Lithium's Future Looks Bright: Demand Expected to Surge by 1,500% by 2050 According to IEA Data




USA News Group – Even though prices are currently down from where they were in 2022, experts still see the monumental importance of lithium in the years and decades ahead. According to a recent post, the UN Trade & Development (UNCTAD) projects based on data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that by 2050, lithium demand could rise by over 1,500%. UCTAD also believes that to achieve the global 2030 net-zero emission targets, the lithium mining industry will need 70 new mines. Seeking to provide the critical minerals necessary for the green electric revolution, lithium miners continue to develop several promising new projects, including Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV:LIS) (OTC:LISMF), Lithium Americas (Argentina) Corp. (NYSE:LAAC), Atlas Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:ATLX), Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE-American: SLI) (TSXV: SLI), and Rio Tinto Group (NYSE:RIO).

A new Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) was recently filed by Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV:LIS) (OTC:LISMF), bolstering the company’s plans to advance the development of a lithium carbonate production facility with an annual output of 15,600 tonnes. The assessment reveals a promising financial outlook, highlighting an after-tax Net Present Value (NPV) of US$938 million and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 31.6%, with a payback period of just 2.5 years. ( see note 1 below )

“We are very pleased to have achieved this important milestone for the HMN Li Project,” said Adrian F.C. Hobkirk, Founder, President and CEO of Lithium South. “The robust economics and room for expansion indicate a promising future for Lithium South.”

For the HMN Li project, Lithium South intends to utilize a conventional solar evaporation process for extracting and recovering lithium from well brine, with contaminants such as magnesium being removed through established methods like liming. The purified, concentrated lithium solution will subsequently be converted into technical-grade lithium carbonate.

Lithium Souths’ announcement of the PEA follows closely on the heels of the company’s recent expansion of its production well drilling program. At the Alba Sabrina claim block, which spans 2,089 hectares and is the largest in the project, a 400-meter deep pumping well was recently completed. Operations at this well have effectively removed sediments, yielding a flow of clear brine exhibiting strong artesian properties that are conducive to higher brine extraction rates. In pursuit of optimizing these results, Lithium South has installed a new, more powerful 80-kilowatt pump and is currently conducting a long-term pump test. Depending on the outcomes, the company plans to drill additional wells at Alba Sabrina as well as in the southern Viamonte and Norma Edith claim blocks.

“These developments on the Alba Sabrina claim block could potentially enhance our operational capacity,” said Hobkirk. “The completion of this pumping test, anticipated by the end of May, will provide critical technical insight into the capacity potential of this area of the salar.”

Earlier this year, Lithium South along with Korean conglomerate POSCO formed a pivotal cooperative development agreement on the HMN Li Project, marking a significant advancement towards lithium production. Additionally, at the close of 2023, Lithium South updated its NI 43-101 technical report for the flagship HMN Li asset. This update revealed a substantial increase of 175% in its lithium resources, totaling over 1.58 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) ( see note 2 below )

Recently a series of large investors modified their holdings in Lithium Americas (Argentina) Corp. (NYSE:LAAC), including Mackenzie Financial Corp. purchasing a number of shares valuing approximately $363,000. The moves came shortly after the company also known as Lithium Argentina announced it had executed a definitive agreement with a subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium to acquire $70 million in newly issued shares of Proyecto Pastos Grandes S.A. (PGCo), its indirect wholly-owned Argentinian subsidiary holding the Pastos Grandes project.

“The Transaction with Ganfeng Lithium demonstrates our long-term commitment to Salta and the sustainable development of Argentina’s lithium industry,” said John Kanellitsas Executive Chairman, interim CEO and President of Lithium Argentina. “While we continue to prioritize the ramp up at Caucharí-Olaroz, already among the largest lithium brine operations in Argentina, the Transaction further strengthens our balance sheet and enhances our growth plans by leveraging our existing teams and nearby operations.”

Another notable collaboration between a South American focused lithium miner with an Asian conglomerate is that of Atlas Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:ATLX) having recently secured a US$30 million strategic investment and offtake agreement from Japanese giant, Mitsui. The share purchase came at a 10% premium to the 5-day VWAP, while also initiating an Offtake Agreement for the future purchase of 15,000 tons of lithium concentrate from Phase 1 and 60,000 tons per year for five years from Phase 2 of Atlas Lithium’s soon-to-be-producing Neves Project in Brazil’s Lithium Valley, starting at the same time.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Atlas Lithium as we progress towards our goal of becoming a key lithium supplier to the global EV battery materials supply chain,” said Marc Fogassa, CEO and Chairman of Atlas Lithium. “Mitsui’s investment reflects confidence in our team, assets, and business model.”

Just over one month after successfully installing a commercial-scale DLE column at its Demonstration Plant near El Dorado, Arkansas, Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE-American: SLI) (TSXV: SLI) recently announced the DLE column’s successful commissioning, marking the largest continuously-operating DLE equipment of its kind in North America.

The large new column is now successfully pulling lithium from Smackover Formation brine at a rate of 90 gallons per minute. As far as Standard Lithium knows, this is not only the biggest direct lithium extraction (DLE) setup and the only one of its kind at a commercial scale in North America. Since it started running, the column has been working non-stop and doing even better than expected at recovering lithium and filtering out unwanted materials.

“Importantly, the column currently operating at SLI’s Demonstration Plant is identical to those that will be used in the commercial application, both in terms of the size, design and construction of the column, as well as the sorbent media being used inside,” said Dr. Andy Robinson, Director, President & COO of Standard Lithium. “Validation of performance and successful operation of this column is a significant derisking step on our way to becoming the next major sustainable lithium producer in North America.”

Less than a month after Rio Tinto Group’s (NYSE:RIO) CEO Jakob Stausholm told Reuters that he was bullish on lithium but not seeking any big acquisitions, Reuters has now also recently reported that the mining giant has now earmarked $350 million for its Rincon lithium project in Argentina. The news of the 9-figure investment came shortly after Stausholm visited the site and declared the strategic importance of the investment.

“The hard work of our Rincon team is laying the groundwork for our first lithium production by year’s end,” said Stausholm. Rio Tinto acquired the project in 2022 from Rincon Mining for $825 million, and is preparing to establish a battery-grade lithium carbonate plant capable of producing 3,000 tonnes annually upon completion.

Source: https://usanewsgroup.com/2023/10/18/the-lithium-race-to-power/

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Mr. William Feyerabend, a Consulting Geologist and Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 participated in the production of this advertisement, and approves of the technical and scientific disclosure contained herein pertaining to Lithium South.

Note 1 The report titled, N.I. 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project, Salta, Argentina, was completed by Knight Piesold Consulting and JDS Energy and Mining Inc., and SEDAR filed April 30, 2024

Note 2 Report titled Updated Mineral Resource Estimate – Hombre Muerto North Project, NI 43-101 Technical Report Catamarca and Salta, Argentina, Mark King, PhD, PGeo, Peter Ehren, M.Sc, MAusIMM, September 5th, 2023 and SEDAR Filed November 6, 2023

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