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Surging Lithium Market Growth Expected Through 2030 Due to Increasing Adoption of Cleaner Energy Sources

GlobeNewswire - Mon Mar 4, 7:30AM CST

PALM BEACH, Fla., March 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FN Media Group News Commentary - Rapid advancements in rechargeable batteries for laptops, mobile phones, electric vehicles, and digital cameras, driven by the growth in the Lithium-ion Battery (LIB) market. Rising demand for lithium batteries, lubricants, glass & ceramics, and foundry is expected to foster the growth of this market. The growing adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles, high-drain portable electronics, and energy storage systems have boosted the growth of the overall market. A report from Fortune Business Insights said the global lithium market size, which was valued at USD 22.2 billion in 2023, is projected to reach USD 89.9 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 22.1% during the (2030) forecast period. The report added: “The increasing awareness of electric vehicles is attributable to the growing concerns about surrounding environmental pollution as EVs reduce carbon emissions. The Paris Agreement aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40% under its 2030 climate and energy framework. Governments in several countries worldwide are implementing strict emission standards to reduce and control carbon emissions, thus augmenting market growth. In 2022, the market showed a sudden skyrocketing price of lithium commodity with the booming demand for Electric Vehicles (EVs) subsequently for the medium-term attributable to this market’s demand and supply mechanism. The growth of the LIB market has subsequently led to a rise in product demand. LIBs are a crucial component in cleaning up the environment. The battery of a Tesla Model S has about 12 kilograms of lithium in it… Electric vehicle companies and carmakers are changing their preferences depending on the cathode characteristics regarding safety, stability, life, cost, and energy density. EVs are promoted as a sustainable transportation choice on a life-cycle basis, as they emit less GHG than conventional vehicles.” Active mining stocks in the markets this week include: Lithium South Development Corporation (OTCQB: LISMF) (TSX-V: LIS), Lithium Americas (Argentina) Corp. (NYSE: LAAC) (TSX: LAAC), Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: SGML), Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ: PLL), Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE American: SLI) (TSX-V: SLI).

Fortune Business Insights report continued: “The automotive industry's evolution over the past few years will have a massive impact on the EV market. EVs are designed to replace conventional traveling methods owing to technological advancements, low carbon emission, low maintenance, smoother drive, the convenience of charging at home, reduced engine sound, and high fuel economy. EVs help reduce air pollution in densely populated areas and GHG emissions. A rise in demand for high-performance, low-emission, and fuel-efficient vehicles and strict government norms toward vehicle emission will aid the electric vehicle market growth.”

Lithium South Development Corporation (OTCQB: LISMF) (TSX-V: LIS) Announces PEA Estimate US$934 Million Dollar NPV with an IRR of 31.6% and a 2.5 year Payback for HMN Lithium Project

PEA HIGHLIGHTS:

  • After tax NPV of US$934 million with an IRR of 31.6%
  • PEA based on a mine life of 25 years with a 2.5 year payback
  • PEA based on a production rate of 15,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate technical grade per year
  • Processing based on simple and proven solar evaporation technology

Lithium South Development Corporation is pleased to announce positive results from an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for its Hombre Muerto North Lithium Project (“HMN Lithium Project”) near Salta, Argentina. The PEA was prepared by Knight Piesold Consulting (“KP”) and JDS Energy and Mining (“JDS”), both of Vancouver, in accordance with the standards set out in National Instrument 43-101 Standards of disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”), and CIM’s Best Practice Guidelines for Mineral Processing (“BPGMP”).

Company President and CEO, Adrian F. C. Hobkirk is quoted, “We are very pleased that Lithium South has advanced the HMN Lithium Project to a PEA based on 15,600 tonnes per year lithium carbonate technical grade production. The PEA results highlight attractive economics associated with the project, including a short payback and exceptional Internal Rate of Return. We look forward to taking the HMN Lithium Project to the next stage of development as quickly as possible.”

Project Location and Environmental Permitting - The HMN Lithium Project is located at the northern portion of the Salar del Hombre Muerto, at the boundary zone of the Catamarca and Salta provinces, 170 km southeast of the city of Salta. The project area comprises a collection of properties or concessions acquired under purchase options from the existing owner. The properties are held as “minas” (full mining licenses not subject to further area reduction requirements) by a wholly owned Argentine subsidiary of the Company. The HMN Lithium Project comprises six properties distributed over the Salar for a total of 3,237 hectares. All properties are subject to a mining license for borates. The area of the property is not subject to any known environmental liabilities… CONTINUED…. Read this release for the Lithium South news at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-lis/    

Other recent mining developments in the markets include:

Lithium Americas (Argentina) Corp. (NYSE: LAAC) (TSX: LAAC) recently announced the Board’s unanimous decision to appoint Sam Pigott as President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) which will become effective on March 18, 2024. Mr. Pigott will also join the Board of Directors of Lithium Argentina. He will succeed John Kanellitsas, Executive Chairman, President and Interim CEO of the Company, who will continue on in his role as Executive Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Kanellitsas commented, “The Board’s unanimous decision to select Sam is an excellent one. The rigorous search process has resulted in the appointment of an exceptional executive who possesses the qualities needed to properly lead Lithium Argentina. I have worked closely with Mr. Pigott for several years and have experienced first-hand his values, intellect, passion and commitment to the lithium industry and its people. I am confident that Mr. Pigott understands the challenges inherent in complex multi-cultural organizations and will be a critical component in the Company’s continued success.”

Mr. Pigott has gained a solid understanding of Lithium Argentina’s operations and development plans through his roles as the Chairman of the Shareholder Committee at the joint venture entity, Minera Exar, which holds the Caucharí-Olaroz project in Argentina, and as a member of the senior leadership team of Ganfeng Lithium, the Company’s partner at Caucharí-Olaroz.

Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: SGML), a leading global lithium producer dedicated to powering the next generation of electric vehicles with carbon neutral, socially and environmentally sustainable lithium concentrate, recently announced that it received a Letter of Intention for a project finance credit line ("Development Bank Credit Line") from the Development Bank of the Brazil (the "BNDES"). The Development Bank Credit Line will be used for the expansion of the Company's world class unique Quintuple Zero Green Lithium Grota do Cirilo project in Vale do Jequitinhonha in Brazil (the "Project").

BNDES stated in the letter that the financing for projects to increase industrial production capacity of critical minerals is one of the priorities of BNDES's long term strategy to support the development of a strong, green and inclusive industrial base in Brazil.

Ana Cabral-Gardner, CEO and Co-Chairman said: "We are honored and delighted with the Letter of Intention received today from BNDES. Development Bank Debt awarded by Brazil has the potential to significantly improve our capital structure due to typical longer duration, significantly lower interest rates and grace periods. Having BNDES as a creditor represents the support of the government of Brazil to Sigma Lithium's industrial expansion plans at Vale do Jequitinhonha."

Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ: PLL), a leading global supplier of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, recently announced fourth quarter and full year financial results for 2023.

"2023 was a pivotal year for Piedmont as our Quebec joint-venture, North American Lithium ("NAL"), successfully commenced operations last March, leading to the first revenue in Q3 via shipments made under our NAL offtake agreement. As the largest lithium operation in North America, NAL has been successfully ramping up production over the past 10 months, with production hitting record levels in December. We are completing a few remaining capital projects in the first half of 2024 that we expect will result in further improvements in production and operating costs as NAL looks to achieve full run-rate production levels later this year.

"We are pleased with the production ramp-up and prospects for long-term operations at NAL; however, our 2023 financial results were adversely impacted by the sharp downturn in lithium prices that occurred during the year and into 2024. We plan to shift our offtake volumes towards our multi-year customer contracts and reduce shipment volumes under spot sales agreements. We expect this strategy to result in less volatility and higher average realized prices.

Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE American: SLI) (TSX-V:SLI), a leading near-commercial lithium development company, recently reported its financial and operating results for the fiscal second quarter ended December 31, 2023. "In 2023, the lithium sector has been under pressure, with lithium prices experiencing a significant decrease from the all-time highs seen in 2022, a situation compounded by the prevailing interest rate environment and other macroeconomic factors," says Robert Mintak, CEO and Director of Standard Lithium. "Despite the industry-wide market challenge, the long-term fundamentals for lithium continue to be strong, particularly for projects situated in geopolitically stable regions such as the United States, where policy support and other key strategic advantages are enabling for project differentiation. The Smackover region, in particular, is attracting interest from major players in the global energy sector. Discussions around strategic partnerships, joint development opportunities, and long-term off-take are robust and moving forward. In response to these market dynamics, we are taking responsible and appropriate actions that are in the best interests of our shareholders, ensuring that Standard Lithium remains well-positioned to capitalize on what continues to be an exciting sector with extraordinary growth prospects."

Salah Gamoudi, Chief Financial Officer of Standard Lithium added:“Despite a challenging commodity price environment, we expect to sustain our current operations through fiscal year 2024 with our cash available on-hand and the strategic use of our ATM program in place. Our balance sheet remains strong, with no long-term debt obligations and positive working capital, giving us the flexibility and optionality to make prudent, disciplined decisions for our shareholders. We continue to evaluate and pursue attractive, non-dilutive financing options with the guidance of our financial advisors, and as Robert mentioned, we are progressing discussions with potential strategic partners and off-takers. The need for additional capital at this point in our Company’s evolution is natural as we continue to advance our suite of projects in a responsible manner taking into account the various market dynamics, and with a focus on opportunities that are the most value accretive for our shareholders in the long-term.” 

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