EXCLUSIVE - BOXSET - $ALBemerica #Lithium Independence Day
In the latest episode of Lithium-ion Rocks!, Howard Klein and Rodney Hooper take a look at the latest Lithium market happenings. Special episode!
KISSam Luke Parts 1, 2 & 3 PLUS Chile Manager Ellen Lenny-Pessagno
Index by Minute:
0-3 4 years since Rockwood acquisition, what has change in capital markets to so de-rate Albemarle’s multiple?
3-7 Momentum “block trade” increasing volatility & creating a “Freebird” Lithium valuation.
7-10:45 Albemarle overview of its mix of business and current key valuation metrics.
11 - 19 When hydroxide demand greater than carbonate? Hydroxide to maintain its price premium to carbonate? Sustainability in Atacama, other outstanding considerations with Chile regulators.
19 – 21 Antofalla, Argentina asset vs. possibly buy. LIvent, Orocobre. High quality brownfield Kings Mountain North Carolina
21-24 Clay or geotherma projects? Nemaska. Execution by juniors, by majors
24-26 Weather. Compare Western Australia (Wodgina) and Quebec
26-31 Tianqi SQM, possibility of takeover by Tianqi/China support?
31-34:30 ALB’s lithium assets trading at “replacement value”. Why?
34:30-37 ALB vulnerable for a takeover? Insider Buying?
37 What price expectation did ALB use to ensure IRR of two times their cost of capital for $2B Wodgina investment?
37-42 Spider Web – what two most important factors for M&A transaction? Rockwood - Reflections four years on acquisition logic – World Class Greenbushes, Atacama. Pivot to hydroxide from Oz rock vs. Atacama carbonate. Perspectives on Ganfeng, partnering strategies with juniors or Chinese converters. Response to Ganfeng’s strategy to take over ALB as #1 producer. Big vs. profitability. Thoughts on Quebec, North Carolina, Europe as lithium geographies.
43:30-45 Kings Mountain – “No questionthat is a World Class, World Scale Asset” Can build “Hydroxide, Carbonate or another lithium derivative around it.” North Carolina, USA.
45:15-51 Timing of ALB bond? China approval for Wodgina? Reliability of ALB’s long-term contracts and price floors ALB’s customer mix
51 – 53:30 From 2021 will you seek to re-enter new carbonate contracts expire?
54-60:05 Strong potential of its past producing, plain vanilla hard rock lithium mine in King's Mountain North Carolina. Update on cost position and plans at Wodgina JV with Mineral Resources and potential to buy further China conversion assets. Luke also weighs into the increasingly topical discussion about USA Security of Supply - will US follow China and EU with some level local and federal support infrastructure, coordination and incentives support to bring entire supply chain? Can ALB be strategic American supplier to GM, Ford, VW USA?
60:05-89:30 Albemarle's Chile Country manager and ex-USA diplomat Ellen Lenny Pessagno also joins Howard Klein and Rodney Hooper in Santiago at the 11th annual FastMarkets Lithium Supply & Markets Conference with an update after her first nine months since joining ALB. Ellen outlines her and ALB's commitment to Sustainability while doubling the company's lithium production in Atacama and La Negra through the installation of new equipment to increase yield by 30%. And the company’s unique relationship and commitment to and employment of local indigenous populations as well as its strong relationship with CORFO and other government regulators. Ellen also shares her view on current political situation and risk/reward in Argentina.
89:30 Howard concluding comments including response to vocal ALB haters spewing “De-Worseification” and “Bad Company” epithets.
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