Eye on Lithium: Panasonic bets big with second US battery facility
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All your ASX lithium news for Monday, July 18
Panasonic is planning to develop a US-based lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Kansas, with the State approving an Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) application.
“With the increased electrification of the automotive market, expanding battery production in the US is critical to help meet demand,” Panasonic Energy president and CEO Kazuo Tadanobu says.
“Given our leading technology and depth of experience, we aim to continue driving growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerating towards a net-zero emissions future.”
Panasonic says the plant could create up to 4,000 new jobs and result in an investment of approximately $4 billion.
Benchmark Minerals Intelligence says Panasonic is betting big on the US market, with the plant expected to double production capacity.
The company has been producing lithium-ion batteries out of its Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA) plant in Nevada for the last five years – with more than 6 billion EV battery cells shipped to date.
“The new gigafactory will boost Panasonic’s 10-year GWh pipeline which is currently about 90GWh,” BMI boss Simon Moores says.
“But it won’t be enough, the USA needs to triple its Giga speed from 725Gwh by 2032 to at least 3,000GWh / 3TWh.”
The Japanese battery producer also said that Tesla had asked it to secure 2 terawatt-hours of battery capacity, including raw materials.
“For the next challenge, Tesla wants two terawatt hour of battery manufacturing,” Panasonic’s chief technology officer Shoichiro Watanabe told the recent Sydney Energy Forum.
“It’s an unbelievable scale, so we have to build up more supply chains, mining, everything.”
For context, that level of battery capacity is the equivalent of producing one trillion watts over one hour – and it’s about 1,000 times Giga production.
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A total of 64 stocks were in the green today, 42 were flat and 25 were red.
The company has raised $12m via a placement to purchase the land for its lithium processing plant in the USA.
The company will also use the funds for the expansion and operation of its lithium research centre, which will function as a technology incubator focused on the extraction of lithium from a variety of ores and brines, as well as the production of battery- grade lithium chemicals for current and future battery technologies.
Plus, the cap raising will be used to secure IP protection over the company’s processing technology, and to facilitate the addition of Brett Rabe to the management team – who brings expertise in lithium processing technology to his role as chief technical officer.
High concentrations of lithium and bromine have been reported from recent drilling at the Long Canyon No. 2 well at Anson’s Paradox Lithium Project in the US.
Results include 97ppm lithium, 882ppm bromine in Clastic Zone 33 (11ft thick)
The company says these assays will be included in the upcoming resource upgrade which will be included in the definitive feasibility study currently underway.
Plus, there’s also scope for further Resource expansion via targeted drilling in the western areas of the Paradox Project.
WML has a portfolio of WA lithium, gold and base metals projects and says heritage surveys have been completed and approvals expected to allow commencement of Aircore (AC) drilling at Lake Dundas lithium project in the September quarter.
Geochemical sampling has been partially completed over Pilbara and Ravensthorpe lithium projects, with additional work scheduled for the September quarter.
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