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Lithium Industry Projected to Grow; Thanks to Increasing Popularity of Li-ion Batteries
[July 13, 2017]

Lithium Industry Projected to Grow; Thanks to Increasing Popularity of Li-ion Batteries

NEW YORK, July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

A research report by Variant Market Research, projects that the global Lithium-ion Battery market is estimated to reach $56 billion by 2024 and growing at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2016 to 2024. Lithium-ion batteries are primary batteries in which lithium compound acts as an anode. A lithium cell can produce voltage from 1.5 V to about 3 V based on the types of materials used, which makes these batteries have a higher potential to achieve greater energy and power densities. This makes lithium batteries a preferred energy source for high-density battery applications, such as automotive and standby power. Lithium-ion batteries are now widely-implemented as the power or energy source for a wide variety of products, from portable electronics to electric vehicles. Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTC: MLNLF), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM), Panasonic Corp. (OTC: PCRFY), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM)

The increasing popularity of lithium is in large due to innovating companies. Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) for example plays a major role in the lithium industry. A recent example is the agreement between the Australian Government and Tesla, according to which Tesla will build the world's largest lithium-ion battery to store renewable energy in South Australia in partnership with French energy utility Neoen. The Guardian reported that Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, explained how the battery will work and its benefits, "You can essentially charge up the battery packs when you have excess power when the cost of production is very low; and then discharge it when the cost of power production is high, and this effectively lowers the average cost to the end customer. It's a fundamental efficiency improvement for the grid."

Millennial Lithium Corp. (OTCQB: MLNLF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol ML. Earlier today, the company just announced, "the commencement of the Company's Phase 1 drill program at the 9,000 hectare Cruz Lithium Project in Pocitos salar, in Salta Province, Argentina. Millennial is currently operating the exploration program on behalf of Southern Lithium Corp. (TSX-V: SNL) (FSE: SL5), who is earning up to an 80% interest in the project by making certain cash payments, share issuances, completing exploration expenditures and completing a bankable feasibility study on the project within three years.

The current program consists of 2 holes drilled to a minimum 250 meters (m) or deeper, based on drilling conditions and brine content. Data collection will include lithology, downhole geophysics, porosity characterization and depth-specific geochemical samples. Brine sampling will be completed using a hydraulic double packer system, which has been tested and proven to provide a true depth specific sample in addition to flow and porosity characteristics.

Millennial previously completed a Transient Electromagnetic Survey (TEM) covering 20.25 square kilometers on a 4,500 by 4,500 meter grid. Analysis indicates a continuous northsouth-trending conductive unit over a distance greater than six kilometers, the full length of the Cruz property. Highly conductive readings have generally been found to indicate a high content of lithium brine in most other salar basins in the area. In the central core of the property, indications of brine appear as shallow as 30 meters, extending to a depth of 250 metres, at which point survey readings are limited due to the highly conductive nature of the anomaly.

Millennial Lithium Corp. is the operator on the project and engaged HIDROTEC S.R.L., a Salta-based drilling company with extensive experience in drilling and testing salar-hosted lithium brines. The Company also engaged Mike Rosko of Montgomery and Associates, Inc. a US-based hydrogeological consultancy to provide program guidance and act as the Company's qualified person for reporting results.

Panasonic Corp. (OTC: PCRFY) and Tesla Motors, Inc., have signed an agreement that lays out their cooperation on the construction of a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the United States, known as the Gigafactory. According to a blog by The Tesla Team earlier this year, Tesla and Panasonic said they began mass production of lithium-on battery cells, which will be used in Tesla's energy storage products and Model 3. With the Gigafactory online and ramping up production, the cost of battery cells will significantly decline due to increasing automation and process design to enhance yield, lowered capital investment per Wh of production, the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof, and economies of scale.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM) on July 11th announced that Kidman Resources Limited (Australian Securities Exchange: KDR) has accepted an offer made by SQM, setting out terms in which an affiliate of SQM will acquire 50% of the interest of the Mt. Holland lithium project in Western Australia; both parties will form a 50/50 joint venture. Patricio De Solminihac, CEO of SQM, commented, "We are very glad to announce this agreement with Kidman. This is a new step in the implementation of our strategy to maintain our position as a low-cost producer in all our major business lines, including the growing lithium business. The project characteristics, coupled with our expertise in lithium production and the lithium market, will make this project a great addition to our production portfolio. We believe it will be complementary to our operations in Salar de Atacama in Chile and the project we are developing in Jujuy, Argentina."

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) earlier this year, announced that it has achieved more than 10 million cumulative units of hybrid vehicle (HV) sales, including plug-in hybrids, as of January 31. The latest milestone was achieved just nine months after total sales reached 9 million units at the end of April 2016. Toyota Motor North America also saw its sales of hybrids and plug-in hybrids reach a cumulative total, exceeding three million units as of December 31, 2016. Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor North America, said: "The Prius stands as an icon for sustainability and efficiency, and is a shining example of what you can achieve when you have the right idea to help solve a problem. Hybrids remain an important part of our lineup of vehicles, with over 246,000 units sold last year, and we have seen continued demand with the release of the RAV4 Hybrid variant of the popular compact SUV, accounting for nearly 13 percent of its total sales volume in 2016."

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