With demand for lithium-ion batteries expected to rise in the coming years, Lithium Investing News asked five juniors what their plans are moving forward.

This week, Lithium Investing News (LIN) published a roundtable interview with five junior lithium companies who shared their thoughts on Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ:TSLA) “gigafactory.”

The general consensus seems to be that Tesla’s plans could have some significant impact on demand for lithium moving forward. To get a sense of how these companies plan to tackle the future rise in demand, LIN also asked, “what’s next?”

Here is a look at what they had to say:

Marc Morin, CEO of Ultra Lithium (TSXV:ULI):

Ultra Lithium, with projects in both Serbia and Nevada is committed to long term growth and creating shareholder value. Our proximity to Rio Tinto’s Jadar deposit in Serbia, one of the largest lithium deposits in the world and with proximity to Asian markets, will keep us busy as we continue our work on 7 individual concessions with a total area of 676.54 sq. km. This last season the company completed 5,390.7 metres  of drilling in 9 holes on two of these 7 concession. Multiple additional targets remain to be tested throughout.

Our Nevada project located in the South Big Smoky Valley, in close proximity to an existing producer and with good potential to host lithium rich brines will also keep the company busy as we intend to begin exploration there as well and determine the properties full potential.

The company is also actively looking at other quality projects with favorable terms in the lithium space to further grow the portfolio of high quality, high potential assets the company has, in order to deliver maximum shareholder value.

Luis Saenz, president, CEO and director of Li3 Energy (OTCBB:LIEG):

We now are on the final path to exploration with the view of a PEA on our Chilean Maricunga project by mid-next year.  With the funding provided by our local strategic partner, and with POSCO´s revolutionary lithium extraction technology in the last phases of development, we will be uniquely positioned to be one of the next reliable, low cost, and environmentally friendly suppliers of lithium to the industry.

Guy Bourassa, president and CEO of Nemaska Lithium (TSXV:NMX):

Nemaska is about to release the feasibility for its Whabouchi mine and lithium hydroxide/carbonate conversion plant in Quebec. Therefore in the coming months we will be in a position to accelerate the ongoing discussions we have with large end-users/potential partners to build it. Obviously we will take this opportunity to try to convince Tesla that a good secured source of supply for its gigafactory lies just North and is open for business.

James Calaway, non-executive chairman of Orocobre (TSX:ORL,ASX:ORE)

We are completely focused on bringing our Oloraz Lithium Operation into production this summer, on time and schedule. Of course we are carefully considering the dynamics of the market, but the complete focus on coming up with 17,500 tons of production has all of the Orocobre team very focused at this time.

Robert Mintak, CEO of Pure Energy Minerals (TSXV:PE):

Pure Energy Minerals is aligning itself with a network of strong international majors with the goal of  rapidly advancing our lithium project in Nevada as a demonstration of intelligent mining; a practice that increases efficiency, reduces the environmental footprint, lowers capital costs and returns a significant value to shareholders.

When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, Tesla’s gigafactory brings with it renewed interest in the lithium market. With demand for lithium-ion batteries expected to grow in the coming years, it is clear that companies are working hard in order to best position themselves to supply the market of the future.


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

Interviews conducted by the Investing News Network are edited for clarity. The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence. 


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