Amplats and PGM to Develop Next-gen Battery Technology

Anglo American Platinum and Platinum Group Metals have formed Lion Battery, which will develop lithium batteries that use PGMs.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) (LSE:AAL,OTC Pink:AGPPF) and Platinum Group Metals (TSX:PTM,NYSEAMERICAN:PLG) have joined forces to launch a joint venture geared at developing next-generation battery technology that uses platinum and palladium.

The plan is for Lion Battery Technologies, the newly formed joint venture, to begin a research program together with Florida International University (FIU).

Researchers at FIU will look at the potential of using platinum-group metals (PGMs) as a catalyst to raise the discharge capacity and cyclability of lithium-air and lithium-sulfur battery chemistries.

Under the agreement with FIU, Lion will retain exclusive rights to any and all intellectual property that is developed. The company will also be responsible for all efforts to commercialize the new technology.

Lion is looking at other opportunities that will complement progress made with the university as well.

According to Amplats and Platinum Group Metals, lithium-air and lithium-sulfur batteries outperform most top of the line lithium-ion batteries because their energy density is considerably higher.

By incorporating PGMs into the design of these batteries, the companies believe they can create a new generation of batteries that is both powerful and lightweight. They see these new batteries benefiting from growing electric vehicle demand, and anticipate that they could stoke demand for PGMs.

“This exciting early-stage technology aligns with our broader strategy to bring new technologies to market that will help us secure future demand for the platinum group metals we mine and pave the way to a more sustainable energy future,” said Benny Oeyen, Amplats’ executive head of market development.

Similarly, Platinum Group Metals CEO Michael Jones said the work could benefit his company’s Waterberg project, which is a large-scale, bulk-mineable, predominantly palladium asset.

“Developing new applications for platinum group metals is key to ensuring long-term sustainable demand, demand which will be important to the future success of our large-scale Waterberg palladium and platinum mining project in South Africa,” he said in a press release about the topic.

The company is currently focused on completing a definitive feasibility study for Waterberg. According to an updated resource estimate released in October of last year, the asset’s current measured and indicated resource stands at 26.34 million ounces at a cut off of 2.5 grams per tonne.

As for Amplats, towards the end of last month the company announced that headline earnings for H1 2019 will be at least 80 percent higher year-on-year.

The company stated that the increase, which it expects will total 3.36 billion rand, is a direct result of higher PGMs prices paired with a lower rand.

While the company has yet to release its Q2 production results, Amplats reported Q1 output of 998,900 ounces of PGMs and maintained its production guidance for the year at 4.2 to 4.5 million ounces.

The company is currently the sole owner of the following PGMs assets: Mogalakwena, Amandelbult, Unki and Mototolo.

Several market watchers believe that, although platinum had a relatively flat Q2, it is headed for gains before the end of this year.

“Total mining supply in 2019 will be 4 percent higher than in 2018, but this is a one off release from stock. Total mining supply in 2020 is expected to be similar to 2018 levels. Demand in 2019 is forecast to be up 8 percent on 2018 as investment demand offsets weaker automotive and jewelry demand,” Trevor Raymond of the World Platinum Investment Council told the Investing News Network.

Analysts polled by FocusEconomics believe platinum will climb to an average price of US$844 per ounce in Q4 2019 before rising further to reach an expected average of US$955 in Q4 of next year.

As of 10:37 a.m. EDT on Wednesday (July 17), Amplats was trading at GBX 2,203.50 and Platinum Group Metals was trading at C$1.82.

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

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

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What happened to palladium in H1 2020? Our palladium price update outlines market developments and explores what could happen moving forward.

Click here to read the latest palladium price update.

After starting the year on solid footing, palladium’s bull run came to an end in March as coronavirus closures impacted the automotive sector, the metal’s primary end-use segment.

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PGMs producers have been particularly affected by the coronavirus, with industrial demand slipping as automakers deal with broken supply chains and production halts.

Platinum and palladium have been particularly affected during the COVID-19 crisis, with industrial demand slipping as automakers struggle with broken supply chains and production shutdowns.

As gold and silver benefit from safe haven status, platinum has spent Q1 trading down, reaching US$705 per ounce on April 1.

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Headwinds brought on by global supply chain disruptions have battered platinum and palladium prices, ending a prolonged bull run for the latter. 

Headwinds brought on by global supply chain disruptions and mass liquidations have battered platinum and palladium prices, ending a prolonged bull run for the latter.

While gold has held onto some gains in the face of COVID-19, platinum-group metals (PGMs) have been less successful in retaining value amid the widespread market rout.

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Catch up and get informed with this week's content highlights from Charlotte McLeod, our editorial director.

Top Stories This Week: Powell Gets Fed Nomination, Using Gold in a Market Correction youtu.be

We're back after a break last week with quite a bit to cover in the gold space.

After running up past the US$1,860 per ounce mark midway through November, the yellow metal has taken a tumble. At the time of this writing on Friday (November 26) afternoon, it was sitting just under US$1,790.

Gold's losses this week have been attributed to elements like a stronger US dollar and better Treasury yields, although Jerome Powell's US Federal Reserve chair renomination has pulled other factors into play — some market watchers believe he may move to taper and raise interest rates faster than anticipated.


If the Fed follows its previously laid out timeline for tapering, it will wrap up in mid-2022; the central bank has said it won't raise rates until after that. It has also emphasized that its roadmap may change if necessary.

Looking at the larger picture for gold, I heard recently from Nick Barisheff of BMG Group, who believes the stock market is due for a major correction.

"The market is due for a major correction. What will cause it and when it will happen is anybody's guess — it could be tomorrow, it could be six months from now" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

It's impossible to know when this correction will happen, but Nick emphasized the importance of acting before it's too late. He pointed out that investors are typically slow to get out of the market once a crash actually begins — they wait for a turnaround, and by the time it's clear there won't be one, they've experienced big losses.

In his opinion, the solution is to get out of the stock market early and transfer money into gold.

Here's how Nick explained it:

"Instead of taking your money off the table and going into cash … you go to gold (because cash is devaluing daily). Gold will at least hold its own and probably appreciate … so by sitting it out in gold you can wait until the market finishes correcting and then buy back in" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

With gold's future in mind, we asked our Twitter followers this week what price they think the metal will be at the end of 2021. By the time the poll closed, most respondents had voted for the US$1,800 to US$1,900 range.

We'll be asking another question on Twitter next week, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or follow me @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts.

Finally, in the cannabis space, INN's Bryan Mc Govern spoke with Dan Ahrens of AdvisorShares to get his thoughts on 2021 trends and what's ahead in 2022.

Dan was candid, and said if he had to choose one word to describe the cannabis market in 2021, it would be "painful." Like many others, he's been disappointed in the industry's performance — while positivity initially ran high due to excitement about potential federal changes in the US, ultimately progress has been slow.

"Cannabis started with a big run-up in January and February ... and things dragged from there" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Still, Dan has hope for 2022 and said it will be a "huge year" for cannabis. He believes US reforms will come sooner rather than later, and in his opinion those widely anticipated changes will bring a wave of M&A activity.

Specifically, he expects to see alcohol, tobacco and other consumer packaged goods companies making deals with cannabis players, not just cannabis entities doing transactions with each other.

"Those big alcohol companies, tobacco companies, other consumer packaged goods product companies — they're waiting. They're waiting on the US" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Want more YouTube content? Check out our YouTube playlist At Home With INN, which features interviews with experts in the resource space. If there's someone you'd like to see us interview, please send an email to cmcleod@investingnews.com.

And don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

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

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. 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.

cannabis plant layered with German flag graphic
Dmytro Tyshchenko / Shutterstock

Catch up on some of the biggest news of the week for the cannabis investment world.

Three political parties have formed a coalition in Germany, leading to a new government, and it has promised cannabis reform in the European nation.

Meanwhile, a popular cannabis retailer confirmed consumers will now find its products available for delivery on the Uber Eats mobile application in Ontario.

Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.


Coalition of parties promises forward-looking cannabis policy

Germany, a country with comprehensive and elaborate medicinal rules for cannabis, is in a time of transition as a new government is set to begin to take over after 16 years of Angela Merkel.

Olaf Scholz, the proposed next chancellor of Germany, leads a three party coalition that will become the country's governing body. As part of its promises, talk of adult-use cannabis regulation has now gained even more momentum. A report from MJBizDaily quotes a German policy document that shows the coalition's stance:

"We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption purposes in licensed shops. This controls the quality, prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors."

However, despite the promise and excitement, it remains to be seen how these ideas will be applied since no formal regulations have been drafted or approved yet.

Canadian cannabis retailer partners with popular delivery app

Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis retail operator in Canada owned by Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED), announced a collaboration agreement with Uber Canada (NYSE:UBER) whereby cannabis consumers will be able to use the Uber Eats app to order products before they visit stores.

While the app won't let consumers get cannabis delivered to them, this new method opens the doors to more dynamic ways of buying cannabis.

"As a market leader in innovation and a platform used by so many Canadians, we believe this is the ideal next offering that can be done safely and conveniently on the Uber Eats app," Mark Hillard, vice president of operations with Tokyo Smoke, said in a press release.

A report from the Canadian Press indicates Ontario is considering allowing dispensaries to have delivery and pickup options made available to consumers permanently. The province allowed some of these purchasing options at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but then removed them.

Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, said this new end-to-end experience will provide consumers with responsible access to legal cannabis products.

Cannabis company news

  • Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) issued financial results for its Q4 2021 period. In its report, the company notes a net loss of C$26 million despite a 22 percent uptick in net revenue to C$24.9 million. Beena Goldenberg, the newly appointed CEO of the firm, is encouraged by the market share position earned by the company, which said it became the fourth biggest producer in Canada during the reporting period.
  • Halo Collective (NEO:HALO,OTCQB:HCANF) confirmed the decision for Akanda, its spinoff company focused on international cannabis opportunities, to begin trading on a US exchange. "The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined," the company told investors in a press release.
  • High Tide (NASDAQ:HITI,TSXV:HITI) announced the acquisition of 80 percent of NuLeaf Naturals, a CBD product wellness developer, for an estimated US$31.24 million. The deal includes a three year option clause for High Tide to complete a total acquisition. "As international markets open up and as export regulations evolve, NuLeaf's cGMP-certified facility positions us to take advantage of the global CBD business opportunity," Raj Grover, president and CEO of High Tide, said.
  • Humble & Fume (CSE:HMBL,OTC Pink:HUMBF) released the financial report for its first 2022 fiscal quarter to shareholders and the market. "As the legal cannabis market in North America continues to mature, Humble remains agile and focused on providing a leading solution for brands to scale quickly and retailers to focus on their customers," Joel Toguri, CEO of Humble, said.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

MARKETS

Markets
TSX21125.90-487.28
TSXV944.05-31.53
DOW34899.34-905.04
S&P 5004594.62-106.84
NASD15491.66-353.57
ASX7279.30-128.00

COMMODITIES

Commodities
Gold1792.600.00
Silver23.130.00
Copper4.29-0.18
Palladium1751.490.00
Platinum955.500.00
Oil68.17-10.22
Heating Oil2.09-0.29
Natural Gas5.49+0.43

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