 Metals CEO, Chris Doornbos “As E3 Metals is looking at developing its own power sources, these hubs could provide an opportunity for the Company to permanently sequester any CO2 generated. This carbon sequestration hub initiative happening now in Alberta should enable a tangible option for E3 Metals to meet its goal of producing a carbon neutral lithium product.”
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Albemarle Corporation, a global leader in advanced lithium materials, and 6K, an emerging leader of microwave-controlled plasma technology, announced they have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to explore the use of 6K’s patented UniMelt® advanced, sustainable materials production platform to develop novel lithium battery materials through potentially disruptive manufacturing processes. “Albemarle is developing advanced lithium materials to enable breakthrough levels of lithium-ion battery performance. The UniMelt plasma technology opens new reaction pathways for lithium material innovation. Our collaboration with 6K has significant potential,” said Dr. Glen Merfeld, Chief Technical Officer for Albemarle Lithium.
Lithium Americas announced that on November 24, 2021 the Company purchased 23,369,003 common shares of Arena Minerals Inc. at a price of C$0.54 per share through an alternative market transaction for aggregate consideration of approximately US$10 million. The Arena Shares represent 6.3% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Arena Minerals as of close of market on November 24, 2021. Prior to the Purchase, Lithium Americas beneficially owned 42,857,143 common shares, representing approximately 11.6% of Arena Mineral’s issued and outstanding share capital on a non-diluted basis, and 21,428,571 share purchase warrants. Following the Purchase, Lithium Americas beneficially owns 66,226,146 common shares of Arena Minerals, representing approximately 18.0% of Arena Mineral’s issued and outstanding common shares on a non-diluted basis, and 21,428,571 Warrants.
American Lithium Corp. announced that the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection have approved the Plan of Operations and Reclamation Plan for the next phases of development and exploration work at the Company’s Tonopah Lithium Claims Project located near Tonopah, Nevada. Simon Clarke, CEO of American Lithium states, “We are extremely pleased to have the TLC Plan of Operations and Reclamation Permit approved and the finalization of our BLM and NDEP permits. We would like to thank our team and key advisors on the ground, and BLM and NDEP for their efforts throughout the process. This is a big step for the company and enables the launch of a major development program which we believe will provide all the data / results needed to move quickly from a robust, maiden PEA and into the pre-feasibility / feasibility phase on our core TLC Project.
Piedmont Lithium, a leading developer of lithium hydroxide production to enable the North American electric vehicle supply chain, announced results of an Economic Impact Study (EIS) for its proposed Carolina Lithium Project in Gaston County, North Carolina. The report was developed by John E. Connaughton, Ph.D., Professor of Financial Economics at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The proposed project will be undertaken by Piedmont Carolina Lithium as a single integrated facility that will include three operations: quarrying, spodumene concentration and by-product processing, and the production of an estimated 30,000 tons of lithium hydroxide from spodumene concentrate on an annual basis. The study was conducted assuming the facility ramps-up operations over a five-year period beginning in 2023. In 2023 the direct output of the project is estimated to be $6,401,995. The total output impact in 2023 (including supplier chain impacts and induced impacts) is estimated at $8,141,774. By year 2027, the direct annual output impact is estimated to be $533,607,785 The total annual output impact in 2027 (including supplier chain impacts and induced impacts) is estimated at $687,844,432.
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