IM Lithium News in Brief 14 – 21 July

By Myles McCormick
Published: Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Nemaska extends warrants; Cobre Montana changes its name; Dajin signs Argentina lease agreement; Tesla makes battery improvements; study reveals lithium has potential to combat arthritis.

Early stage exploration company, TSX-V-listed Dajin Resources Corp. reported that its subsidiary, Dajin Resources SA, has signed an agreement for mining leases in Argentina’s Jujuy province with the Cooperativa de Trabajo Minero Produccion de Boratos Jujenos Ltda.

Dajin will be granted exclusive three-year exploration permits for the cooperative’s Navidad and San Jose properties, which cover a combined 4,400ha (44km2) in the Salinas Grandes salar. After the period has elapsed, Dajin will have the right to a 30-year option on the properties for $700,000, during which time they would pay the cooperative a 3% royalty.

At a shareholders’ meeting last week, ASX-listed Cobre Montana NL passed a resolution to officially change its name to Lithium Australia to reflect the company’s focus on the mineral.

Thirteen other resolutions covering a range of matters including appointments, share issues and placements were also passed.

TSX-V-listed Nemaska Lithium Inc. announced that it has applied to extend the term and increase the exercise price of certain share purchase warrants. This would apply to warrants exercised after their initial expiry date.

The new expiry date is to be set as April 2017, with exercise prices increased by Canadian dollar (C$) 0.02/share ($0.015/share*).

Nemaska is developing the Whabouchi lithium deposit, a development composed of 33 claims over 1,1762ha (17.6km2), located 300km from Chibougamau, Quebec.

In battery news, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, Inc., stated that he expects the company to increase electric vehicle (EV) battery pack capacity by roughly 5% per year.

Tesla’s latest upgrade sees pack energy rise from 95 to 90kWh, providing a range increase of approximately 6%.

In an R&D update, Chemical and Engineering News reported on two new prototype technologies.

Oxfordshire, UK-based Faradion Ltd. has designed a prototype electric-powered bicycle, the first vehicle ever to be powered by a battery using sodium-ion chemistry. While Oxford Energy Ltd., also of Oxfordshire, has developed a lithium-sulphur battery that it is using to power an airport-style people carrier.

Both firms have identified various modifications, chemical and otherwise, which may further improve battery performance and reduce costs in the coming years.

Inside EVs reported on Bio-Solar Inc.’s ongoing development of a cathode technology intended to double the storage capacity, lower the cost and extend the life of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries

The company recently extended its agreement with the University of California, Santa Barbara, for technology development under the supervision of Nobel Laureate, Dr Alan Heeger.

Asian Scientist Magazine published a piece on a study into the creation of a new Li-ion battery made from a porous solid, which aims both to lower overheating risks and improve performance.

The results of the study, published in Chemical Communications, show that the use of a pumpkin-shaped nanoparticle may make Li-ion ion batteries less likely to explode.

Finally, a well-publicised study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research found that lithium could be used to treat osteoarthritis.

The study, carried out at Queen Mary University in London in collaboration with scientists at the University of Otago, New Zealand, tested the effects of lithium chloride on animal cartilage and found that it slowed the degradation process associated with degenerative disease.

Bovine cartilage samples were exposed to inflammatory molecules to mimic the effects of arthritis and subsequently treated the tissue with the lithium compound, which is already widely used in the treatment of bi-polar disorder.

Professor Martin Knight, co-author of the study, said: "The possibility that an already widely available pharmaceutical could slow the progress of osteoarthritis is a significant step forward."

*Conversion made July 2015

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