Eye on Lithium: Nissan aims for all-solid-state batteries by 2028, and it looks like Tesla is hiring ‘geos’
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All your ASX lithium news for Tuesday, April 19.
Car giant Nissan plans to establish a pilot production line for all-solid-state batteries at its Yokohama plant in Japan in 2024 – and aims to launch an EV using the batteries by 2028.
The company believes all-solid-state batteries can be reduced to $75 per kWh in fiscal 2028 and to $65 per kWh thereafter, which it says would place EVs at the same cost level as gasoline-powered vehicles.
By using a solid electrolyte instead of the typical liquid solution, solid-state batteries can store considerably more energy by weight and volume than lithium-ion batteries – with twice the energy density of conventional lithium-ion batteries.
This would mean a significantly shorter charging time due to superior charge/discharge performance, and lower cost thanks due to using less expensive materials.
Nissan expects to use all-solid-state batteries in a wide range of vehicle segments, including pickup trucks, which it says would make its EVs more competitive.
In other EV news, it looks like Tesla is seriously considering becoming a lithium miner – and has already started hiring geologists.
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) April 13, 2022
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A total of 55 stocks were in the green today, with 26 flatlining and 34 in the red.
The company has identified spodumene and yttrium-bearing apatite in pegmatite veins at its Kalahari prospect of its Hopetoun project in WA.
It’s the first-time lithium has been found at the project, which covers an interpreted extension of the Ravensthorp greenstone belt – host to mines such as Allkem’s (ASX:AKE) Mt Cattlin lithium project.
The spodumene crystals are up to 5cm in dimension and exhibit classic pink fluorescence under ultraviolet light.
Plus, some of the veins contain similar-sized crystals of aquamarine apatite, a phosphate mineral which has measurable levels of yttrium on a handheld XRF instrument and which may be prospective for rare earth elements.
Grab samples of these veins have been submitted for geochemical assay with results expected by mid-May.
The lithium hydroxide developer and lithium mica processor has appointed a seasoned chemicals industry executive to head its U.A.E operations in Hans Daniels.
Daniels has spent the last 13 years of his career in General Manager roles in the UAE, the most recent 10 years of which with the Songwon group of companies, the South Korean chemical conglomerate.
As GM Operations for the region, he will now lead the implementation and operation of Lepidico’s Phase 1 chemicals process facility within the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD).
The company says that the main Phase 1 products – lithium, caesium, and rubidium – are all on the U.S. Government list of Critical Minerals, making Lepidico’s technologies and the Phase 1 chemical plant “strategically significant”.
The company is focused on the development of its Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina as well as its Tonopah Lithium Project in Nevada – and has also been on a hiring spree.
Argosy has a new chair and non-executive director in Mal Randall, who has 45 years’ experience in resources – including a 25 year stint at Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).
As part of the company’s succession program and to further build skills and capability at Board level, Argosy has also appointed Bruce McFadzean and Peter De Leo as independent non-executive directors.
McFadzean is a qualified mining engineer with more than 40 years’ experience in the global resources industry, and was recently the MD of Sheffield Resources (ASX:SFX) and De Leo is currently the MD of Lycopodium Limited.
“We look forward to Mal taking on the Chair role, noting his vast experience, knowledge and providing valuable leadership to our team will be well received,” MD Jerko Zuvela said.
Study consultants DRA Global has placed a whopping AUD$862 million independent net present value on European Lithium’s proposed Wolfsberg Lithium Project in Austria.
Other updated numbers for Wolfsberg ahead of the DFS release in Q3 2022 include an increase in capex of 20% to US$508.32m and increase in opex by 20% on the 2018 PFS.
Company chairman Tony Sage pointed to the need to deliver projects like Wolfsberg as Europe aims to pick up the pace of its shift from fossil fuels like coal and gas to renewables.
“Calculation of a positive interim NPV provides confidence in the future commercialisation of the Wolfsberg Project that comes during a buoyant market for lithium and increased urgency for decisive action to accelerate the green energy transition, specifically in Europe,” he said.
European Lithium plans to produce 10,500t of lithium hydroxide at a mining rate of 770,000tpa over a maximum period of 20 years, providing a long-term supply of high quality lithium chemicals to the European battery market.