Investing in Lithium in Australia

After the country became the world’s largest lithium producer in 2018, many market participants are wondering if investing in lithium in Australia is a good option

Without a doubt, the energy revolution is here to stay, with forecasts for electric vehicle (EV) sales increasing every day. As a result, demand for lithium, a key element in the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric cars, is expected to triple by 2025 — reaching about 1 million tonnes in size.

For investors interested in getting into the space, here’s a brief overview of the basic facts to know about investing in lithium in Australia, including what stocks to keep an eye on.

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Lake Resources CEO: Key Partnerships to De-risk and Develop Clean, High-purity Lithium

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE,OTCQB:LLKKF) CEO Stephen Promnitz spoke with the Investing News Network (INN) to elaborate on how his company’s high purity lithium will bolster the battery market due to the product’s consistency and its durability, which can stand the test of time.

Promnitz details in the interview the steps Lake Resources has taken to de-risk and prove that the company’s project is indeed viable.

“The first thing we’ve done is de-risk the methodology now over the last 18, 24 months, and we’ve delivered that late October. We’ve also used a tier one engineering firm Hatch, just show that we can do this in a cost competitive way. The next step is that we’re sending off samples to potential offtake partners, and we’re also putting that product into a battery,” says Promnitz.

Thanks to Lake Resources’ ongoing lithium brine projects in Argentina — a hot spot for large lithium brine resources and low cost production — the company has been able to scale up its operations relatively quickly to compete with the demand that’s coming out of the US, Europe and even East Asia.

The company’s flagship Kachi lithium brine project spans 705 square kilometers and shows the potential to become a low-cost operation with a long life, one expected to produce 25,000 tons of battery grade lithium carbonate on an annual basis using direct extraction technology.

To expedite the process of developing its end product, Lake Resources has key partnerships with Novonix Battery Technology Solutions, Hazen Research and California-based Lilac Solutions, the latter of which is helping the company test and develop more efficient direct extraction technology.

“Having [Lilac Solutions as] a US partner is very important [because] the capital markets support … new technology, particularly clean technology,” Promnitz told INN, adding that there is a large focus on impact investing — also known as environmental, social and governance investing — which he thinks is a trend that will continue beyond 2020. “If we can tick those two boxes, then we should also be able to work with the capital markets, and then deliver that sort of product into Europe or the US or into East Asia.”

Thanks to the direct extraction technology through Lake Resources’ partnership with Lilac Solutions, the company is able to extract lithium more efficiently and can recover between 80 and 90 percent lithium rather than 40 percent or 50 percent.

“From evaporation, [the direct extraction technology] does it with a much smaller environmental footprint,” Promnitz said. “We’re talking a size of one or two city blocks instead of 15 or 20 square kilometers of evaporation ponds, and we return most of that water back to its source — eventually 99 percent.”

Promnitz added that with any new technologies there’s a lot of test work that needs to be done; to that end, he reported that the company has completed roughly 18 months of lab work and 6 to 9 months at pilot scale.

“We’ve essentially de-risked this to show to the industry that here is the advent of a 21st century solution to a 21st century demand.”

Watch the interview above for more of what Promnitz had to say.

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Lake Resources’ General Meeting under COVID-19 conditions

Lithium explorer and developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE; OTC:LLKKF or the ’Company’) refers to the Notice of Meeting released to the Market on 14 April 2020 and provides an update regarding the Company’s upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting to be conducted on Thursday 14 May 2020 at 11:00am (AEST) at Automic Group, Level 5, 126 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Shareholders are not permitted to physically attend the meeting due to the Government restrictions on physical meetings and health risks associated with COVID-19 and social distancing measures still currently in place.

Shareholders are able to attend the meeting via virtual means by joining the live weblink. Shareholders who wish to attend the Meeting via weblink must register their attendance with the Company by 11am (AEST) on Wednesday 13 May 2020, the day prior to the Meeting, by emailing the Company Secretary at cosec@lakeresources.com.au and including your Holder Name, Address and HIN or SRN. The Company will then provide you with the necessary details to participate in the Meeting via the weblink.

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Lake Resources’ Kachi Lithium Project to Cost US$544 Million

Australia-listed Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) has released a prefeasibility study (PFS) for its Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina, estimating capital costs of US$544 million.

During its initial 25 years, Kachi is expected to produce 25,500 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) per year by direct extraction at an operating cost (OPEX) of US$4,178 per tonne. The study was based only on Kachi’s indicated resource of 1.01 million tonnes LCE at 290 mg/L lithium.

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