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Auto Manufacturers Secure Their Future In Lithium.

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On: Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 8:12PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Auto Manufacturers Secure Their Future In Lithium.

A very important development in the lithium market has recently taken place and appears to be trending. Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation has agreed to buy about 30 per cent of battery-grade lithium carbonate output from Galaxy Resources' Mt Cattlin mine in Western Australia. Galaxy said in a statement today it was close to finalizing similar agreements with other major groups and high-end users of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China and other parts of Asia. We can only assume these other high end users are other automotive or the sophisticated computer and cell phone makers. And the demand will continue to grow as the automotive world reinvents itself.

The value of the Mitsubishi deal has been kept confidential, naturally. Investments in the electric cars power storage will probably be driven by politics as much as supply and demand in this tightly controlled lithium market space. Will lithium market be under control of just a few, like oil is now under control of OPEC? Or will automakers simply integrate it into their supply chain? The global trends towards CO2 reduction and improved fuel economy are important drivers of future growth in hybrid and electric vehicles. And what will this do to pricing in the future as the demand for this commodity continues to climb. If I were a betting man I would definitely invest in stock in lithium mining companies, but then again I should have bought Ford when it was just a $1.50 a share.



RoadKill | 8:19PM (Mon, Feb 15, 2010)

A lithium-ion battery is certainly attractive to proponents of alternatives to petroleum. But as the laptop incidents have proven the structure of such batteries places both fuel and oxidizer in the same place and once those two things overheat and ignite you now have a problem.

That is why the Tesla spent so much money on the protecting the individual batteries that power the all electric car so that if one battery has problems it will not affect the others...

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