A look back at some of our most popular lithium news stories of 2015.
From Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) to rising lithium prices, there’s been plenty of exciting lithium news in 2015. Certainly, the critical metal stood out as a bit of a bright spot alongside falling prices for other metals such as copper, silver and gold.
To give some examples, some of the biggest lithium news stories from the junior space this year included supply agreements with Tesla, and a merger between Western Lithium (TSX:WLC) and Lithium Americas. Meanwhile, the world’s largest lithium producer, Chile’s Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE:SQM), saw some troubles, while heavy rains and flooding in the country had some investors worried over lithium supply.
Here’s a look at some of our most popular lithium news stories of 2015:
1. Tesla and the Lithium Market: Facts, Myths and Predictions
Joe Lowry of Global Lithium shared his thoughts on Tesla and the lithium market. Among other things, he pointed out that “Tesla isn’t currently a significant purchaser of lithium hydroxide or any other lithium chemical,” and that “If all the lithium currently used in Tesla’s batteries were purchased by Tesla directly, their share of the global lithium market would be less than 2%.” Read more about Tesla and the lithium market here.
2. Lithium Outlook 2016: What are Analysts Saying?
Lithium was the standout commodity in 2015, with prices continuing to rise as other metals prices continued to fall. Those trends are largely expected to continue in 2016. Lowry, as well as Chris Berry of House Mountain Partners and the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, Andrew Miller of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital spoke about what to look for in the lithium space heading into the new year. Read more of what they had to say here.
3. Tesla Signs First Lithium Supply Agreement
Bacanora Minerals (TSXV:BCN,LSE:BCN) and joint venture partner Rare Earth Minerals (LSE:REM) made headlines when they announced they had signed a conditional agreement to supply lithium to Tesla. The deal marked the first much-anticipated raw materials supply agreement for the electric vehicle manufacturer.
However, the company’s press release was light on detail, and analysts commenting on the lithium news were hesitant regarding the deal. Read the full story here.
4. Is Tesla Rolling the Dice With Their Lithium Supply?
Another article from Lowry discussed Tesla’s approach to the lithium market. “Unfortunately Tesla seems to overestimate their importance,” the article reads. “Tesla needs lithium but the major lithium players aren’t going to bow to Tesla’s pressure to sell to them at ridiculously low prices.” See the full article here.
5. Analysts Look Back at the Lithium Market in 2015
Complementing our lithium outlook for 2016, a number of analysts took a look back at trends in the lithium market and lithium news over the previous year. Lowry, Berry and Miller discussed rising lithium prices and the biggest stories of the year. Read what they had to say.
6. Stormcrow Capital: ‘Lithium Prices Will Rise’
Hykawy’s Stormcrow Capital put out a comprehensive report on the lithium industry this June. While the firm spoke about higher prices for lithium, it also covered other issues, such as what that higher cost means for battery producers, and if there’s any risk of subsitution for lithium ion batteries in the near future. Check out our overview here.
7. China’s Growing Interest in Australian Lithium-mining Companies
Australia’s Neometals (ASX:NMT) announced this July that its subsidiary, Reed Industrial Minerals, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for an offtake agreement with China’s second-biggest lithium producer. Another leading Chinese lithium producer, Tianqi Lithium (SZSE:002466), already controls 51 percent of the world’s largest lithium mine, Greenbushes, in Western Australia. Learn more about China’s interest in Australian lithium mining companies here.
8. October Lithium News Round-Up
To cap off the month of October, the Investing News Network did a round-up of all articles published for the month, including highlights from the Benchmark Mineral Intelligence World Tour stop in Vancouver and our overview of five lithium experts to follow. A sample of news from companies in the space was also included. Read the full lithium news round-up here.
9. Tesla Signs Another Supply Agreement With Pure Energy Minerals
Following Tesla’s conditional supply agreement with Bacanora and Rare Element Resources, another similar agreement was announced between the electric vehicle maker and Nevada focused Pure Energy Minerals. Like Bacanora’s Sonora lithium project in Mexico, Pure Energy’s Clayton Valley project is still being developed. Read more about the news here.
10. What are Analysts Saying About Tesla’s Lithium Supply Deal?
Finally, rounding out the top ten was some commentary on the initial lithium supply deal between Tesla, Bacanora and Rare Element Resources. Berry, Hykawy and Simon Moores shared their thoughts. See the full article here.
Stay tuned for more from Lithium Investing News heading into 2016!
Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.