SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - Mar 27, 2014) - Lithium Exploration Group Inc. (OTCQB: LEXG) CEO Alex Walsh discusses the recent activity and commentary around the lithium industry:
There have been a number of articles written in recent weeks about the lithium industry and I have personally received a huge influx of calls from shareholders and interested parties trying to get a handle on what is going on out there. I want to take a moment to answer some questions and comment on what is being reported in the media.
- Tesla - Tesla's gigafactory concept is brilliant. It vertically integrates their operations, allowing for the Tesla brand to expand while controlling unnecessary third party costs and expenses in the supply chain.
- Supply and Demand Discussion
- Historically, lithium prices more than tripled over the 10-year period from 2000 to 2010. That demand was driven by iPods, cell phones, tablets, and laptops. There is roughly a two-year production cycle in the solar evaporation process to produce lithium from brine (which makes up a majority of the global supply of lithium) so, as demand increased, supply could not meet those needs, spawning huge spot price fluctuations.
- Prices have stabilized in recent years near $6,000/ton but there have been reports of oversupply recently holding prices steady even though electric vehicles have continued to grow in popularity. I expect that this will change rapidly -- perhaps more rapidly than people can quantify -- because the amount of lithium needed in a car battery is one hundred times the amount required for a laptop computer or a tablet. Supply needs must be initiated now to meet the 2017 goal of Tesla, and I believe that Tesla will begin to acquire as much lithium supply as it can get its hands on in North America to further the vertical integration of the electric vehicle production and insulate it from price volatility.
- When will that happen?
- Only Elon Musk and his advisory team know for sure when this will happen, but it is not going to be an overnight decision. As they have with their expansion into the market, they will certainly look at all options, but I am confident that they will buy the lithium they need to run this gigafactory. SQM (Chile) is the largest producer of lithium in the world (and owned by Potash Corp of Saskatchewan). Tesla could easily acquire SQM and ensure their supply for decades to come.
- What does this mean for the rest of the global market?
- Strap on your seatbelts because there will be a frenzy of activity all over the globe trying to replace the 10,000 - 15,000 tons of lithium carbonate that Tesla will be consuming.
- What does this mean for Lithium Exploration Group?
- I think that, at the end of the day, we have a separation technique designed to target lithium chloride and produce lithium carbonate, a 43-101 and hydrogeological study complete on the region and aquifer we are trying to target, and a technology that we hope will speed up the brine evaporation process from months to minutes.
- I don't know if Tesla will look to buy our knowledge, technology rights, our team, or our production but I do know that what they are doing to drive demand and visibility to the lithium exploration market will be good for us either way.
I was going to address some of these things in my April Letter to Shareholders but felt that some of these things should be shared more immediately in response to enquiries.
Lithium Exploration Group, Inc.
About Lithium Exploration Group
Lithium Exploration Group is a US-based exploration and development company focused on the acquisition and development potential of lithium brines and other precious metals that demonstrate high probability for near-term production. Currently the company is focused on its Western Canada lithium assets, testing its Ultrasonic Generator Technology and the acquisition of oil and gas related assets in Western Canada. Lithium Exploration Group is a fully reporting company traded on the OTCQB under the symbol LEXG. Website: www.lithiumexplorationgroup.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This news release contains "forward-looking statements." Statements in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future testing of the ultrasonic technology.
Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with mineral exploration and difficulties associated with obtaining financing on acceptable terms. We are not in control of lithium prices and these could vary to make development uneconomic. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
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