Green Energy: US takes lead with 50% EV target by 2030, Altura back from the dead with Sayona farm-in
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The US is sprinting to keep up with China, who have cornered the global supply chain for electric vehicles and batteries.
President Biden today outlined an ambitious target for half of all new vehicles sold in the US in 2030 to be zero-emissions vehicles – including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles.
By setting clear targets for EV sale trajectories the country is hoping to become a magnet for private investment into its manufacturing sector – and get back in the lead on clean cars and trucks.
Biden is backed by automakers Ford, GM, Stellantis and BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and Volvo who have all released targets of 40-50% EV sales share by 2030.
Now fellow project developer Anson Resources says the alternative tech “indicates operational and economic advantages” in producing lithium carbonate at its ‘Paradox’ brine project in Utah.
The old method of extracting lithium from brines is to evaporate the brines in ponds, concentrate all the salts, and take the lithium out.
The main problems are twofold. one — you don’t get a consistent, high quality battery product. Two – it wastes a lot of much-needed water.
Anson says ESG-and-cost friendly DLE – which instead pulls the lithium out and then pumps the water back into the aquifer – has improved project lithium recoveries from 80 to 90%.
“The four improvements of higher recovery rate, no pre-treatment, water replacing chemicals to wash the lithium from the selective resin and a longer life span of the extraction resin by using an alternative DLE technology is expected to improve the economics of the lithium processing plant,” Anson boss Bruce Richardson says.
“We look forward to providing further details on potential financial improvements in our updated PFS/PEA.”
Altura was a particularly unfortunate late-stage casualty of a weak lithium market.
We say particularly unfortunate, because when the debt-laden Pilbara producer when into receivership in October last year it was selling spod below cost at around ~US400/t.
Neighbour Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) – which acquired Altura’s operation on the cheap – just sold spod at a record-high $US1,250/tonne for a 10,000/t cargo.
Altura is now starting again at the bottom by earning into Sayona Mining’s Pilbara lithium exploration projects.
The earn‐in covers a range of targets in the world‐class Pilgangoora lithium district, including Pilgangoora, Wodgina, Tabba Tabba and Mallina, with Altura to spend A$1.5 million on exploration within three years to earn a 51% interest.
Exploration will focus initially on Mallina, where previous drilling in 2017 returned intercepts of up to 5m wide, grading 1‐2% Li2O. Further RC drilling conducted in 2018 delivered similar intercept thickness and grades.
“The opportunity to start defining another great lithium asset in the Pilbara is an exciting prospect,” Altura chief exec Alex Cheeseman says.
“With our proven ability to develop lithium assets and the global lithium supply chain entering into a clear structural deficit, the timing of our restart is looking very good.”