VIDEO ― Battery Metals Update May 2019

Battery Metals

The Investing News Network looks at major events, announcements and developments in the battery metals space in May.

Since the beginning of the year, the US and its control over the supply chain for cobalt and other battery metals has been under the spotlight.

Back in February, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Managing Director Simon Moores testified to the US Senate about critical minerals security, pointing to how far China has been racing ahead while the US has been a bystander in building domestic supply chain capacity.

In May, US Senator Lisa Murkowski announced new legislation that is designed to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign sources of battery metals. It will also streamline regulations and permitting requirements for the development of mines.

In other cobalt news, Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) has agreed to back First Cobalt’s (TSXV:FCC,OTCQX:FTSSF) Ontario refinery restart. Glencore will provide feedstock for the refinery, which is set to produce 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes per year of cobalt sulfate.

Looking over to lithium, at the start of the month, Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR,OTC Pink:KDDRF) rose over 45 percent after diversified company Wesfarmers (ASX:WES,OTC Pink:WFAFF) made a AU$776 million takeover offer for the company. Kidman is developing the Mount Holland project in Western Australia. The deal is backed by its joint venture partner SQM (NYSE:SQM) and by Kidman’s board.

In May, top lithium producers also made news headlines, with Livent (NYSE:LTHM) falling after cutting its revenue and earnings guidance for the year. Livent also reported weaker demand for its lithium hydroxide in Q1 due to a slower shift to higher nickel cathode batteries.

Meanwhile, Albemarle’s (NYSE:ALB) lithium sales dropped in Q1 due to heavy rains. That said, the company plans to produce 40,000 tonnes of lithium this year, which is roughly the same output as 2018.

One of the biggest pieces of news in the space came when top Chinese lithium producer Ganfeng (OTC Pink:GNENF,SZSE:002460) said it is looking to invest in a 30 percent stake in Bacanora Lithium (LSE:BCN). Bacanora is developing the Sonora lithium clay project in Mexico, which is forecast to produce 17,500 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate.

In June, the Investing News Network will be at the Lithium Supply and Markets event in Chile where the team will speak to experts and CEOs. Stay tuned for our interviews and coverage.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: First Cobalt is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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