NEW YORK, March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
According to Grand View Research, the lithium-ion battery market is expected to reach $93.1 billion by 2025 and growing at a CAGR of 17 percent. The strong growth forecast for the market is driven by the rising demand for the batteries used in utility rechargeable storage devices and electric vehicles. Currently, utility storage devices contribute to majority of the market, but the market will see substantial growth in the coming years due to increasing electric vehicle demand. According to Wood Mackenzie, a metals and mining research group, global battery consumption is set to increase five times over the next 10 years and demand for electric vehicles to grow by fourfold by 2020, and eleven-fold by 2025. Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTC: MLNLF), FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY), Lithium Americas Corp (NYSE: LAC).
The lithium-ion market has been outpacing expectations, causing analysts to reiterate their forecasts. The continued rising price in lithium will be attributable to demand being significantly higher than supply available. "The continued pricing strength in lithium has been a surprise," said Chris Berry of House Mountain Partners. "I thought the lithium market (on a LCE basis) would grow to roughly 550,000 tonnes per year, [but] in the middle of the year I adjusted this upwards to 617,000 tonnes by 2025. This still appears too conservative based on potential gigafactory-scale expansion."
Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: MLNLF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol ML. Just earlier today the company announced breaking news that, it has closed its previously announced bought deal financing of 6,900,000 units (the "Units") at a price of C$3.50 per Unit (the "Offering Price") for aggregate gross proceeds to Millennial of C$24,150,000 (the "Offering"). The Offering was conducted by a syndicate of underwriters co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Cantor Fitzgerald Canada Corporation as joint bookrunners, and including Cormark Securities Inc. and Sprott Private Wealth LP (collectively, the "Underwriters"). The Offering included 900,000 Units sold pursuant to the full exercise of the Underwriters' over-allotment option. Each Unit consists of one common share of the Company and one half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole common share purchase warrant, a "Warrant"). Each Warrant is exercisable for one common share of the Company for a period of 24 months from the date of issuance at an exercise price of C$4.25. In consideration for the services performed by the Underwriters pursuant to an underwriting agreement dated February 26, 2018, the Company paid the Underwriters a cash commission of 6% of the gross proceeds from the Offering and issued to the Underwriters a number of warrants equal to 6% of the Units sold under the Offering. Each warrant issued to the Underwriters is exercisable to acquire one common share of the Company for a period of 24 from the date of issuance at an exercise price of C$3.50. The Company has concurrently closed its private placement (the "Private Placement") of 2,206,671 units (the "Private Placement Units") at a price of $3.50 per Private Placement Unit for proceeds of approximately C$7.7 million. The Private Placement Units each consist of one common share of the Company and one half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole common share purchase warrant, a "Private Placement Warrant"). Each Private Placement Warrant is exercisable for one common shares of the Company for a period of 24 months from the date of issuance at an exercise price of C$4.25. The Private Placement Units and the Units in the Offering have the same terms and conditions. Stand Virtue Limited ("Stand Virtue"), a subsidiary of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited ("GCL"), a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company, purchased a total of 1,822,514 Private Placement Units and Lamtex Securities Limited, a subsidiary of Lamtex Holdings Ltd. (collectively, "Lamtex"), a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company, purchased a total of 134,157 Private Placement Units. Each of these subscribers is associated with Million Surge Holdings Limited ("Million Surge"), a major shareholder of the Company. Prior to the completion of the Private Placement, Million Surge owned 12,000,000 common shares of the Company. Million Surge is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Zhu Family Trust, which has interests in both Lamtex Holdings Limited and GCL. Upon completion of the Private Placement and the Bought Deal Offering, Million Surge, Stand Virtue and Lamtex hold collectively 13,956,671 common shares in the Company, which constitutes approximately 17% of Millennial's issued share capital, and 978,335 Warrants. VSA Capital Shanghai Limited was paid a finder's fee of 3% on that portion of the Private Placement purchased by Lamtex and GCL. A 1% advisory fee was paid to Canaccord Genuity Corp. in cash on the proceeds of the Private Placement.
Farhad Abasov, President and CEO of the Company, says, "Millennial is very excited about the successful completion of the Offering and the Private Placement. We welcome both new and existing institutional and retail investors. We are also quite pleased to see continuing support from GCL and support from Lamtex's initial investment. This financing round significantly strengthens Millennial's cash position and will allow us to proceed with two major technical programs at a full speed: REMSA ground exploration and development as well as a definitive feasibility study for the Pastos Grandes Project."
FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) employs approximately 7,000 people throughout the world and operates its businesses in two segments: FMC Agricultural Solutions and FMC Lithium. Recently, the company announced that Paul Graves, executive vice president and chief financial officer, has been appointed chief executive officer for the previously announced new, publicly traded lithium materials company, which will be created by separating FMC's lithium business in the second half of 2018. Brondeau said that FMC Lithium has performed very well under Schneberger's guidance. Tom has elevated operating discipline and strengthened customer engagements during his three years leading our lithium business. He will work closely with Paul and the lithium leadership team to continue driving business performance and preparing for the separation.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. In 2017, the company is giving law enforcement an even more efficient option with the reveal of a plug-in hybrid vehicle capable of driving up to 21 miles without a drop of gas. The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, the first plug-in hybrid police vehicle from Ford, is designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other government personnel whose jobs don't require a pursuit-rated vehicle. The vehicle's 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger allows agencies to fully charge the 7.6-kilowatt-hour battery in just 2.5 hours on a 240-volt, level-two charger. But Ford is confident most agencies won't need anything more than a regular 120-volt wall outlet to recharge. The lithium-ion battery can move the vehicle up to 21 miles on a single charge and up to 85 mph on battery power alone. Once the battery runs down, the vehicle is powered by its gasoline-electric hybrid powerplant - with a range surpassing 500 miles - eliminating any concerns of range anxiety typically associated with battery-only electrics.
Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. In 2017, the company announced that it has decided to start production of automotive lithium-ion batteries at a factory in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, expanding domestic production amid increasing demand for such batteries. The global market for eco-conscious vehicles has been growing in response to stricter worldwide environmental regulations on automobiles as well as a variety of incentive measures for promoting eco-conscious vehicles. The world market for automotive batteries, which are essentially required for eco-conscious vehicles, is also growing rapidly, with increasing expectations from auto manufacturers on Panasonic, the leading manufacturer of automotive lithium-ion batteries. Panasonic has been building up its production capacity of automotive batteries in Japan, the United States, and China. To further boost the capacity, the company has decided to produce prismatic automotive lithium-ion batteries at the Himeji factory, which currently produces LCD panels.
Lithium Americas Corp (NYSE: LAC), together with SQM, is developing Cauchari-Olaroz, located in the Province of Jujuy, Argentina, through its 50% interest in Minera Exar. In addition, Lithium Americas owns 100% of Lithium Nevada (formerly Kings Valley project), and RheoMinerals Inc., a supplier of rheology modifiers for oil-based drilling fluids, coatings, and specialty chemicals. On January 18, 2018, the company provided certain corporate developments. Minera Exar S. A. has provided a development update on the Cauchari-Olaroz project in Jujuy, Argentina. Cauchari-Olaroz continues to progress detailed engineering which, excluding the plant design, is 50% complete and scheduled to be completed this quarter followed by final plant design to be completed in the second quarter of 2018. Construction activities associated with earthworks, roads and well platforms are well underway. Minera Exar has more than 400 employees and contractors working in Argentina. The camp expansion, to add capacity for an additional 400 personnel, is well-advanced, and scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2018, allowing Minera Exar to continue with its development activities as planned.
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