Little in the long term, including new use from electric vehicles batteries, will counter the overall lower lithium chemical demand that is now expected.
New production capacity coming on stream in the next five years plus advanced pipeline projects that will start up later will exacerbate imbalance and threaten the stability of the industry. The combined structural effect of a downward shift in demand and idle excess capacity will be felt long term.
"Competition through 2020 will be increasingly fierce, making it virtually impossible for aspiring lithium businesses to ever turn a profit. Millions of dollars invested in these companies will be lost by unsuspecting investors," said TRU president Edward R Anderson.
"Most troubling is that the stock market regulators in the United States and Canada have failed to take appropriate action to protect investors from predictable losses. The widespread misuse of the 43-101 reporting system and the authorship of these reports by so-called ‘qualified persons,’ who are far from it, is worrisome!"
TRU’s Dr Ihor I. Kunasz will be explaining some of the technical reasons for the industry’s general naivete. He is well known as the geologist who developed the reserve model at Salar de Atacama from whence sixty per cent of the world’s lithium is currently produced. He also did this assessment for Silver Peak, NV and analyzed most of the competitive brine deposits in the world as Chief Geologist for Foote Mineral Company (now Chemetall Foote Corporation). Since joining TRU he has reviewed the resources of most salars in the world that are of any merit. The title of his presentation will be "Lithium Brines – Extraction Technology vs. Pegmatite Mining."
TRU Group Inc, based in Toronto, Canada and Tucson, USA, are industrial management and engineering consultants with a strong capability in lithium project development. The firm is a world leader in resource evaluation, salar exploitation, brine & mineral lithium extraction and processing technologies – those in use, prospective, and leading edge – solar evaporation, selective ion adsorption, electrodialysis, nanofiltration, spodumene conversion etc.
TRU has evaluated and modeled most of the known existing lithium properties and advised a number of players on a wide variety of lithium resource, engineering, process, business and investment issues. At this time TRU is engaged concurrently in several salar brine, mineral-based spodumene and oilfield / geothermal / bromine brine feasibility / amenability lithium chemicals conversion studies. The TRU website is www.trugroup.com and both the Anderson and Kunasz presentations will be posted on the site after the conference on January 27, 2011 at the link www.trugroup.com/Lithium-Market-Conference.html. Until then the January 2009 Santiago version can be viewed.
Link to the presentation – http://trugroup.com/Lithium-Market-Conference.html