In the global lithium-ion power battery market, recent reports on total revenue numbers differ in size, but they agree that future revenues will increase and project a significant rise in revenues in the next several years. A research report from Research And Markets says that: “Global lithium-ion battery market revenue is expected to increase at an impressive 17.9% compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2025. Market growth is fueled by rising demand for energy storage around the world, electric vehicle production, and demand for industrial power tools and electric forklifts. Technological advancements have allowed batteries to have longer life, higher energy density, and quick charging capabilities, though safety concerns related to headline-making fires and explosions in electronic devices have continued to present a challenge.” Although that report did not project the revenues in dollars, there were two more who did. The first was a report from Statista which said that by 2025, global revenues in the lithium-ion battery market are expected to exceed 70 billion U.S. dollars. Active stocks mentioned in today’s commentary include: Fuse Cobalt Inc., Tesla Inc., Glencore plc, Lithium Americas Corp., Net Element, Inc..
The next report from Market Study Report hits the highest number, saying: “The global lithium-ion power battery market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3% during the forecast period of 2018-2025. It is estimated that by 2025, the global lithium-ion power battery market size will exceed US $ 100 billion. Ease of availability, high energy density, low discharge rate, and long life cycle are some of the key features that make lithium-ion power batteries superior to similar products, and are expected to boost global market revenue.” Their report continued: “Lithium-ion power batteries are mainly used in the field of new energy vehicles, and in the global market, new energy vehicles are in a long-term starting stage, which will drive the demand for the lithium-ion power battery industry to continue to be strong.”
Fuse Cobalt Inc. BREAKING NEWS – Fuse Cobalt Provides A Corporate Update – Fuse Cobalt is pleased to provide its shareholders with a Corporate update on its recently re-acquired Glencore Bucke and Teledyne Cobalt properties in Ontario, Canada. The Company has recently identified the initial requirements for the dewatering and rehabilitating of the underground ramp on the Teledyne property. This ramp is recognized by Company management as a significant asset, and Mr. Robert Setter, Fuse President & CEO further states “Once the ramp is rehabilitated, we will be in a position to completed a bulk sample and further drill the Teledyne high-grade cobalt deposit from underground, using visual cues to guide our work. This, along with our past and future drilling efforts, will be an important factor when we try to determine the overall cobalt resource value on our Ontario Cobalt Properties.”
Recently in the news, on June 16, 2020, the Financial Post published an article entitled “Tesla strikes a deal to buy cobalt from Glencore ahead of future supply squeeze”. In this article, journalists David Stringer and Thomas Biesheuvel discussed several key observations of a recently signed cobalt supply contract between two corporate giants, Tesla Inc., a market leader in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry, and Glencore plc, the world’s largest miner of cobalt, to provide up to 6,000 tons of cobalt annually to Tesla for its EV lithium-ion battery production needs which it will use to manufacture batteries for its planned 650,000 EV’s built at its Berlin (Germany) and Shanghai (China) production facilities.
Inside this news article, journalists Stringer and Biesheuvel go on to state that this cobalt acquisition contract is significant in several ways…
Firstly: Tesla Inc. will buy cobalt from Glencore Plc, the world’s biggest cobalt miner, as the car maker looks to avoid a future supply squeeze on this key battery input metal.
Secondly: While cobalt supply demand is currently in balance, demand is expected to surge in the coming years as Tesla expands in China and Europe and Volkswagen AG to BMW AG roll out fleets of electric vehicles.
Lastly: The contract to secure 6,000 tons of cobalt per year signals that cobalt will remain key to Tesla’s expansion over the next several years.
Mr. Setter continues “Fuse believes in the long-term cobalt commodity demand given that EV’s are expected to number over 140 million vehicles by 2035, and each EV needs approximately 50 lbs of cobalt for its battery. Due to this heightened metal demand, our neighbor in Ontario is restarting North America’s only licensed cobalt refinery in conjunction with a significant $45 million investment by Glencore (Glencore Investment News). Fuse is excited that this refinery, once operational, will provide a nearby facility to refine any, and all, cobalt from the region. This is especially exciting for Fuse since we currently have three contractual arrangements with Glencore on our Ontario properties including an off-take agreement, a back-in rights agreement and a royalty agreement. If all goes as planned, we could be selling all our cobalt produced back to Glencore in the future, which is a huge benefit to Fuse shareholders.”
In other market news of note:
Net Element, Inc. recently announced that it has entered into a binding Letter of Intent to merge with privately-held Mullen Technologies, Inc. (Mullen), a Southern California-based electric vehicle company in a stock-for-stock reverse merger in which Mullen’s stockholders will receive the majority of the outstanding stock in the post-merger Company.
Founded in 2014, Mullen expects to launch the Dragonfly K50, a luxury sports car, in the first half of 2021 through ICI (Independent Commercial Importers). Mullen currently has eight retail locations in California and one in Arizona. Immediately prior to completion of the merger, expected to occur in the third quarter (subject to various conditions to the merger, including Net Element’s and Mullen’s stockholders’ approval, a fairness opinion satisfactory to the boards of Net Element and Mullen and other conditions), Net Element will, subject to Net Element’s stockholders’ approval, divest itself of its payments processing business and portfolio. If the merger receives the requisite approvals, at closing of the merger, the current management team and the board of directors of Net Element will also resign, except for Oleg Firer who will remain on as a board member, and be replaced by a management team led by Mullen’s Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Michery and the board of directors nominated by Mullen.
Lithium Americas Corp. recently announced that it has been advised by Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. that Ganfeng Lithium has received regulatory approval from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) in respect to the transaction announced on February 7, 2020.
The remaining PRC regulatory approvals, including approval from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), are pending. As previously disclosed, Ganfeng Lithium has agreed to subscribe for new shares of Minera Exar S.A. (Minera Exar) for cash consideration of US$16 million, increasing its interest from 50% to 51%, with Lithium Americas owning the remaining 49%. Minera Exar owns 100% of the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project (Caucharí-Olaroz) currently under construction in Jujuy, Argentina. In addition, Lithium Americas will receive US$40 million in cash from the proceeds of non-interest-bearing loans from Ganfeng Lithium. For further information on the Transaction, please see the news release dated February 7, 2020.