Five Top Ways to Trade Growing Global Demand for Lithium Supply

April 25, 2022 -

The lithium bull market shows no signs of slowing – at least not soon. For one, by 2030, it’s expected we’ll see up to 125 million electric vehicles on the road. Two, major automakers are starting to abandon internal combustion engines for EVs. Three, governments all over the world want EVs on the road yesterday. There’s just one problem. The world is in short supply, with massive demand. Even the International Energy Agency is warning, “The supply of critical minerals crucial for technologies such as wind turbines and electric vehicles will have to be ramped up over the next decades if the planet’s climate targets are to be met.” Helping, President Biden invoked “the Defense Production Act in a bid to ensure that lithium supply comes from the US—along with other important battery minerals like graphite, nickel, cobalt, and manganese. The administration says dependence on foreign sources of those resources is a national security concern,” as noted by That could all be beneficial for companies, such as Monumental Minerals Corp. (TSXV: MNRL) (OTCQB: MNMRF), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Lithium Americas (NYSE: LAC) (TSX: LAC), American Lithium Corp. (TSXV: LI) (OTC: LIACF), and Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ: PLL).

Monumental Minerals Corp. (TSXV: MNRL) (OTCQB: MNMRF) Just Provided an Update Following Laguna Blanca Cesium-Lithium Brine Site Visit

Monumental Minerals Corp. provided an update on management’s recent visit to its Salar De Laguna Blanca Cesium-Lithium Brine Salar Project (see Monumental Minerals news release dated April 21, 2022).

Members of Monumental’s management team and board of directors visited a portfolio of Lithium Chile assets, including the Laguna Project, with representatives of Lithium Chile Inc. (TSXV: LITH). The Laguna Project was accessed by travelling 80 kilometres west from the town of San Pedro de Atacama via the paved road 27CH to the north end of Salar de Aguas Calientes, then along a truck - accessible trail heading north to the property.

The long axis of the Laguna Blanca Salar is controlled by a major northwest-southeast trending fault that was observed during the site visit. This fault is interpreted to provide a structural conduit promoting brine interaction with felsic volcanics, including thick sequences of ignimbrites (volcanic ash), from which lithium and cesium were leached, transported, and subsequently concentrated in brines and sediments within the Laguna Blanca Salar. Other salars in the area, including Salar De Helados (100% owned by Lithium Chile) were also visited by the Company during the site visit that related to this same fault structure. Extensive brine-saturated and unsaturated sediment samples collected by Lithium Chile from the Laguna Project returned values of 0.145% and 0.069% lithium and cesium, respectively, and the highest concentrations form a trend parallel with the NW-SE structural trend. Brine samples collected from shallow augered holes within the brine pool (approximately 1.5 m depth) returned values of 1,230 mg/L Li; and 40 mg/L Cs (see Monumental Minerals’ news release dated March 9, 2022).

While on-site at the Laguna Project, the Company examined ease of access, potential seasonal and weather constraints, and proximity to infrastructure in order to plan an exploration work program. The work program going forward will also be coordinated with Lithium Chile, local communities, and stakeholders.

In addition, Monumental’s management met with Summit Nanotech (“Summit”) in Antofagasta, Chile to discuss their direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, including their pilot plant. A bulk brine sample from the Laguna Project will be submitted to Summit for preliminary testing using their pilot plant upon completion of the Company’s first borehole at the Laguna Project. Summit is developing 1000 m3/day modular units designed to increase yield, reduce climate pollution, minimize the use of chemicals and freshwater, and reduce waste by 90% compared to traditional evaporation lithium extraction methods.

Dr. Jamil Sader, Monumental’s CEO and Director comments:

“Seeing the Laguna Blanca Project site gave us a true appreciation of the size, scope, and quality of this important asset within the prolific Lithium Triangle. We appreciate the deep technical, social, and environmental knowledge and understanding that Lithium Chile provides and we are are thrilled to be partnered with them on this Project.”

Maximilian Sali, Founder and Director of the Company comments:

“Following a tremendous site visit with Lithium Chile I want to thank Steve, Al and Terrance for the invaluable experience that Monumental has gained and we look forward to working with them on Laguna Blanca as a valued partner.”

The Laguna Project is an early exploration stage project located within the prolific lithium triangle, a zone within the central Andes high desert that includes Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. This zone is estimated to contain more than half of the world’s lithium supply beneath the many salt flats, also known as salars, that are common to the region. The Laguna Blanca property consists of 23 exploration concessions totaling 5,200 hectares, 100% owned by Lithium Chile through its wholly-owned Chilean subsidiary Minera Kairos Chile Limitada. The Laguna Project is within 120 km of Salar de Atacama, the largest producing salar in the world, which is operated by SQM and Albemarle.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Albemarle Corporation endorsed the United Nations (UN) Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, a global initiative in partnership with the Pacific Institute, that mobilizes business leaders to advance water stewardship practices. With Albemarle's endorsement, the company commits to action and continuous improvement, over time, across six key areas of focus in water management and to report annually on progress through its CDP water disclosures and UN Global Compact communication. The six core areas for continuous improvement of water stewardship include direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community engagement, and transparency.

Lithium Americas announced the Company has submitted a formal application to the US Department of Energy Loan Programs Office for funding to be used at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. The ATVM Loan Program is designed to provide loans for facilities located in the United States for the manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles and qualifying components used in those vehicles. "Thacker Pass is a unique, large-scale and advanced-stage lithium project representing one of the most significant opportunities to create a domestic lithium supply chain to support the production of electric vehicles in the US,” said Jonathan Evans, President and CEO. “We are pleased to submit our formal loan application and look forward to progressing through the ATVM Loan Program process to accelerate development of Thacker Pass. We are very excited to become a leading supplier of domestic critical materials to support the growth of the domestic battery and electric vehicle industry in response to increased demand and interest from US-based consumers.”

American Lithium Corp. announced it is launching the final phase towards completion of its maiden preliminary economic assessment on the Company’s TLC Lithium project with the appointment of DRA Global as lead engineer. Stantec Consulting Ltd. will act as contributing consultants, in particular in relation to mineral resources and mine design, and as reported previously, acid leach and roast water leach studies and precipitation test work is on-going at ANSTO Minerals in Australia. These results will be incorporated into the PEA with all previous TLC process studies completed at laboratories in the US, Canada and Peru. The first draft of the maiden TLC PEA as well as preliminary economic modeling is anticipated to be completed by end of Q2, 2022.

Piedmont Lithium, a leading, diversified developer of lithium resources required to enable the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, today announced that Piedmont’s partner, Atlantic Lithium (AIM: ALL), recently announced completion of a Mineral Resource estimate update for the Ewoyaa Project in Cape Coast, Ghana totaling 30.1 million metric tonnes @ 1.26% Li2O. Piedmont has an earn-in right to a 50% interest in Atlantic Lithium’s Ghanaian projects including Ewoyaa and the Company holds an equity interest of approximately 10% in Atlantic Lithium. The updated Mineral Resource estimate, including 20.5 Mt @ 1.29% Li2O of Indicated Resources, was reported in accordance with JORC Code (2012) standards. “We’re very pleased with the reported increase in Mineral Resources for the Ewoyaa Project, notably the increase in Mineral Resources in the Indicated category” said Piedmont’s Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Brindle. Mr. Brindle added, “The Ewoyaa Project is one of the best located spodumene projects in Africa, and its development is fundamental to our growth strategy as an important source of spodumene concentrate for our LHP-2 Project. We look forward to Atlantic Lithium’s completion of a prefeasibility study for the Ewoyaa Project, which will both increase the level of engineering definition for the Project as well as provide important data needed to advance regulatory approvals for the Project.”

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