Canadian brine developer E3 Lithium links with oil major Imperial to drill world class brine asset. Watch the full video here.
A pro-Chinese government group has impersonated environmental campaigners on social media platforms in an effort to undermine rare earths producers in the US and Canada, according to a cyber security consultancy.
Mandiant said the group behind the attacks, known as Dragonbridge, had used fake Facebook and Twitter accounts to claim a US government-funded rare earths refinery in Texas being built by Australian group Lynas Rare Earths would “expose the area to irreversible environmental damage” and “radioactive contamination”.
Mandiant described Dragonbridge as a “pro-People’s Republic of China (PRC) network” but did not identify it in more detail. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute think-tank corroborated Mandiant’s report to the Financial Times.
The US and its allies in Europe and Asia are working to build supply chains that bypass China for critical minerals such as lithium, rare earths and cobalt, which are vital to renewable energy technology, electric vehicles and high-tech military equipment.
China dominates the processing of these minerals, which has raised concerns in the US as diplomatic and trade relations with Beijing have deteriorated in recent years.
Mandiant’s findings were corroborated by Albert Zhang, a cyber policy expert at think-tank the ASPI who has been following Dragonbridge since 2019. “This is the first time this persistent Chinese Communist party-backed network?.?.?.?has targeted a commercial entity for strategic purposes,” he wrote in a report published on Wednesday. Zhang said that the information operations were “one part of a broader co-ordinated effort to undermine democratic attempts to reduce dependence on Chinese rare earths exports”. Dragonbridge first came to Mandiant’s attention in 2019 with social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube opposing anti-government protests in Hong Kong. The group has since branched out into a range of areas including the Covid-19 pandemic and US politics. “Recently, we identified and investigated a subset of information operations activity we attribute to the Dragonbridge campaign across social media,” Mandiant said in a blog post.
The cyber security firm said it had also monitored campaigns against rare earths companies Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp and USA Rare Earth, and against US president Joe Biden’s Defense Production Act, a Korean war-era law under which Washington is aiming to increase domestic production of critical minerals.
Mandiant said the campaigns had used “inauthentic social media and forum accounts, including those posing as residents in Texas to feign concern over environmental and health issues surrounding the plant”.
One Facebook post, purporting to be from someone named Cox Teri but which Mandiant claimed was created by Dragonbridge, read: “My friends and I have been resisting the construction of a rare earth processing plant in Texas by Lynas. If nothing is done, Lynas’ waste discharge will directly or indirectly affect
Well spotted Croutom
and BCB great prescient post of Monday.................. copied below
"Bitcoin buyer very bullish on SML .....
its all about the assets here.....
I know you have an affinity with JP Hursty ..... same as Brendon Rogers....good guys....
2nd income stream coming........... @ SML....
load up now son ...good value......"
Cornish Lithium and Rodda’s to Evaluate a Geothermal Lithium and Heat Project at its Cornish Creamery
Cornish Lithium Ltd. (the “Company” or “Cornish Lithium”), the innovative mineral exploration and development company based in Cornwall, UK, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Rodda’s, the iconic Cornish clotted cream producer, to work together to evaluate suitable sites on land owned by Rodda’s, where geothermal lithium production and geothermal heat could be investigated
Cornish Lithium will be responsible for designing and drilling a small research borehole (which will be of a similar scale to the research borehole that the Company is currently drilling near Twelveheads) as well as obtaining the required planning consents and permits. Once completed, Cornish Lithium will test the borehole to demonstrate the viability of a commercial scale geothermal lithium and heat project. It is envisaged that Rodda’s will be able to use the resulting renewable geothermal heat to potentially decarbonise production processes at its Scorrier based creamery, near Redruth.
Cornish Lithium and Rodda’s will shortly be commencing a programme of community engagement to share their plans with local residents and the wider community, listen to any concerns and respond to any questions, ahead of submitting the required planning applications for the research borehole to Cornwall Council. Further details of the proposed work programme for the project can be found in the project factsheet, which can be downloaded from our website at https://cornishlithium.com/projects/lithium-in-geothermal-waters/north-downs/
Jeremy Wrathall, Founder and CEO of Cornish Lithium, said:
“We are extremely excited to be working with such an iconic Cornish company and look forward to progressing the relationship between Cornish Lithium and Rodda’s. A successful geothermal lithium and heat project in Cornwall will demonstrate the potential for creating a truly sustainable source of lithium to support the UK’s growing battery industry whilst at the same time helping to decarbonise local businesses and provide them with a more sustainable future energy source. Partnering with a global brand, such as Rodda’s, positions Cornwall, once again, at the forefront of the UK’s green industrial revolution and will also help to secure skilled jobs for local people.”
Nicholas Rodda, Managing Director of Rodda’s, commented:
“As the UK moves towards a greener economy, there is an increasing need to explore alternative and more sustainable energy alternatives. We feel this exploration project could provide valuable information around using geothermal waters as a source of heat energy. Rodda’s utilises heat in its production processes, which is currently generated using natural gas. By creating a renewable geothermal heat source for Rodda’s, there is a significant opportunity to make our production processes even more environmentally friendly.”
How is it rampy? Straightforward paste of an article in the FT about Lithium processing.
CUSN has a very small shareholding in Cornish Lithium and will gain royalties from CL's production. The article is about a company that might take some of the potential production. Info only.
A start-up company seeking to build one of Europe’s first lithium refineries in England to supply electric vehicle battery makers has secured financial backing from the UK government. Livista Energy was among 21 projects that received nearly £45mn of support from the state-sponsored Advanced Propulsion Centre in its latest funding round.
The company’s co-founder Roland Getreide said the funding was a validation of its plan and would help the company select the site for its planned refinery.
“The electrification of the car fleet means a whole new supply chain and the UK government has chosen us [Livista] to explain the process and how to build a refinery here,” said Getreide, who expects to have completed the search for a site before the end of the year. “We have to make ourselves competitive.”
Lithium, which is extracted from brines in South America or from rocks in Australia, is one of the key materials needed to make the batteries that power electric vehicles.
However, there are at present no commercial refiners in Europe, making the region’s car and battery makers almost totally reliant on China for supply.
Analysts estimate that 90 per cent of the world’s battery-grade lithium is produced from refineries in China, which also process the vast majority of cobalt and nickel, other key battery materials.
Livista, which is backed by Getreide and other private investors and was established in 2020, wants to build a plant with an initial capacity of 30,000 tonnes a year, rising to 60,000 tonnes as demand for EVs increases.
That compares with the 50,000-tonnes-a-year plant Green Lithium, another start-up that has secured investment from commodity trader Trafigura, is planning to build in the UK.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, an industry consultant, forecasts 117,000 tonnes of lithium demand for batteries in Europe this year, rising to 250,000 tonnes in 2025 and 600,000 tonnes by 2030.
Livista recently appointed former TotalEnergies executive Jean-Marc Ichbia as its chief operating officer. Ichbia was the project director for Arctic LNG2, a $25bn liquefied natural gas project in the west of Siberia.
Getreide said Livista could build its refinery in Blythe, Northumberland, where Britishvolt, another start-up company, has started work on a £3.8bn battery “gigafactory” to supply the UK car industry.
“The UK government understands that it needs to help companies like Livista,” he said.
In a statement, Britishvolt said it was in discussions with a variety of companies regarding the potential to share the Blythe location. “Our supplier park will potentially bring new industry to the UK, including, but not limited to, refining of various battery ingredients and materials,” it said. In a recent report the Faraday Institution forecast demand for 10 gigafactories in the UK by 2040, producing 20 GWh per year of batteries.
“The combined electric vehicle automotive and battery ecosystem could be worth £22bn by 2030 and £27bn by 2040,” it said.".....
Good morning MO. Nice to read your posts.
The majors have loads of cash due to the extreme price of oil at the moment. The point they are making to the UK government is, why should we invest in projects to produce oil and gas in the UK domain- onshore and offshore, -when you wish to take the majority (65%) of any profit we make? Furthermore, having been on the receiving end of the green agenda until recently, they are concerned that may come back and hit them if the Ukraine war ceases and demand for UK oil/gas drops again. They say better to leave it in the ground until taxes come down and the situation is clearer. Huge investment is on hold now because of Sunak' tax plans and price uncertainty. I read one company is holding back on a £15bn investment in the UK as a result. Political vote winning appears to have cost us many billions of investment, thousands of jobs and energy security.
This does mean the oil majors will be looking for other ways to utilise their cash. But again, why would they choose the UK when their profits are going to be confiscated?
If they wish to buy CUSN my guess is that they would set up an investment vehicle in a country with an acceptable tax regime, fund it with cash and debt, so that the profits from CUSN would be reported outside the UK.
By the way - its Cornish Lithium (not CUSN) that has the near 20% investment from TechMet.
CUSN have a large shareholder in Blue wave Resources, Sir Mick Davis's investment vehicle.
Just to be clear to those coming into the thread part way through, and to avoid any misunderstandings, the calculations are in the previous post of 10.57 were for Cornish Lithium ltd, in which CUSN has a stake. They are not CUSN figures.
548,581,339 shares were to be in issue following the recent capital reorganistion. This will have increased by 45,000,000 following the issue of shares to TechMet, to 593,581,339.
Tech Met, following the second issue of shares will now hold 111,666,666 shares (£9m at 13.5p= 66,666,666 shares
+ £9m at 20p = 45,000,000 shares)
So TechMet appears to have a holding of 18.812%
Its warrants would entitle it to buy at par a further 13.5m shares taking its holding to 125,166,666 shares and the total number in issue to 607,081,339 shares. Giving it a potential 20.618% stake in the company.
What buying the second tranche of shares means for TechMet/ Brian Mennell and US Dept of defense
"The Investment, which is subject to shareholder approval, will occur in two tranches raising up to £18 million at a weighted average subscription price of 16.12 pence per share. The Investment will be split as follows:
• Tranche One: TechMet will subscribe for £9 million of new ordinary shares in Cornish Lithium at a subscription price of 13.5 pence per share.
• Tranche Two: Following the publication of the scoping study for Trelavour, TechMet can elect, at its option, to subscribe for a further £9 million of new ordinary shares in Cornish Lithium at a subscription price of 20 pence per share.
• All new shares issued to TechMet will rank pari passu with existing ordinary shares in Cornish Lithium Ltd.
• Following the completion of Tranche Two, and for so long as TechMet maintains a shareholding of 15% or above, TechMet shall have a Right of First Offer to market lithium products from the Company’s projects. TechMet will work with Cornish Lithium to prioritise UK based customers, including UK battery and automotive manufacturers.
• Following TechMet’s Tranche Two subscription, Cornish Lithium shall issue TechMet 13,500,000 warrants to subscribe for shares at par value upon the sooner of: (i) Cornish Lithium listing on a public exchange; or (ii) the Company authorising the commencement of construction of one of its projects at a commercial scale. The warrants are designed to further incentivise TechMet to utilise the experience of its team and extensive industry networks to help Cornish Lithium raise the required finance to build its projects. "
Tech Met is building up a significant stake in CL, and has the possibility to increase it further by the exercise of its warrants. I will try to work out its current percentage holding . Tech Met also has some influence over the marketing of CL's production through its "Right of First Offer to market lithium products from the Company’s projects." The detail of this "Right" is unknown to me at present.
Given TechMet is buying more shares at 20p each, when it last bought at 13.5p, it appears to be very encouraging news for shareholders, amongst them CUSN. And as Pawgee said we must not forget the royalties.
I particularly liked the look of
.............the Scoping Study includes the required capital expenditure to produce a number of by-products such as caesium and rubidium, the study has not yet taken account of the additional revenue that could be generated from the sale of these by-products.... "
TechMet exercises its option to invest a further £9 million in Cornish Lithium following its review of the Trelavour Scoping Study
Cornish Lithium Ltd (the “Company” or “Cornish Lithium”), the innovative mineral exploration and development company based in Cornwall, UK, is pleased to announce that its major institutional shareholder, TechMet Limited (“TechMet”), a leading technology metals investment company, has exercised its option to invest a further £9 million at 20 pence per share (the “Option”).
The Option is the second tranche of an £18 million funding package provided by TechMet, which was announced by Cornish Lithium in November 2021. The Option became exercisable following the Company’s delivery of a Scoping Study for the Trelavour Hard Rock Lithium Project (the “Trelavour Project”) (the “Scoping Study”) to TechMet for its review.
Trelavour Project Update
TechMet has elected to exercise its Option following a full review of Cornish Lithium’s Trelavour Scoping Study, which sets out the design and economics of the Trelavour Project based upon the production of battery grade lithium hydroxide. The Trelavour Project comprises open pit mining of lithium enriched granite from a brownfield china clay pit, together with processing via comminution and flotation to a concentrate of lithium-bearing mica. Lithium hydroxide is then produced from the mica concentrate utilising the licensed Lepidico leaching process at an industrial site in close proximity to the mine.
Highlights from the results of the Scoping Study include:
1.25 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”) run of mine, with a 20-year mine life producing an average of 7,800 tpa of lithium hydroxide;
Robust economic result*:
Post-tax NPV (8%) of US$318.6 million and a post-tax IRR of 24.4%
Initial capital expenditure of US$243.8 million (including US$48.9m of contingency)
Payback expected within 3.8 years from first production
The Trelavour Project benefits from excellent logistics and close proximity to existing infrastructure, including power, rail, road and port facilities.
There are also areas for potential economic improvement from these base case values. One important example is that whilst the Scoping Study includes the required capital expenditure to produce a number of by-products such as caesium and rubidium, the study has not yet taken account of the additional revenue that could be generated from the sale of these by-products. Cornish Lithium is currently completing processing test work that will provide representative samples and specification of these by-products, allowing their potential value to be estimated. It is expected that the results of this work will be announced by the end of Q3 2022.
The Company is now progressing towards a Feasibility Study for the Trelavour Project. The next drilling programme will commence shortly, which will not only further expand the Trelavour Mineral Resource, but will also co
With the huge amount of drilling going on in Cornwall recently I think the analytical lab has been swamped. It s also possible holidays have intervened. I agree, we should be hearing something shortly though. I suspect the focus has now switched to SC from UD but I am with you, eager to hear the latest from UD.
Otherwise I saw this Reuters report on the Stellantis investment in Vulcan. Interesting to see they invested at a considerable 32.4% premium. That bodes well for CUSN's holding in Cornish Lithium and CL itself.
June 24 (Reuters) - Carmaker Stellantis (STLA.MI) will invest 50 million euros ($52 million) to buy a 8% stake in miner Vulcan Energy Resources (VUL.AX), becoming its second largest shareholder and extending to 10 years a supply agreement for climate-friendly lithium.
Vulcan, a German-Australian start-up, is one of a number of companies testing a direct lithium extraction (DLE) method that uses less land and groundwater, making it more sustainable than the most-common open-pit mines and brine evaporation ponds.
Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on Friday the deal was part of the automaker's strategy to form strong relationships with partners amid a collective effort to fight global warming and provide clean, safe and affordable transport.
"Making this highly strategic investment in a leading lithium company will help us create a resilient and sustainable value chain for our European electric vehicle battery production," he said in a statement.
Stellantis, the owner of brands including Jeep, Peugeot, Fiat, Citroen, Maserati and Opel, has a plan to for battery electric vehicles to make up 100% of its European passenger car sales by 2030.
In November last year, Vulcan and the Italian-French group had signed an initial binding deal to supply between 81,000 and 99,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from Germany to Stellantis for five years from 2026.
Australia-headquartered Vulcan said in a statement it would issue about 8.5 million shares to Stellantis at A$6.622 per share, representing a 32.4% premium to the stock's Thursday closing price. Its shares closed Friday's session up 26.8%.
Vulcan, which now has lithium supply deals with French automaker Renault SA (RENA.PA), Belgian recycling group Umicore NV (UMI.BR) and South Korea's LG Chem Ltd (051910.KS), said it would use the proceeds to expand drilling at its lithium-extraction project in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany."
With worries over a coming recession co-inciding with a sell down in tin stocks, company share prices have slid. But those involved with the big switch out of fossil fuels into Electricity (Cars, homes, ships etc.) can see the potential. So we see moves such as that made recently by Stellantis into battery materials. Here is a report from the FT:-
Stellantis will build a €50mn stake in Australian start-up Vulcan Energy Resources as it seeks to extract lithium from deposits in Germany and become the first European carmaker to make a substantial direct investment in the extraction of raw materials for batteries.
The move comes as carmakers are having to contend with soaring prices for key materials such as cobalt, nickel and lithium, adding pressure on the profitability of electric vehicles.
“Making this highly strategic investment in a leading lithium company will help us create a resilient and sustainable value chain for our European electric vehicle battery production,” said Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares.
The group, which includes Fiat and Peugeot brands, plans to sell a total of 5mn battery electric cars worldwide by 2030.
Stellantis’s investment will make it the second-largest shareholder in Vulcan after founder and managing director Francis Wedin. The company has also been backed by a group belonging to Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart.
Vulcan has been awarded eight exploration licenses in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley, where it hopes to extract lithium from geothermal brines and bought a facility in Insheim with an existing production licence last year. It also has an exploration licence for a site in the Monti Sabatini volcanic region near Rome.
The company plans to start commercial deliveries of lithium by the middle of the decade, contingent on further approvals from local authorities in Germany and amid opposition from some residents near its sites.
Vulcan’s shares — listed both in Australia and Frankfurt — have fallen by more than 50 per cent this year, as part of a broader market sell-off, after soaring in 2021.
Several other carmakers, including Volkswagen and Renault, have signed procurement deals with Vulcan, but these have not included upfront investments. The company is using a technique known as direct lithium extraction that separates the metal from geothermal brines.
BMW invested last year in a rival company, Lilac Solutions, which claims to be able to efficiently extract lithium from saltwater brines. The company did not disclose how much it had spent on the start-up, but filings indicate the deal is worth a fraction of the one Stellantis has made.
Carmakers, which have been pummelled by persistent shortages of semiconductors and key components, are increasingly considering investments in technology and commodity companies to avoid supply bottlenecks after decades of relying on contractors for materials and parts.
Tesla boss Elon Musk in May told a Financial Times conference that it was “not out of the question” for his company to buy a mining group.
“It’s not that we wish to buy mining companies, but if that’s the only way to accelerate the transition” to electric vehicles, the possibility was on the table, he said.
Such an acquisition would only make sense, though, if Tesla were capable of changing that mining company’s trajectory, he added.
The price of battery-grade lithium hydroxide has risen sharply. It is currently trading at $75 a kilogramme, according to a price assessment from Fastmarkets, up 400 per cent from time a year ago.
Direct lithium extraction (DLE) differs from conventional evaporation based processes. Its supporters claim it has higher recovery rates and stronger environmental characteristics.
Rio Tinto agreed last year to pay $825mn for Salar del Rincon, an DLE project in Argentina, saying it had the potential to significantly increase lithium recoveries compared to solar evaporation ponds.
However not everyone is convinced small mining companies will be able to make the technology work. Only Livent, a big US lithium producer, can boast of using DLE
Within 30 months from the closing of the Offering, the Company’s plans are as follows:
Construct the Water Treatment Plant (“WTP”) in the first half of 2023 and thereafter complete the dewatering of the mine within 18 months;
Complete an underground drill program which is expected to commence in July 2022 in order to delineate a JORC compliant Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource and increase the Indicated and Inferred JORC Mineral Resource once access to the underground workings is obtained;
Complete a Feasibility Study using all reasonable commercial efforts on or before 31 December 2024;
Commence basic and detailed engineering studies, construction of the processing plant, refurbishment of underground facilities and other on-site early works; and
Evaluate downstream beneficiation opportunities in the UK and the rest of Europe.
Subject to the availability of financing, consideration will also be given to continuing with the Company’s exploration program at United Downs and evaluating other near-surface, high potential, exploration targets within transport distance of the planned processing plant site at South Crofty.