Monday, July 05, 2010

Japan trading house buys into US lithium producer TNR.v, CZX.v, RM.v, LI.v, WLC.v, LMR.v, CLQ.v, LIT.v, TSLA, AONE, HEV, GM, F, NSANY, BYDDY, BMW, RTP

Asian lithium rush continues. One more Junior in Lithium is gone from the market for potential deals. We were not following geothermal as source of lithium so close as it is more risky than well defined extraction from brines and hard rock lithium deposits. Chemistry should be right and the process is much more complicated, but this move by Itochu shows that Japanese conglomerates are ready to go the distance in order to secure Lithium supply from different sources. After Korean Kores deal with lithium One we have on our radar screens two juniors involved in Lithium Brines in Argentina and Nevada are left for J/V deals: International Lithium and Rodinia Minerals. Japanese are using recent soft markets to grab all available lithium projects on the development stage and with this rate of deal announcement all reliable Canadian juniors in Lithium could be engaged by the end of this summer.

"Race for Strategic Materials is on and U.S. is not in the front seats now: China controls 97% of REE market and lithium mostly produced in Chile, Argentina and Australia at the moment. Bolivia - named the Saudi Arabia of lithium by some, has its own mind about its vast undeveloped resources of lithium. Japanese companies are buying into Canadian and Australian junior mining companies to secure lithium supply and Chinese are very active in Australia. When U.S. will look at domestic lithium development in Nevada? Government sponsored enterprise in U.S. Strategic Metals Development Corp. like a Japanese JOGMEC can do the trick and finance juniors like International Lithium, Western Lithium and Rodinia Minerals on J/V basis: otherwise it will be 80s with Japanese Fever all over again. This time Japanese conglomerates will control not only movie studious, but something little bit more essential in the time of peak oil - lithium supply for the Electric Mobility Revolution. Recent deal in Nevada by JOGMEC with Lomico Metals is the first step in that direction, properties are still under DD review, but appetite to be engage in lithium exploration and development in Nevada by Japanese is there. Who will be gone next? When GM, Ford, GE, Dow, Rio Tinto, Boeing and DOE will wake up?"

"Google AFP:

Japan trading house buys into US lithium producer
(AFP) – 4 hours ago

TOKYO — Japanese trading house Itochu Corp said Monday it will buy a 20 percent stake in US lithium extraction startup Simbol Mining, winning exclusive rights to sell the precious metal in Asia.

The deal comes amid runaway demand from emerging markets for lightweight but costly lithium, a key energy storage medium used in rechargeable batteries powering portable consumer goods and electric vehicles.

Simbol Mining extracts lithium chemicals from geothermal brines in Southern California, a cheaper and cleaner alternative to the typical processing of the mineral, Itochu said in a statement.

While some lithium is mined, most is pumped up from brines in salt deserts in a lengthy and energy intensive process that sucks large amounts of local drinking water and damages the landscape.

Geothermal pumps do not endanger drinking water because brine comes from beneath the level of groundwater.

Most of the output comes from Argentina, Australia and Chile, which together accounted for 82 percent of total lithium production in 2008, according to Roskill Information Services, a metals and minerals research group.

Simbol Mining, founded in 2007, aims to produce 16,000 tonnes of lithium carbonates a year and increase production capacity in coming years.

Itochu also said it will be the sole distributor of Simbol Mining?s lithium products in Japan, China and South Korea."
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