Author Topic: lithium  (Read 369 times)

Offline space otter

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« on: April 30, 2017, 11:23:49 AM »

i have been seeing this pitch for a bit and decided to read at it and then went looking for what the hell he was talking about white oil

soooooooooo here's the link to the pitch..  fyi's a finance thing

and here's the link to what it is..more or less
i pulled out  some  of's long

What "LCE" and "White Oil" Stocks are teased by Venture Cap Strategist?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, October 19, 2016

Louis Basenese has a new ad promoting his VentureCap Strategist newsletter ($2,000 a year), and it gets our attention with lots of hot air about “White Oil” … which, he says, is explosive in both chemical terms and investment potential.

He even goes so far as to say that his camerman drove the six hour round trip to Clayton County, Nevada from Las Vegas in a Chevy coupe that was “running 100% on White Oil” and used “just two tablespoons.”

So what the heck is he talking about? Some kind of saltwater fuel that you pump out of the ground and burn in your car? That’s what it sounds like, right? Especially when he has prominent notes like this in his ad:

“It’s a liquid fuel. You pump it out of the ground. You refine it. You put it in your car. You drive. Then you fuel up again… 8 years later.”


But, of course, it’s not a fuel at all (even though yes, the source brine can be flammable or even explosive). What Basenese is talking about (though he doesn’t once mention the word in his ad) is lithium. Lithium prices are often quoted as “lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE)”, and he does slip up and use that “LCE” term a few times…


If you’ve not been paying attention to the whole electric vehicle trend, lithium is the lightest metal on the periodic table and is one of the key ingredients in lithium-ion batteries.


That makes resource investors and speculators smell money, and lithium prices have already risen pretty dramatically over the past couple of years as customers sense that future supply pressure… so, naturally, the newsletter guys are beating the bushes to find exciting lithium stories to tell and lithium stocks to recommend.


This is what lithium production looks like from the sky — most lithium is not mined (though some is, particularly in Australia, where there is substantial mined production from spodumene — but that’s generally a more expensive production method), the best concentrations of lithium are in underground salt brine “lakes” and most lithium is produced by pumping that saltwater out of the ground, evaporating the water in huge pools (one reason why production is all in sunny, arid locations), and processing the lithum carbonate out of the resulting “ore.”

These underground salt lakes (salars) and evaporation pools also generally have high concentrations of other minerals, often including magnesium and iodine and potassium… usually, in fact, more potassium than lithium, so agricultural demand for fertilizers also has a substantial impact on the economics of most lithium producers (economic plans for lithium projects often use an assumption about potassium prices as a net credit to offset the production cost for lithium, much the same way a gold mine in its investor materials might use the “credit” of the silver they also produce to offset the per-ounce cash cost of the gold production). SQM in Chile has for many years been the global giant of lithium, but they’re also a major fertilizer company… none of the big three lithium producers, SQM, Albemarle and FMC, have historically gotten anything close to a majority of their revenue from lithium (that “big three,” to be clear, is no longer quite as dominant as they were when lithium demand was sleepier a decade ago, thanks to some new producers and a bigger push from Chinese companies into the business, but they still control a huge amount of global lithium production).

If you want to see some other images or get an idea of the massive scale of the lithium production projects or of the Gigafactory itself, check out this post on a Google Earth blog for some pictures.


Albemarle (ALB), the only US producer of lithium and owner of the Silver Peak mine. Albemarle has made some substantial efforts to increase lithium production in Chile and to boost their refining capacity since taking over Rockwood’s lithium projects after the merger a few years ago…

Pure Energy Minerals (PE.V, PEMIF) has a position to the south of Silver Peak, and Lithium X (LIX.V, LIXXF) has acreage both south and north of the operating Silver Peak project, you can get a better idea of the acreage from this map that I borrowed from the Lithium X website:

None of the lithium stocks are really cheap right now, but they will all likely have growing lithium production to help meet demand. Scaling up takes some time,


Lithium isn’t a source of energy or potential energy, though it can be used to store energy as part of a battery, and the energy density of lithium relative to its weight is a prime reason it’s used in batteries. “Black oil” is a store of energy itself — you extract it from the earth, and all you have to do is burn it to get the potential energy out of the oil. “White oil” is part of a storage battery — it doesn’t come with energy, you have to add that, so you add it by putting electricity into the battery… and a certain amount of that electricity, depending on the efficiency of the battery, can then be extracted to run the electric motors that make your Tesla move. Then it’s out of energy, and you recharge it again by plugging it in to add more energy… depending on where you are and where your electricity comes from, that electricity could be created in the first place by burning natural gas, or burning coal, or from nuclear reactors or solar panels or windmills or other sources. I don’t know where Basenese gets his image of using “a couple tablespoons” of lithium to drive a few hundred miles.

Even if you just count the current mineable reserves we know about and could produce economically at prices well below today’s price, there are decades of reserves — as a rep from Tesla was quoted in a greentech media article last year, “There are more than enough reserves of lithium world-wide to serve the growth of the battery markets, including Tesla’s projected needs. Even if we wanted to build 10 or 20 Gigafactories, we would not have to search beyond the known reserves that can be economically mined.” USA, LLC
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