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Lithium’s High Global Demand; A New Call for ‘Drill Baby Drill’ But Now it’s for EV Metal Miners

POINT ROBERTS, Wash. and DELTA, British Columbia, Feb. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Investorideas.com, one of the first global investor news source covering lithium stocks issues a snapshot looking at the projected growth demand for lithium and how lithium miners are looking to meet the growing global demand.

According to Research and Markets, the lithium ion battery market is estimated to grow from USD 37.4 billion in 2018 to USD 92.2 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 16.2% between 2018 and 2024. The growth of the lithium ion battery market is driven by an increase in demand for plug-in vehicles, growing need for automation and battery-operated material-handling equipment in industries, growing demand for smart devices and other industrial goods, and high requirement of lithium-ion batteries for various industrial applications.

Electric Vehicle (EV) metals are all in demand; lithium, cobalt, rare earths, graphite, nickel, and copper. Here is how a few lithium companies are betting on the future and ramping up.

Enertopia Corporation (OTCQB:ENRT) (CSE:TOP) is looking to expand its lithium capacity, having recently announced that all drill core sample assays have been received from the four resource definition holes and one metallurgical test hole. The best hole for grade and thickness was TOP-02* that averaged 1,231 ppm li over 262 feet, Including 1,368 ppm li over 186 feet in the main reduced zone.

Drilling confirms widespread lithium mineralization on the property. This zone appears to have a regional NE trend starting from the Southwest on Cypress Development’s proposed high-grade starter pit, with an average grade of ~ 1,105 ppm li and running through the project and then onto Noram Ventures project to the northeast where they have outlined a shallow resource to ~ 50 feet averaging 1,060 ppm li.

“Drilling has not only verified the Company’s expectations for the potential of the lithium horizon on our property but we have been able to show by the drill bit that the drill intersections to date indicate any future outlined resource could have Lithium values exceeding those of the proposed high grade starter pit envisioned on the Cypress Development property to our southwest,” stated President, Robert McAllister.
Regional map and drill hole specific data

Standard Lithium Ltd. (TSXV:SLL.V) (OTC:STLHF) also reported on a maiden lithium resource statement for its approximately 30,000 acre Project (aka TETRA Project) in the south-western region of Arkansas, USA.  The maiden resource report includes 802,000 metric tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) at the Inferred Resource Category.  Combined with Standard Lithium’s other project in Southern Arkansas, this results in a total combined Arkansas lithium brine resource of 3,888,000 tonnes LCE.

Robert Mintak, CEO said, “This combined project in Southern Arkansas positions us as the largest lithium brine resource in the US; a significantly expanding market that currently relies on imports of foreign lithium.”  Dr. Andy Robinson, President and COO of Standard Lithium continued, “Our collaboration with TETRA Technologies was fundamental in allowing Standard Lithium to gain a meaningful foothold in the south-west Arkansas Project area, and this maiden resource estimate is validation of the high resource potential we identified in this highly prospective region.  We look forward to tighter definition of this resource and developing its potential in parallel with the Lanxess property.”

Companies like Livent Corporation (NYSE: LTHM) who recently reported its fourth quarter and full-year 2018 results have seen the benefits of increased lithium demand.  For the year, Livent reported revenue of $443 million, an increase of 27 percent compared to 2017.

"We delivered revenue and Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2018 in-line with our prior expectations," said Paul Graves, President and Chief Executive Officer of Livent Corporation. "Looking ahead to 2019, we expect revenue growth in the high teens percentage, driven largely by higher volumes and a stable pricing environment."

"The fundamental drivers of demand in our industry continue to be positive. In particular, electric vehicle sales that are consistently exceeding even the most bullish forecasts, as well as battery technology developments that are increasingly favoring lithium hydroxide.  We remain confident that Livent will continue to be a leader in the performance lithium compounds industry in the coming years."

Orocobre Limited (OTC: OROCF) (TSX: ORL.TO) provided an update on the completion of pumping test activities at the Cauchari JV property located in Jujuy Province, Argentina.

The exploration program is being managed by JV partner Advantage Lithium Corp., who holds 75% of Cauchari. Orocobre owns 33.5% of Advantage Lithium's issued capital and 25% directly in the joint venture.

More lithium projects like Enertopia’s are expected as lithium demand continues to be driven by emerging technologies, and according to projections, this market has many booming years ahead of it.

For investors covering the sector, Investor Ideas has created a directory of lithium stocks in in its mining stocks directory and in its cleantech stock directories, relating to batteries.

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