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Nevada - LithiumIon Battery Manufacturing - Market Analysis


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Nevada - LithiumIon Battery Manufacturing - Market Analysis

  1. 1. Chase Houston Confidential November 2013 Nevada Lithium Ion Mining and Manufacturing Market Analysis The U.S. currently imports more than 80% of the lithium it uses. Nevada Battery Manufacturing Competitors 1. Altair Nano - Reno-based Altairnano is designing, in cooperation with auto manufacturers and the Defense Department, high-capacity lithium-based batteries that could power cars. Altairnano’s lithium-ion batteries power several electric-hybrid buses in Southern California, a partnership between the company and Colorado-based Proterra. Five to 10 minutes of charging lets the buses run for more than two hours. 2. K2 Energy – Built and opened a Battery manufacturing plant April 2013 in Henderson, NV. K2 contracts with a manufacturer in China that makes battery cells that are assembled into various configurations at the Henderson plant for use in such products as portable medical carts, power packs for electronic equipment used by outdoors enthusiasts, and booms of utility trucks. Both Altair and K2 Energy manufacture lithium battery cells in China, an industry practice tied to lower labor costs in that nation. K2 does some assembly of its Chinese-made cells into battery packs and modules at its Henderson plant. K2 has a $24 million plant in China and recently completed building a $60 million plant on April 2013 in Henderson, NV to make and assemble batteries. Nevada Opportunity Nevada has a great pool of idled electrical technicians looking for work. The gaming industry uses all sorts of circuits and circuit boards and electronics. And that’s a key to building the battery packs. Our electrical engineering team is basically people laid off from the gaming industry the last three years," Stoker said. Nevada Lithium Mines According to a United States Geological Survey publication on lithium, “The only commercially active lithium mine in the United States is a brine operation in Nevada. The lithium reserves at Silver Peak, Nevada, the largest domestic producer of lithium total 118,000 tons in a 20-square-mile area. Lithium Mine Locations: As the only U.S. lithium producer, Rockwood Holdings operates a continental brine production facility in the Silver Peak, Nevada area; with American Lithium Minerals (OTC: AMLM) and Rodinia Minerals (CVE: RM) currently active among other mining companies in brine exploration in this region of southwestern Nevada. ● Clayton Valley, NV – Owned by Rodinia Lithium o Rodinia controls >70,000 acres in the ONLY known lithium bearing brine deposit in US o 5 Lithium-rich aquifers Located between Reno and Las Vegas o Grades ranging from 180 to 420 ppm lithium o Leading magnesium levels at approximately 1:1 Mg:Li o Power line and main road infrastructure already in place o Update --> Rodinia has decided against renewing the 1,012 claims that make up its Clayton Valley project. Rodinia will conserve cash instead, and focus on its wholly owned Salar de Diablillos lithium project in Argentina.
  2. 2. Chase Houston Confidential November 2013 ● Pure Energy Minerals recently received a drilling permit and the rights to acquire approximately 7000 acres in the Montezuma Valley adjacent to Clayton Valley, NV. ● Western Lithium plans to mine hectorite clays in open pit mines in Northern Nevada. The Western Lithium project is slated to begin production of 26,000 tons per year of lithium carbonate in 2015. This represents 20% of current global demand. Offsetting mining costs – CO2 Sequestration ● University of Wyoming recently came up with an idea to offset costs associated with lithium ion mining. UW researchers suggest that the lithium mining could be part of a carbon dioxide sequestration operation, since the lithium-bearing brine must be pumped to the surface from the underground rock formation to extract the lithium, creating space to store the CO2 in its place. In CO2 Sequestration, the CO2 is removed after combustion of a fossil fuel such as coal. Nevada has 8 coal burning power plants. Carbon dioxide is captured from flue gases at power stations or other large point sources. After capture, the CO2 would have to be transported to suitable storage sites. This is done by pipeline, which is generally the cheapest form of transport. ● University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute director Ron Surdam highlighted the economic advantages to the combined lithium-CO2 storage operation, commenting, "You get paid to put the carbon in the subsurface and that'll pay for the wells to remove the lithium." Carbon Management Institute senior hydrogeologist Scott Quillinan said, “Due to their high salinity, brines from the CO2 storage reservoirs would have to be pumped to the surface and treated - often an expensive process. Recovering and marketing lithium from the brines would produce significant revenue to offset the cost of brine production, treatment and CO2 storage operations.”