November 5th, 2021 | 13:27 CET
Lucid Group, Graphano Energy, Orocobre - The new eMobility and its children
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"[...] Nickel, therefore, benefits twice: firstly from its growing importance within batteries and secondly from the generally growing demand for such storage. [...]" Terry Lynch, CEO, Power Nickel
Lucid Group Inc. - New range record of almost 840km with one battery charge
837km - that is how far the new Lucia Air luxury vehicle from start-up and Tesla challenger Lucid Group gets on one battery charge according to the EPA test procedure, which is considered particularly stringent. According to the WLTP test procedure commonly used in Europe, the range is likely greater. The Company, founded by Elon Musk's former chief developer Peter Rawlinson and based in the US state of Arizona, relies on a combination of a sizeable 118 kWh battery and a particularly energy-efficient design. However, to drive such a range test winner, the willing driver will have to dig deep into their pocket: USD 169,000 will have to be spent on the top model. At least the first models have actually been delivered since October 30.
So the tide has turned decisively for shareholders. Lucid is no longer a purely fictional story but is proving that it can build functional cars. The share price temporarily lost around 80% due to the hype at the beginning of the year and the expiry of lock-up periods. However, it has risen again by around 35% since the end of October. That puts its market cap at about USD 59 billion, only about USD 10 billion below the valuation of incumbent automaker Ford Motor Company and more in the spheres of a Tesla. The question is whether Lucid will also be able to copy or even surpass Tesla's stock performance. After all, a good engineer does not make a good corporate strategist. At the moment, however, the newsflow reads very positively. The future will show whether Lucid will be able to compete in the mass market.
Graphano Energy - The Canadian graphite explorer completes the first project phase
Graphano Energy is a spin-off of Montreal, Canada-based Manganese X Energy Corp. While Manganese X is engaged in exploring manganese deposits, all activities related to the exploration and environmentally friendly extraction of graphite deposits have been combined in Graphano Energy. Graphite is the most common form of the three naturally occurring types of pure carbon, along with diamond and the very rare modification chaoite. Graphite is used in a wide variety of applications. In addition to its widespread use as a material for the production of seals due to its thermal stability, processing into anode electrodes is the most common form of use (around 42% of annual graphite production). These anodes are essential for the construction of rechargeable batteries. Here we can see why the current hype around the shift to electromobility also increases the attractiveness of graphite explorers.
These are some of the reasons why Manganese X decided to spin out. In addition to the listing on the TSX-V in Toronto, which began on September 30, Graphano Energy has also been traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since mid-October. The Canadians aim to mine battery-grade graphite in an environmentally friendly way in the future and bring it to market. The Company is currently valued at CAD 7 million.
Graphano Energy operates its 100% owned graphite project in Lac-Aux-Bouleaux in a well-developed area close to the only other graphite mine on the North American continent. This unique selling point is a strong competitive advantage, especially in light of the strong growth of electromobility producers in North America. The Company itself expects demand for graphite to increase to 5 million tons annually, which will require dozens of new mines in the next five to ten years.
Graphano recently reported the completion of the first exploration phase. It confirmed graphite occurrences in large flakes of 0.5mm to 5mm, typically found in shear zones with gneisses and marbles, which historically have promised grades of 2% to 20%. A total of 83 grab and channel samples were collected. Of these, 10 samples had graphitic carbon contents above 10%. The second phase of the exploration program, which is scheduled to last approximately 10 weeks, has been underway since October 12.
Orocobre - Strong Q1 figures bring the Company close to an all-time high
After lithium giant Orocobre could already show very good production figures for various mining projects, the Q1 figures also spoke a clear language. Sales increased by 13% compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year, although production declined. The reason was the strong development of the lithium price, which increased by 200% compared to the previous year.
A study published by Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining company, illustrates how great the potential still is. According to their expertise, there is already a considerable lithium demand-supply deficit, only 15% of which can be met in the next ten years by expanding existing lithium sources. The remaining 85% will have to be completed by new projects. The main driver is identified as the rise in e-mobility, which climate protection targets will greatly exacerbate. According to expert estimates, a good half of light vehicles worldwide will be equipped with an electric drive by 2030.
As one of the world's largest lithium producers, Orocobre has an excellent starting position. After the merger with Galaxy Resources, the war chest is also well filled. Investors are convinced and are currently pushing the share price towards the all-time high of CAD 9.17.
Lithium is the metal of the energy transition, which will experience a substantial increase in demand in the coming years. Orocobre will benefit from this. Graphite will also be in greater demand. The Graphano Energy project is still at an early stage and therefore brings enormous opportunities and risks. The papers of Lucid are certainly also interesting. However, the current valuation is already that of an established company, not of a start-up.
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