Ownership structure of lithium companies


 Have you ever considered financial standing and prospects of lithium companies based on their ownership structure?

Jonathon Baker at Simply Wall Street attempted such a feat based on the case study of Lithium Americas Corp.


In the article one might find common sense yet very observant remarks, which might at the same time be completely foreign to commodities players with lack of equity trading/analysis background, yet at the same time very useful when thinking about fundamentals, as:


“Institutional investors typically buy and sell shares in large magnitudes which can significantly sway the share price, especially when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade.” (on institutional investors participation in ownership structure)


“It may be interesting to take a look at what company insiders have been doing with their holdings lately. Insiders buying company shares can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can simply be driven by personal financial needs.” (On insiders investors – read employee shareholders)


“They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.” (On general public investors)


More under this link.


5 times faster charging


When lithium-ion battery is re-charging too fast, it can overheat, leading to lithium dendrites piercing battery shell, release of toxic gases and hence a risk of explosion. Due to that, recharging speeds in lithium batteries are artificially capped. Caps on recharge time are based on calculations with wide safety margin incorporated into them.


Scientist at the University of Warwick (UK) have prototyped a sensor that can be inserted directly into a lithium-ion cell and provide a user or safety systems with real time information about internal temperatures within a battery. It has a potential to speed up charging process up to 5 times, without compromising user’s safety.


More in the paper.


Satellites for lithium


Considering current Bolivian socio-economic situation, launch of a satellite might have seem as a tough call technically and as a an impractical whim of its macho leader. Many readers would be even more surprised to learn that it would be already a second satellite in a row in the recent years.


Yet the Bolivian keenness for satellites have a perfectly practical grounding, as the only economically efficient enabler of communication in this mountainous country with very modestly developed infrastructure.


The launches are made possible by Chinese know-how and financing, that as The Sydney Morning Herald speculates might be a gamble to secure preferential treatment from the country’s leadership in a race of getting Bolivian’s astronomical lithium reserves out of the ground. Especially in light of Liang Yu’s (Chinese Ambassador to Bolivia) words: “China is the country with the largest number of vehicles in the world and, therefore, it will be the largest market for the use of lithium batteries. One of the four consortia that presented their technical and economic proposals for the assembly and commissioning of the plant to industrialize lithium is Chinese”


Lithium brine extraction process – archaic


CEO of Standard Lithium Robert Mintak, emphasized industry need to modernize and speed up lithium brine extraction process, for it to remain competitive in comparison with rock extraction.


“The industry has been operating, basically, with mid-20th century technology for the past 50 plus years. Over half of the lithium can be lost when it is being extracted from the ground because the process is so rudimentary. A lot of companies are chasing after modern processing.[..] The industry is now looking for an evolution. It’s at a tipping point where brine producers need to step up their game if they’re going to compete with hard rock producers to bring projects online quickly [..] In the same way that shale, or unconventional oil, affected the oil and gas industry, a modern, selective extraction process will reinvent the way people look at lithium projects,” he stated as reported by Baystreet.ca


Standard is pioneering a range of new technologies that would allow for fast and efficient lithium brine extraction process in its new projects.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *