UK AIM-listed Rare Earth Minerals
Plc (REM) has acquired a 6.65% interest in the
Cinovec lithium deposit
in the Czech Republic, via a direct purchase of the equivalent
share capital in ASX-listed European Metals Holdings
Ltd, which owns 100% of the project’s
The Cinovec lithium-tin project is a hard
rock deposit based on zinnwaldite, a lithium mica mineral,
located 100km northwest of the Czech capital, Prague, close to
the border with Germany, and is an historic producer of
According to a European Metals ASX
announcement on 25 June, the site has a conceptual inferred
resource of 5.5m tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and
an exploration target of 350-450m tonnes at 0.39-0.47%
Li2O, using a 0.1% Li cut-off, although further
exploration is required to confirm a resource.
European Metals is also in the process of
formalising a joint venture (JV) with fellow ASX-listed lithium
Montana NL, focusing on processing technology designed
to recover lithium from Cinovec.
REM acquired the interest at a cost of
£200,000 ($314,550*) via a placement of new ordinary
shares by European Metals.
"This investment is a strategic
acquisition, which provides REM [with] exposure to a
significant lithium deposit in the European Union," said David
Lenigas, REM’s chairman.
REM also has a 16.41% interest in UK-based
Bacanora Minerals Ltd,
which is developing the Sonora lithium project in Mexico and a
3.05% interest in US-based Western Lithium Corp., which
operates the King’s Valley lithium project in
Nevada, as well as rare earths
interests in Greenland and Australia.
The company reported an operating loss of
£3.17m for the full year 2014, compared with a loss of
£770,000 in 2013 – a drop which REM attributed
to a non-cash charge associated with share-based payments to
directors, staff and consultants during the year.
has filed its latest NI 43-101 report on the La Ventana, El
Sauz and Fleur concessions at the Sonora lithium project in
Mexico, which are 70% owned by Bacanora.
The indicated resource for the concessions
stands at 95m tonnes, grading at 2,200 parts per million (ppm)
lithium, or 1.14m tonnes contained LCE. A further 500m tonnes
at 2,300ppm lithium for 6.3m tonnes LCE is contained in the
inferred portion of the resource.
A further 300-350m tonnes grading at
1,500-2,500ppm lithium for 2.5-4.6m tonnes LCE is contained
within a conceptual target at the project, which may be
included in the resource pending further exploration.
has signed a subscription agreement for a non-brokered private
placement with an affiliate of Thai oil products producer,
Public Co. Ltd, for initial gross proceeds of $5m,
which will be funded in two tranches.
The initial tranche of $1.5m will be
funded pursuant to the issue of around 2.7m subscription
receipts at a price of Canadian dollar (C$) 0.70 ($0.56), that
will each be convertible to one common share in the company on
satisfying the Toronto Stock Exchange’s listing
The second tranche of $3.5m will be funded
pursuant to the issue of 6.24m subscription receipts on the
same terms, plus the completion of trial runs for the
production of high purity lithium carbonate at
Western’s demonstration plant in Germany in the
second half of this year.
Subject to board approval, Bangchak has a
co-investment right to increase its equity ownership position
in Western Lithium to 19.9% during the next development stages
of Western’s King’s Valley
TSX-V-listed Rodinia Lithium
Inc. has entered into agreements to satisfy
outstanding debt obligations totalling $1.685m through the
issuance of just under 133m common shares at a deemed price of
The conversion price represents a 400%
premium to the company’s last closing share price
of $0.01/share and a 267% premium to the 30 day volume weighted
average price of $0.0136/share.
Rodinia’s debt consists of
fees incurred for various services provided in connection to
its Salar de Diablillos property in Salta, Argentina and
general and administrative services. The project has an
inferred in-situ brine resource of 4.96m tonnes LCE, 19.84m
tonnes potash and 6.19m tonnes boric acid, according to a 2011
NI 43-101 report on the site.
Upon completion of the shares for debt
settlement, which is subject to TSX-V approval, one of its
& Manhattan Inc., will hold just under 21m shares
in Rodinia, representing a 12.5% interest in the company.
Australia-based Orocobre Ltd has
raised Australian dollar (A$) 32.3m ($24.8m) through a
placement of 17m shares at a price of A$1.90/share to existing
and new, domestic and international shareholders.
The proceeds of the raising will be used
principally to fund Orocobre’s Olaroz lithium
facility JV company, Sales de Jujuy SA, in Argentina. The
ownership structure of the JV requires Orocobre to contribute
75% of the funding for its operation.
Some of the cash will cover costs
associated with the ramp up of production at Olaroz, which is
progressing more slowly than expected due to equipment
limitations and earlier operational issues.
These issues have now been rectified, but
the delays have impacted Orocobre’s working
capital position. The company expects the purification circuit
at Olaroz to be completed within three-to-four months and that
the facility will achieve its nameplate run rate of 1,450 tpm
In technology news, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) and a spinoff company called 24M have come up
with a new way of making lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which
the developers say could slash the cost of the technology while
improving the performance of the batteries and make them easier
According to MIT, the new manufacturing
process replaces a two decade old method to make what the
researchers call a "semisolid flow battery", where the
electrodes are suspensions of tiny particles pumped in a liquid
through various compartments of the battery.
Having the electrode in suspended particle
form rather than solid slabs reduces the path length for the
charged particles as they move through the battery, making it
possible to use thicker electrodes which simplifies production
and lowers costs, MIT said.
Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera professor of
ceramics at MIT, said that the simpler manufacturing approach
used by the team makes batteries that are flexible and
resistant to damage, compared to conventional Li-ion batteries
with brittle electrodes that can crack under stress.
MIT and 24M are initially focusing on grid
scale installations, used to smooth out power supply and
provide backup for renewable energy sources, but Chiang said
that the technology is also well suited to electric vehicles
Electronics has developed a technology which it claims
can double the capacity of Li-ion batteries using a silicon
carbide-free graphene coating, in a breakthrough that could
bring significant advantages for mobile devices and EVs.
A team of researchers at Samsung "grew" a
protective graphene layer over the silicon particles in the
battery anode, without forming silicon carbide. The ability of
graphene layers to slide past one another accommodates the
volume expansion of silicon during the charge and discharge
cycle of the battery.
Industry observers believe the technology
may be available for commercial applications within two or
Finally, Li-ion battery developer Tanaris Power Holdings
Inc. has formed an advisory board to advise on the
company’s business plan, assist in strategic
acquisitions and help secure new customers.
Nevada-based Tanaris, which earlier this
year changed its name from Recursos Montana SA, designs and
sells Li-ion energy systems mostly to industrial vehicles, such
as airport ground support and material handling equipment.
*Conversions made June