in 2022There’s just not enough lithium to meet growing demand. In fact, if the world can’t fix the supply-demand gaps for lithium, it’s tough to imagine any net zero transitions. According to the CEO of the International Council of Metals and Mineral Mining, Rohitesh Dhawan, as noted by Sky News, "We can see quite a large mismatch between demand and supply. We currently produce around 400,000 tonnes of lithium annually. By 2030, that's likely to (need to) jump to around two million tonnes,” adding, “At the moment about half of global lithium demand comes from the electric vehicle market… by 2030, 80% of global lithium demand will come from the electric vehicle market because we need to electrify our transport fleet that quickly.” Until we have enough lithium supply to meet explosive demand, prices are likely to accelerate higher, and send related lithium stocks to higher highs, including E3 Lithium (TSXV: ETMC) (OTC: EEMMF), which just signed a strategic agreement with Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) subsidiary, Imperial Oil Limited (TSE: IMO) (NYSE: IMO), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), and Lithium Americas (NYSE: LAC) (TSX: LAC).
Look at E3 Lithium (TSXV: ETMC) (OTC: EEMMF), for example.
E3 Lithium and Imperial Oil Limited announced today a collaboration to advance a lithium-extraction pilot in Alberta, exploring the redevelopment of an historic oil field into a potential new leading source of lithium for Canada’s growing critical minerals industry.
The pilot will support E3 Lithium’s Clearwater project, which will draw lithium from under the Leduc oil field, Imperial’s historic discovery that first launched major oil and gas development in Western Canada. E3 Lithium’s proprietary technology is designed to extract the critical mineral from the lithium-rich brine, with potential for commercial development of battery-grade products.
“This exciting collaboration brings together Imperial’s long-standing commitment to research and technology to help test and scale E3’s lithium-recovery technology,” said Jason Iwanika, director of commercial business development at Imperial. “We continue to advance the innovation and technologies needed to support the energy transition, working in collaboration with governments and industry to progress new opportunities from existing assets and sector expertise.”
“E3 Lithium and Imperial share an interest in the diversification of the Alberta economy, local job creation and sustainability,” said Chris Doornbos, CEO of E3 Lithium. “Leduc No.1, Imperial’s first well into this reservoir, was one of Imperial’s most prolific oil discoveries in Alberta and transformed the provincial and Canadian economies, much like lithium has the potential to do. Having Imperial now working with E3 Lithium in exploring the redevelopment of Leduc into a world-class source of lithium is an exciting new chapter in Alberta and Canada’s story.”
The pilot project includes drilling Alberta’s first lithium evaluation wells, planned to be completed by the end of the third quarter of this year. Work will also focus on scaling up E3 Lithium’s proprietary technology, which brings the brine liquid to the surface where the lithium is removed and concentrated. This liquid is immediately returned underground as part of a closed-loop system. E3 Lithium’s PEA1 estimates the first phase of development could produce approximately 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year.
Under the agreement, E3 Lithium will continue to operate the Clearwater project and retain its IP, with technical and development support from Imperial in areas such as water and reservoir management. The agreement also includes access for E3 Lithium to freehold lands in the area, which are operated by Imperial.
As part of the agreement, Imperial has agreed to invest CAD $6.35 million into E3 at a pre-paid price of CAD $1.86/warrant and the issuance of 3,413,979 warrants. Each warrant provides the holder the option to exercise the warrant for one common share of E3. The warrants are immediately exercisable, non-transferrable, expire in 24 months and are non-refundable.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Exxon Mobil and QatarEnergy just announced they have signed an agreement to further develop Qatar’s North Field East project, which will expand Qatar’s annual LNG capacity from 77 million tons to 110 million tons by 2026. The deal was announced at QatarEnergy’s headquarters in Doha. “We are collaborating with QatarEnergy on North Field East to accelerate the production of secure, affordable and cleaner energy our world needs,” said Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer for ExxonMobil. “ExxonMobil has a long history of working in Qatar, responsibly producing energy, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”
Albemarle Corporation announced the release of its annual global Sustainability Report. "Albemarle plays an important role in combating climate change, enabling the energy transition and supporting safe and sustainable advancement of electrification and digitalization," said CEO Kent Masters. "Sustainability is core to our long-term strategy. Our Sustainability Report highlights progress, commitments, and successes we realized in 2021 on a global scale as we continue to add value for all our stakeholders through our sustainability efforts."
Lithium Americas has entered a Pastos Grandes Technical Collaboration Agreement with Arena Minerals Inc. The intention of the Collaboration Agreement is to share technical information and explore opportunities for collaborating on potential development alternatives with the overall objective of optimizing the production profile of the Pastos Grandes basin. “Building our relationship with Arena Minerals is an indication of our commitment to expand and further develop our production profile in Salta, Argentina,” commented Ignacio Celorrio, President, Latin America of Lithium Americas. “Arena’s Sal de la Puna project is adjacent to our recently acquired 100%-owned Pastos Grandes project, and together, we will collaborate to develop the basin in the most sustainable and efficient way for all stakeholders.”
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