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Lithium Miners and explorers / Renewable friendly

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Lithium Miners or explorers for Lithium

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Symbol Company name : shares OS Price : MarketCap

==== : ============ : ======= ===== ========

v.AVL : Avalon Ventures : 39.6 mn x $ 1.10 = $ 43.5mn

v.GMI : GlobeStar Mng.. : 44.4 mn x $ 0.70 = $ 31.1mn

 

Big Rise ... update : AVL-5yr : AVL-6mo : GMI-5yr : GMI-6mo

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WHERE

Hardrock mining of pegmatites has been the traditional source for lithium products, in particular from open-pit mines in North Carolina in the US, Bikita in Zimbabwe, Manitoba, Canada, and in Western Australia. However, the North Carolina spodumene mines are being abandoned in favour of the salars of South America. Cyprus Foote Minerals, for example, closed its spodumene mine in 1986 to concentrate its efforts on brines of the Salar de Atacama in Chile together with its existing brine operation at Silver Peak, Nevada. FMCCorp.'s Lithium Division is ...

 

ABOUT LITHIUM

Lithium, at about half the density of water, is the lightest of all solid elements and is the first element in the alkali metal column in the periodic table (Group I). It is silvery white, soft and reacts immediately with air to form the oxide and with water to form the hydroxide with the evolution of hydrogen. Lithium is a rare element because of its highly dispersed occurrence in the earth’s crust. Economic concentrations occur in salts from surface and subsurface brines and in the minerals petalite, spodumene, amblygonite-montebrasite and lepidolite in giant pegmatite deposits.

 

PROPERTIES AND APPLICATIONS OF LITHIUM

Lithium finds use as metal, compound and directly as mineral. The element’s lightness, small ionic radius, low ionization energy (high electropositivity), low melting point and other properties are exploited in a variety of applications. Lithium minerals impart zero thermal expansion, toughness and smooth finish to ceramics and glass. The fluxing action, particularly of petalite, results in lower vitrification and melting temperatures.

 

Lithium batteries: Lithium’s strongly ionic character is exploited in regular and rechargeable, long-life batteries used in watches, computers, cell phones and scientific and military equipment.

Metallurgical: Lithium carbonate is an electrolyte ingredient used in high efficiency aluminum production. Lithium metal added to aluminum creates a light strong alloy.

Fusion Energy: The Li-6 isotope is the premium fuel (source of tritium) for fusion reactors, the first of which was the hydrogen bomb. Liquid lithium’s low neutron cross section high specific heat and low melting point make it the best heat transfer medium (coolant) for a fusion reactor.

 

Lithium Chemicals: The element’s high electropositivity is an index of the number and variety of possible compounds that can be made. It is used in neoprene rubber manufacture, air conditioning systems, lubricants, sanitation, pharmaceuticals for mood disorders, etc.

Ceramics: petalite is used to produce zero-thermal-expansion (thermal shock resistant) clay cookware and glazes for rapid, single-fire ceramics. It also improves durability of refractories subjected to rapid heating and cooling cycles.

 

Glass-ceramics: petalite and/or spodumene are essential ingredients in thermal shock resistant ‘ceramic’ stovetops and Corningware®-type cookware. A new ‘glass’ armour for military use makes use of the toughness and lightness of this material.

Glass: petalite and spodumene improve melt characteristics, save on energy and furnace refractories, increase effective plant capacity (lower temperatures > quicker melting and cooling), reduce air pollution and produce stronger glass products.

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TAKE A BATH IN LITHIUM ??

 

Did you know that you can go soak in Lithium-laced hot springs throughout northern California and Nevada? One of the best is near the Silver Peak lithium mining operation SW of Tonopah Nevada. Suggest a nice dip and then wheel on into town for one of the most laid back meals you'll ever have from the fyne fokes of Silver Peak

 

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Available: Lithium

Product: Lithium Deposit, Manitoba, Canada

Specifications: 4.8 million tons 1.27% Li2O

Price: Available for option/JV

 

Contact person: Peter C. Dunlop

Contact phone: 1-204-623-5666

More info: Lithium Deposit located Manitoba, Canada

Steeply Dipping Pegmatite Dike, drill indicated reserves (INCO) 4.8 million tons 1.27% Li2O over a true width of 36.2 feet. Additional probable 4.6 million tons 1.14% Li2O. Needs testing for Rare Earths.

 

 

@: http://metalsplace.com/metalsboard/?s=104

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I hear that the new Prius has a Lithium battery and it gives 113mpg. Fantastic!!

 

Hope the speculators never get into this otherwise we'll need a LPC (Lithium Price Crash).

 

LOL

 

Regards,

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Just added the charts to the header-

Looks like a big rise has already happened to AVL, at least

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EXCERPT //

Reflections on Investing in the Future of Lithium

By Jack Lifton ... 01 Sep 2006

 

. .

Lithium is the lightest metal possible. ...

Lithium was first discovered (identified) in Sweden in 1813 in a mineral also containing sodium and potassium, the sister metals of lithium in the periodic table. This was shortly after the paradigm of the world being made up from a fixed number of chemical elements that could be ordered by atomic weight was formulated.

 

PROCESSING COST CAN BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN MINING COST

.. You need to be aware that metal ores are made into pure metals by first concentrating the ores, then putting the ore into solution and separating the metals out by chemical processes, then putting the separated metal salts into purification processes and then back into metallic form, and then, if required, purifying the metals themselves additionally to whatever degree of purity is required, by both chemical and physical processes, and then making new compound of the metals, if required, by using the purified metals and highly purified reactive chemicals (such as acids) to often produce the exact same form in which the ore was found, except that you have produced a pure form.

 

The total of the cost of these processes is the cost of obtaining the metal. The earlier in the process you stop the purification the cheaper (and more contaminated) the end product.

 

In 1998 in the U.S. there were two companies mining lithium in the United States, the defunct ,Cyprus-Foote, and FMC [NYSE:FMC] Their sources were in North Carolina and Nevada. The United States was then and is now the world’s largest user of lithium based materials in the form of its chemical compounds and metallic alloys. But lithium mining is expensive and time consuming and American mining companies by 1998 were at the wrong place in their periodic cycle of boom and bust to be concerned with anything other than how to produce the short term gains that the greed-ocrats of Wall Street required in order to even consider recommending that their clients buy shares in American mining companies.

 

Metallgesellschaft, AG, (MG), an old line German company best known recently for an oil trading scheme concocted by its American trading unit that badly misfired, in the case of lithium in 1998, wisely, saw and took advantage of an opportunity that was right up its technical alley (Wall Street jargon for this is “within its core competency).

 

The company bought some of the operations of Cyprus-Foote that were being placed on the market by Phelps Dodge [NYSE:PD] as it was consolidating a position that required PD to sell some assets it had acquired or be faced with a possible monopoly charge. MG’s chemical and metallurgical unit, Chemetall (CHM.L) created Chemetall-Foote to own and operate lithium operations including recovery from a brine well facility in Nevada.

 

Food machinery Corporation, FMC, decided in that same year, for purely economic reasons of costs, to shut down the mineral mines and brine well lithium sources it had originally purchased in the late 1960s from the original operator, Lithium Corporation of America and to continue in operation solely using concentrates imported mainly from Chile, Argentina, and China to manufacture lithium salts for medicine, chemical synthesis, aluminum production, and batteries.

 

The USGS will not name the sole remaining producer of lithium in the U.S. in 2006. This is because the USGS has a policy of not giving out proprietary information in its global surveys that could put American companies at a competitive disadvantage. Nonetheless I believe that this sole remaining domestic producer is Chemetall-Foote.

 

The price of lithium has gone up since 1998, but not so much in inflation adjusted dollars so as to give impetus to the reopening of the closed brine well and mineral sources owned in the U.S. by either FMC or Chemetall-Foote.

 

Although the U.S. will continue to process the most lithium of any nation, unless there are dramatic new uses or increases in traditional U.S. use of lithium, then it will just be a small producer of lithium materials from domestic ore or brine wells

 

This week’s announcement of the creation of the world’s largest aluminum producer based on the merger of two Russian based companies with Glencore, will create a single large buyer of lithium for aluminum processing. It won’t surprise me if this new buyer seeks to control its own supply of lithium and thus puts some impetus on lithium mining in central Asia. Being smart and thinking very long term is a specialty of Glencore.

 

Now, finally, back to batteries and lithium.

 

Traditionally battery development has been left to battery manufacturers and academic researchers. The makers of portable entertainment electronics, computers, and, in particular, of vehicles have traditionally used battery manufacturer’s catalogs as their sources of the specifications for capacity, size and weight, longevity (in the case of rechargeable batteries), performance, and reliability.

 

What the end users have overlooked, because it wasn’t important to them, is the fact that properties don’t always scale up. That is that a big battery doesn’t always act as if it were just a larger version of a small battery.

 

No one at Duracell [NYSE:PG] or Eveready [NYSE:ENR], for example, seems to have given much consideration to what might happen if a vastly scaled up version of a rechargeable lithium-ion technology battery, weighing half a ton, were hit by a hot (This means not temperature but momentum. A hot round is one with its killing impact still at the maximum) fifty caliber machine gun slug. They also failed to study the safety impact of temperature extremes on the recharging cycle.

 

The military quietly withdrew these batteries from use in missile silos where they were used for back up power in the later 1990s (In fairness much our silo based deterrent was being downsized due to our victory in the cold war). A contract to recycle the lithium (and any other strategic metals) was awarded to a company called Toxco. It was a four year contract to recycle a million kgs of military storage batteries. Two years into the contract only 25% of the batteries had been recycled according to a USGS mineral report on Lithium published for 1998. I have not been able to find any additional information on the contract, so I conclude that an economically viable way to do the recycling has not yet been developed. This is a very serious issue.

 

Sony [NYSE:SNE], the originator of the contemporary portable electronics “walkman” culture, began making long life and rechargeable batteries early on as a textbook example of vertical integration. Sony did not want to depend on traditional battery manufacturers for either cell technology or manufacturing technology. Instead Sony created an in-house research and development group just as they had done before with great success (and some failures. Remember Beta?). Until last week Sony’s lithium-ion technology was the world standard both in primary (single use) and secondary (rechargeable) batteries. The batteries were expensive but, it was understood, they were reliable, safe, and (everyone thought, perhaps, wrongly) good for the environment, because they did not need replacing as often as older technologies and could be easily recycled.

 

There really weren’t very many fires, before Sony decided to recall nearly 5 million laptop batteries, but insurance standards gave Sony no choice. The speed with which the story has evaporated before anyone could ask about why it happened, why it won’t happen again, and what will be done with the returned batteries is a testament to the deflection skills of the public relations departments of the affected companies. It is also a testament to the obtuseness of the press that tells us it is so concerned with our welfare and that of the environment.

 

The laptop battery recall has discretely awakened the OEM automotive industry from its slumber with regard to lithium-ion technology.

 

Questions are being asked, but only a few answers are giving the OEM automotive industry any confidence in the future of hybrid and battery powered vehicles that utilize lithium-ion technology. We would all like to know:

 

What caused the fires? The answer given is defective manufacturing technology allowed free, very finely divided, reactive metallic lithium to form and circulate within the electrolyte creating the condition for a fire if any easily reduced material came into contact with the lithium metal.

 

The solution to the problem we are told publicly is better quality control. The truth is that it is the core technology that is questionable. It may well have been mass produced without the kind of long term safety and reliability studies that were necessary. We are being told that other lithium based technologies are available based on safer and cheaper materials of construction. This seems late in the production cycle to say that there were unresolved problems of this magnitude that were overlooked.

 

If lithium-ion technology is the technical answer to the question “What is the best available technology for electrical storage and generation for vehicle propulsion?” then what is the answer to the following economic and political inquiries:

 

Is there enough lithium produced and available, after other traditional uses and the growth pattern fro these are taken into account, to manufacture the batteries for OEM automotive use that our most optimistic models project?

If not, are there reserves of lithium that can be developed in a time frame in which we can live?

In either case will the price of lithium remain at a level that will make lithium ion batteries economically feasible?

Is there a recycling technology now?

If so, what cost does this technology add to the project?

Is there a country risk (i.e., the risk that an unfriendly nation that has recoverable reserves of lithium will withhold them from the USA purposely)?

The above questions are being asked by manufacturers and end users of all kinds of batteries.

 

My personal opinion is that, in the short term (perhaps, the next two years) until the questions are answered the actual possession and operation of lithium producing properties and/or lithium processing properties can only add value to companies so situated. After that time period it’s anyone’s guess.

 

...MORE: http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=23349

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