E25: Dire Straits #Lithium Fuelling Gerrit. Solid Rock
In the latest episode of Lithium-ion Rocks!, Howard Klein and Rodney Hooper take a look at the latest Lithium market happenings. S2 E25.
Gerrit Fuelling, an ex Rockwood/Albemarle chemical engineer who held senior executive roles in sales and operations, joins Lithium-ion Rocks co-hosts Rodney Hooper and Howard Klein for a second time this year for a candid discussion and highly differentiated perspective, in particular re: brine producers and developers in Chile and Argentina.
Also included are key highlights and voices from existing ALB management from their December 12 Investor Day in New York.
- hydroxide and carbonate spec sheets are tightening from end users, in particular Auto OEMs - will old producers/old plants (eg. SQM) meet the new standards? Or are new producers/plants better placed?
- Orocobre and Galaxy have decided to produce a lower quality/intermediate product in Argentina to be processed in lower altitude locations closer to cathode production -- is there an issue with these particular brines/projects (Hombre Meurto/Olaroz) to produce battery quality in Argentina? In general, can "conventional" evaporation (ie, the "Atacama process") work in Argentina or do you need different technology (eg. ion-exchange) that Livent uses to successfully produce battery quality?
- Do you believe Greenfield development projects in Argentina can achieve SQM/ALB-like operating costs (ie, below $3,500/t)? How applicable is Ganfeng's prior experience processing purified SQM brine to the development of Cauchari with Lithium Americas?
- Rodney wrote recently that breakeven pricing for Chinese non integrated converters using conservative numbers at about $8,400, so at $7K China carbonate spot, these marginal cost producers are well underwater, how much longer can they last? How are Chinese converters surviving?
- Can a chemical conversion plant be built in Europe? Is the EU serious enough about battery supply to support mining?
Listen carefully to Gerrit's detailed answers to all of the above PLUS Peter Parker Eric Norris's input on the brine vs. Hard Rock debate for an increasingly hydroxide future, ALB's path from 2020 trough to a $800-1B free cash flow machine and a bonus "bad answer" from Luke Kissam in response to Howard's question re: Mineral Resources JV
Not Investment Advice. Do Your Own Research. Read Disclaimer: libull.com