Wednesday 5th August 2020

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A battery-powered revolution

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Moores estimates that 200,000 EV sales a year would disrupt minerals markets. “It won’t take millions, it’ll be 200,000 and then you’ll have a supply problem.”

“Because everyone thinks very short-term, this falls under the radar until there’s a massive supply problem. That’s when the price spikes, that’s when investment comes in, but then it’s too late.”

VRIC 2015 speakers look at emerging needs in energy and commodities

Thomas Drolet suggested investors watch for
technology breakthroughs in energy efficiency.

Coinciding with EV developments will be utility demand for large-scale storage batteries, Moores added. Pointing out that New York City suffered blackouts in 2003 and 2012, he said countries like the U.S., the UK and Canada rely on electrical grids about 100 years old. “They haven’t really changed. They’ve just been expanded and patched up.” Security of supply calls for off-grid storage. An additional benefit would be the ability to supply extra capacity during peak periods.

The two main large-storage types are lithium-ion and vanadium flow, with li-ion the most common. Vanadium flow comprises “probably theoretically better technology,” but the megafactories will churn out lithium-ion products. Both types use graphite.

The world now has only about 580 megawatts of utility storage capacity. Moores cited a Navigant Research forecast of a possible 20 GW by 2022 and an IHS report predicting as much as 40 GW by the same year.

Among other VRIC speakers addressing energy, nuclear expert Thomas Drolet stated the “fusion business is so capital-intensive” that he doesn’t expect it to take hold for generations.

“However there is some research in electrolyte-type ionic transfers that is starting to bear fruit. It’s under deep cover in several countries in the world. Here in B.C. there’s some work going on, in Israel, in Japan, and I would say that cold fusion, as it was portrayed back in the middle ’80s, it won’t be that type of fusion. But fusion probably has the best chance of being the long-term source.”

VRIC 2015 speakers look at emerging needs in energy and commodities

Panel members representing GoviEx Uranium, Skyharbour Resources and Lakeland Resources agreed that uranium prices will rise to reflect global energy needs.

Mining and exploration aren’t the only opportunities in energy, he emphasized. “Technology breakthroughs for energy efficiency is the place you should be looking in the next decade if you really want to make money in energy.”

Speaking at a panel discussion on uranium investment, GoviEx Uranium CSE:GXU CEO Daniel Major recounted how Govind Friedland came to found the company. Living in coal-polluted Beijing, he “basically got fed up with not being able to breath,” said Major. Friedland “decided the long term for energy supply for China was going to be the uranium market…. We’re driven by a social revolution in China and urbanization in the rest of the world…. Seven million people died in 2012 from pollution-related diseases.”

But the revolution has yet to lift uranium’s post-Fukushima price. The panel’s two Athabasca Basin explorers, Jonathan Armes, president/CEO of Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK and Jordan Trimble, president/CEO of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, agreed that uranium’s laggard price makes this an opportune time to acquire and explore properties.

Pointing out that the 2030 world will have twice as many nuclear reactors in operation as now, Armes said, “We see the price moving forward—when, we don’t know. But it’s not an ‘if’ it’s a ‘when’.”

Disclaimer: Lakeland Resources Inc is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Lakeland Resources.

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