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Developments in the Lithium-Ion Battery Market
[April 12, 2017]

Developments in the Lithium-Ion Battery Market

NEW YORK, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

A new report by MarketsandMarkets predicts that the lithium-ion battery market is to be valued at USD 68.97 billion by 2022, or growing at a CAGR of 16.6% between 2016 and 2022. The growth of this market is driven primarily by the increase in demand for electric vehicles, strict government mandates on fuel economy, growing demand for smart devices, other consumer electronics, and innovations focused on improvement of lithium-ion batteries. The consumer electronics industry is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period, and the market for the automotive industry is expected to grow at the highest rate. Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTC: MLNLF) (TSX-V: ML.V), Orocobre Ltd. (OTC: OROCF), FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM), Arotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTX)

The report indicates that there are several important benefits lithium-ion batteries provide. Lithium-ion batteries are a preferred choice for consumer electronic products as a portable power source because of the features of high energy density and less recharge time. There is a wide range of applications that can be powered by these batteries, including DVD players, portable CD players, digital cameras, smartphones, camcorders, wearable devices, power banks, toys, Bluetooth, GPS, tablets, smartphones and others. The implementation of lithium-ion batteries in automotive sector for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) helps to improve the efficiency and reduce the maintenance cost of the vehicle.

Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: MLNLF) (TSX-V: ML.V) earlier today announced that it is pleased to report favorable results from a geophysical survey at the Company's Cauchari East Project in the Cauchari-Olaroz basin of Jujuy Province, Argentina. Interpretation of the results, show continuity of known lithium-bearing brine aquifers into and likely throughout Millennial's property. The 100% owned Cauchari East Project covers an area of 2,990 hectares on the eastern side of the Cauchari-Olaroz Salar, adjacent to the Orocobre/Advantage Cauchari Project and the Lithium Americas/SQM advanced-stage Cauchari-Olaroz Project.

In March, 2017 Millennial's Argentine subsidiary, Proyecto Pastos Grandes S.A. engaged Tecnología y Recursos (TyR), a Salta-based geophysics consulting group to conduct a Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) survey for the Cauchari East property. A total of ten stations were measured in this campaign. The work identified a sharp contrast between high resistivity upper zones and low resistivity (conductive) lower zones. Low electrical resistivity in this type of survey can be indicative of brine-bearing sediments. Technical reports from adjacent properties controlled by Lithium America's Corp., have also demonstrated that the brine-bearing aquifer is related to a low resistivity horizon and it is interpreted that the lower zone is likely the continuation of the known brine-bearing aquifers of the Olaroz and Cauchari basins.

Measurements from the VES stations demonstrate good potential for continuous lithium brine mineralization. The north-south profile, measured in the northernmost property block identifies a continuous 72-105 meter-thick conductive layer extending from productive aquifers of the present-day Olaroz salar. As that layer extends into the southern portion of the project, it thickens beyond the capacity to detect the lower resistive zone. An east-west profile in the southern block further supports continuity with the Cauchari basin aquifers. The same east-west profile shows what appears to be a structurally confined sub-basin that contains the deep conductive zone continuous with the north-south profile. Permitting for the upcoming drill program is now underway. The required public consultations and Jujuy Government approvals are anticipated to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.

"The results of the Cauchari East geophysics survey affirm lithium brine-bearing aquifers beneath the present day Cauchari-Olaroz salars are related to an older, larger salar footprint. From the data we conclude that the aquifers extend beneath more recent alluvial cover. These results clearly justify an investment in a drill program at Cauchari East," said Iain Scarr, Chief Operation Officer.

Orocobre Ltd. (OTC: OROCF) recently announced that further to its releases of November 23, 2016 the Company has completed the sale of a suite of exploration assets to Advantage Lithium Corp. The completion of the sale follows the successful closing of a CAD20 million capital raising via subscription receipts undertaken by Advantage Lithium and the satisfaction of all other conditions in the transaction documentation. These funds have now been released, leaving Advantage Lithium well funded with approximately CAD23 million.

FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC) is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, consumer and industrial markets. The Company operates in three business segments: FMC Agricultural Solutions, FMC Health and Nutrition, and FMC Lithium. According to the company, "Our lithium was in the first rechargeable battery. Today our products help batteries run stronger and last longer, with fewer charges. Everyday we search for ways to make batteries better to meet our world's growing demand for tablets, phones, power tools, EV cars, even power plants." 

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM) is an integrated producer and distributor of specialty plant nutrients, iodine, lithium, potassium-related fertilizers and industrial chemicals. Its products are based on the development of high quality natural resources that allow the Company to be a leader in costs, supported by a specialized international network with sales in over 110 countries. Earlier in 2016 the company announced that it will increase its lithium hydroxide capacity in Chile from 6,000 metric tons per year to 13,500 metric tons per year. At its current facility near Antofagasta, SQM plans to increase efficiencies bringing the current plant capacity from 6,000 metric tons per year to 6,500 metric tons per year. Additionally, SQM will construct a new plant with a capacity of 7,000 metric tons per year.

Arotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTX) is a defense and security products and services company, engaged in providing interactive simulation for military, law enforcement and commercial markets, and batteries and charging systems for the military, commercial and medical markets. The Company operates through two segments: Training and Simulation Division, and Power Systems Division. For the Power Systems Division the company develops and sells rechargeable and primary lithium batteries, and smart chargers to the military and to private defense industry in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, as well as water-activated lifejacket lights (WABs) for commercial aviation and marine applications, through our subsidiary Epsilor-Electric Fuel.

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