Sure lots of talk and chatter about the “Green New Deals” lately. I guess it’s those who within society want to do away with fossil fuels and power everything green. In the last few months you can tell by the stock prices of companies like Tesla that have gone through the roof that a lot of people are jumping onto the alternative energy bandwagon. Of course all these new alternatives still require one thing and that thing is raw materials or better known as minerals of some kind and last time I checked, minerals still needed to be mined.
Once you start to look into the subject at any depth you’ll find that there is a quite a few different minerals that are required for a green world. You got lithium that goes into these lithium batteries, but there is a whle lot of nickel and cobalt also that is needed for these electric car batteries. I did an article a few years back on lithium and you can read it here. Lithium is still quite costly to mine especially when mining lithium brines while lithium in hard rock is quite a bit less. Lithium hard-rock producers have lower costs but the price they receive for their end product, usually spodumene concentrate, is significantly lower than that received for lithium carbonate, chloride and hydroxide, which are produced at brine operations. In 2019, lithium concentrates are expected to achieve an average price of US$4,619/t, 57% lower than the price expected for lithium carbonate.
The lithium mining has some big players such as Lithium Americas TSX-LAC, Orocobre Limited TSX: ORL and Albemarle Corporation NYSE: ALB. There are quite a few small lithium explorers like American Lithium TSXV:-LI, Plateau Energy Metals TSXV: PLU and E3 Metals Corp. TSXV: ETMC who are in places like Nevada, Peru, Argentina and any other place where lithium could be found.
As you can see lithium prices have slumped a lot in the last year also as more mines come on stream. This also by the fact that some of the newer battery technologies are starting to see the use of cheaper elements like good old nickel along with cobalt and vanadium. This has led to a nice increase in nickel prices which of course is good for nickel and cobalt miners. Companies like Sherrit TSX-S should benefit from these price increases down the road. Other companies include Canada Nickel Company TSXV:CNC, FPX Nickel TSXV:FPX and Talon Metals TSX:TLO.
Of course there is the solar industry that is uses lots of silver and graphene for solar panels. Graphene itself is a whole new industry that is derived from the mining of graphite. Silver miners are quite common and there are a few graphite explorers also such as Berkwood Resources TSXV:BKR, Canada Carbon TSXV:CCB, Canada Strategic Metals TSXV:CJC, Eagle Graphite TSXV:EGA, Focus Graphite TSXV:FMS, Lomiko Metals TSXV:LMR, Northern Graphite TSXV:NGC, and ZEN Graphene Solutions TSXV:ZEN.
Any new trend that incorporates metals will play an important roll in junior mining companies and at the same time give investors a chance to cash in on these new trends. I think the electric cars, cordless equipment, and technology is only going to get bigger and this all gives the average guy and opportunity to invest. Whether your playing the market or out in the field prospecting, learning what to look for will give you that slight advantage.
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