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An interesting read re demand for battery materials


Elon Musk Won't Save Big Mining

By David Fickling Elaine He

July 6, 2017 4:15 AM EDT




Thank goodness, then, for Saint Elon Musk. Demand for battery materials to feed the nascent electric-vehicle and electricity-storage industries has made a group of hitherto obscure minerals -- principally cobalt, lithium and graphite -- the next big thing in the mining industry.


Two Chinese groups spent $3.8 billion over the past year buying Freeport McMoRan Inc. and Lundin Mining Corp. out of Tenke Fungurume, a Congolese mine with some of the world's richest cobalt deposits. Glencore Plc, the largest cobalt producer, plans to double output by 2018. Rio Tinto has called out a lithium deposit discovered in Serbia as a potential top-three source of the element, and there have been numerous reports of bids for Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, or SQM, one of the current largest producers. Shares in Graphite India Ltd., an electrodes manufacturer, have more than doubled this year; those of graphite developer Syrah Resources Ltd. rose 50 percent in the first half of 2016.GRAPHITE INDIA SHARES, YTD+152.5%


With Volvo this week becoming the latest automaker to get on the EV train, could these minerals be the salvation of the resources industry?Probably not.To see why, it's worth looking at where the money is made in the global commodities trade




Why can't these materials get off the ground?


Substitution is part of it. The ideal commodities exist in a Goldilocks zone: Hot enough to generate some good margin, but not so hot that consumers switch to alternative materials. Were it not for the rise of consumer electronics, the copper business would have been in trouble when plumbers started using cheaper PVC in domestic pipework.


The threat of technological change is broader even than that. Humans have been using copper and tin since the Bronze Age kicked off more than 5,000 years ago and iron has been widespread for three millennia or so. By contrast, lithium-ion battery technology only dates back to 1991, and the specific mix of elements used in their electrodes varies widely.


While lithium, cobalt and graphite have some unique chemical properties, there's no guarantee that will last. Cells based on magnesium or sodium could see lithium-ion technology go the way of the nickel-iron cells that Thomas Edison hoped would power a previous generation of electric cars


Beyond that is an issue of scale. Even after the recent crash in prices, the first rank of global mining companies all generate upward of $10 billion a year in revenue. Were BHP Billiton Ltd. to add the 2016 output of the global lithium industry at SQM's 14 percent net income margin, it would move its own profits by only a percentage point or so. And that sort of situation would never happen: As the U.S. House of Representatives demonstrated when it passed a law in 2010 to deal with Chinese dominance in rare earths, governments tend to get jumpy if one company dominates more than about a third of the supply of any raw material.


Back to Basics

The winners from the rise of electric vehicles are likely to be the traditional industrial metals


see link for full story



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South Australia to announce Tesla as backer of world's largest battery


JULY 7 2017 - 12:46PM




South Australia is poised to announce Elon Musk's Tesla as the principal builder of the world's largest battery and a $1 billion solar farm in the state's Riverland region.


Company executives were reportedly gathering at Adelaide Oval on Friday for the announcement with Premier Jay Weatherill, and were expected to be joined by chief executive Elon Musk.


Mr Musk first expressed interest in the mega-project over Twitter in March, when he wrote: "Telsa will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free."


The project is intended to use 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries, generating 330 megawatts of power for the state's dwindling and patchy electricity supply, with storage capacity of at least 100 megawatts.


"The battery will take renewable energy and store it ... and then play it into our electricity market at a time when we need it," Mr Weatherill said in March.


South Australia's electricity troubles, including numerous blackouts, have become a politically contentious issue between the state and federal governments, amid debate about the capacity of renewable energy.



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Some more info just in from The Adelaide Advertiser

Adam Langenberg, Paul Purcell, The Advertiser

3 minutes ago


TESLA, the company of tech billionaire Elon Musk, will partner with French renewable energy developer Neoen to build the ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“worldÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s biggest lithium ion batteryÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ in South Australia.


And if they donÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢t deliver the battery in under 100 days, it will be free.


Premier Jay Weatherill announced on Friday that Tesla and Neoen would be tasked with providing the 100MW battery under a ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“historic agreementÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ÂÂ.


Tesla will build the battery, which will store energy generated at NeoenÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s 99-turbine wind farm at Hornsdale, near Jamestown in the Mid North.



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The 100 megawatt lithium ion battery, which will harness power from a French-owned wind farm north of Adelaide, will store 129 megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power about 13,000 homes for 24 hours.


Experts welcomed the announcement, saying the battery would take pressure off the strained grid during peak periods, but warning it was no panacea for the shortages that have (hit) the state's electricity grid....

appearing in multiple news outlets... http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-po...707-gx6sg3.html


... Or, if there's a total blackout, providing about an hour's electricity

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I read it was 30,000 homes. While it won't entirely fix the SA power problem - it's primarily an emergency back up measure for the upcoming summer peak season - it's also the first stage of SA's $550 million plan to fix it's power issues.


In partnership with the SA government and French renewables company Neoen, alongside the third stage of the Hornsdale Wind Farm, the PowerPack battery farm will top 100 megawatts of capacity and provide 129 megawatt-hours of energy generation to the region ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ load balancing the state's renewable energy generation and allowing emergency back-up power if a shortfall in energy production is predicted.


"Upon completion by December 2017, this system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost power during the blackout period."


This move is one of the first in South Australia's $550m plan announced in March to secure its own means of energy production ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ a move that enraged the federal government. The total dollar cost of the installation has not been disclosed.


SolarCity co-founder and cousin of Musk, Lyndon Rive, previously said at an event in SA that between 100 and 300 megawatts of storage would solve South Australia's energy issues,


Read more at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/07/all-the-...p76MKORzgsxs.99


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just in time for the peak season that will put it to the test.


It's all quite the display.


A friend is a retired industrial electrician, and knows the ins and outs of all things electrical.


Simply, the public are hoodwinked. The figures are frightening.


This battery set up, the biggest one in the world.... Ok, so SA's network relies on the interconnectors from Vic, as renewable energy has synchoronis/non-synchronis issues (I seen this mentioned only once, it was on ABS, and the host diverted conversation away from this topic as being to complicated for the normal person.....)


So when we loose that AC signal from Vic, we loose power for the state, as what happened in Nov last year... It can be all sunshine and wind, but those renewable generators can spin all they like, but there's no out put, unless you have that base load AC signal to emulate.


So batteries to the rescue right!!!! So in a state wide power failure that battery arrangement has enough capacity to power the state for 3 minutes.


mmm. I think they'll still sell plenty of generators this summer.

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