Lithium Podcast

The Best, The Worst, The First

The past week in the lithium world has been marked by changes at the top of some of the industry’s biggest players. Joe and Emily catch up and discuss FMC’s name change to livent (pronounced lye-vent), and compare it to some past branding faux pas in FMC’s corporate history. On a personal note, Joe reflects on his relationship with the new president of Albemarle and whether or not he has the operational competence to execute what’s needed at La Negra II in Chile.

In a different kind of “drama in the Atacama,” friend of the Global Lithium Podcast SQM’s CEO Patricio de Solminhac has departed, and Joe and Emily talk about what that means for SQM going forward both in Chile as well as in Argentina, Australia, and the world. Talison is expanding Greenbushes mine in Australia – but as Joe and Andy Miller of Benchmark told Marcos Barrientos at El Mercurio in Chile, this news hasn’t – and shouldn’t – rock the industry. Altura has taken a little bit of heat this week about the viability of their proposed offtaker Shaanxi – but this is likely just the tip of the iceberg and the rule rather than the exception for the majority of conversion capacity announced.

Emily published her assessment of the proposed “Lithium Valley” on Linkedin this week, which contains some problematic apparent misunderstanding of lithium carbonate vs. lithium metal – which leads to 2025 estimates about 16x what Joe and other analysts predict. Joe and Emily discuss similarities between this proposal and other nationalistic, protectionist policies that are contrary to innovation. We touch on the continued negative sentiment affecting lithium stocks, and round off by thanking Cameron Henry for helping former podcast guest Cailin Lowry get closer to her short film “The Society’s” funding goal. Check Cailin’s project out here.

We’re all excited to announce that Anthony Tse of Galaxy will be a guest on a future podcast, and Joe and Emily will be reunited in person in London to welcome guests Simon Moores of Benchmark and Henry Sanderson of The Financial Times to chat pricing.

Joe and Emily cover a lot of ground on this remote episode of the Global Lithium Podcast. Western Australia is trying to roll out its own version of Silicon Valley, with a moniker of “Lithium Valley,” but Joe and Emily think this is a whiteboard exercise that’s a bit premature. Morgan Stanley, the famous lithium “bear” is now a significant holder of Galaxy — and maybe more lithium stocks (intentional manipulation or a change of heart?). Goldman Sachs has emerged as the surrogate for reason, but Joe and Emily still prefer Nomura’s analysts.

In other news, Galaxy released a quarterly report and Piedmont released a positive scoping study. Peter Ker of the Australian Financial Review takes home the coveted “Sensational Headline” award and could probably brush up on Galaxy’s analysis himself. Volkswagon has announced plans to build Electric Vehicles in the USA. BMW may deepen its relationship with battery producer CATL.

Joe is channeling his inner “Dr. Bitran” by growing a beard, as the Drama in the Atacama deepens. Joe and Emily continue to delineate “battery quality” from the misnomer “battery grade,” and they respond to yet another Tesla question. Finally the two discuss their upcoming trip to London to check out the LME’s attempts to standardize a lithium contract. Rather than wax poetic regards for more swag, they fondly reminisce about Beers with the Global Lithium Podcast. They also ask listeners to support former podcast guest Cailin Lowry and her film project The Society.

Get ready for the Lowry Family Special.

Chris Berry, from episode 1, is back and the bobsled team may morph into multiple luge participants. Erin Lowry (Broke Millennial), Joe’s eldest daughter, shares how her career as a financial expert began with “The Candy Tax.” Essentially, her father levied on the fruits of his daughters’ Halloween candy. Chris has a 10 and 6-year-old daughter, so he is taking notes.

In addition to literally taking candy from babies, Joe also moved his entire family to an opposite end of the world. During her first trip to Japan, a 9-year-old version of Erin had an early brush with swag. She even created a “Confucian Swag Generator” – until dad butted in. Upon hearing of the impending move to Japan, Erin pulled a “fainting couch” on the chaise lounge. His youngest daughter, Cailin Lowry, thought the family was moving to Peter Pan and the fictional world of Neverland, rather than Japan. Caitlin also did “planking” before it was cool. Despite the travel agenda, Joe Lowry never missed a basketball game or a play (even if he fell asleep at these events).

After Joe rejected an offer to move to China in favor of a return to North Carolina, he was outvoted by the women in his life and the family moved to Shanghai. Although she’s lived all over the world, Cailin still has continuing terror anytime she comes into contact with 13-year-old girls. Cailin and Erin share how it was to describe that their dad was an expert in the lightest element on the periodic table. Cailin also theorizes that the whole lithium thing may be part of a deep government cover story, furthered by Dad’s similarities to Jack Bauer, from the suspense program 24. Connie Lowry shares the trials and tribulations of being the cameraperson for Joe’s social media career. Erin shares her memories from “take your daughter to work day” and Chris admits that in his daughter’s eyes his job is: “talking on the phone angrily shouting “blah blah blah.”

Erin helped Joe get on social media – but he evidently hasn’t followed all of her advice regarding decorum. Connie has worked hard to keep Joe in Global Lithium swag. When the Lowrys came back to the USA, Erin underwent “repatriation training,” where they informed her that the USA was not Asia. All in all, it was a whole unit train of love for the group.

Joe Lowry and Emily Hersh are reunited in Las Vegas, Nevada where they meet up with the “Clay Boys” of Lithium Americas to talk in detail about that Soft Rock. In a shocking turn of events, Joe demonstrates himself capable of changing his mind now that he is learned that clay is not just play dough. Rene Leblanc reminisces about how he met Joe at FMC, and later David Deak while working for Tesla. We learn about what makes a clay project a good project, including new geology and sulfur chemistry. Emily learns that she should not be using a sledgehammer to open walnuts, as effective as it may have seemed.For the record, Emily and Joe are not photographed with a giant bong as it may have seemed. That is a two liter graduated cylinder used to demonstrate how clay behaves when wet. While the Tesla gigafactory is also located in Nevada, that’s not important to the lithium world. On the swag front, Joe has a new Nano One outfit and Emily is styling in her Primero hat. Joe and Emily give the world some swag of their own with a zip up, bottle shaped Global Lithium Podcast beer koozie, as well as some $1 beers.

How did two lawyers from Buenos Aires become experts at handling layers of culture from foreign countries to the different provinces in Argentina? Hernan Celorrio and Ignacio Celorrio, of Alfaro Law, give their advice on how companies can avoid mining mistakes in Argentina. As the two mention, any press release your company publishes overseas will be covered (and probably poorly translated) in a local newspaper.

Join Joe and Emily as they interview another father-son duo for this special Father’s Day Edition of the Global Lithium Podcast. The two Americans unequivocally think that Argentina should NOT make batteries. The two Argentines believe some companies are happy to invest in a lawsuit, rather than develop a real project. As Ignacio points out to listeners, “When a real problem comes around, stupid people get out.”

Joe and Emily attended the 2018 Panorama Minero Lithium Conference in Salta, Argentina. Aside from eating empanadas by the handfuls, the two recorded Episode 11 of the Global Lithium Podcast with three other guests! The two were joined by Dr. Daniel Galli, Carlos Galli, and David Guerrero Alvarado.  Daniel and Carlos are a father-son duo working in Argentina’s lithium industry. If our third guest seems familiar, David was featured in “Episode 4: “The Last Samurai of Brine.

From mining accidents, to Argentina’s future with lithium, and scientific explanations, this episode is action-packed. Take a listen and tune in next week for an additional episode of the podcast. As always, if you have any questions for the Global Lithium Podcast hosts, feel free to ask away at http://lithiumpodcast.com/ask/

What a week for the lithium industry. For episode 10, Emily and Joe provide an in-depth analysis on Nemaska’s financing. This action packed episode of the podcast also covers the Kidman and Tesla deal, the Nomura Report, and gives listeners an additional update about the latest drama in the Atacama.

Joe also discusses his policy for reading lithium information found online. Young millennials (like Emily) may automatically trust everything on the internet, but Joe reminds listeners to fact check and verify the origin of all lithium related news. In a new segment for the podcast, Joe and Emily present the worst lithium articles published this week.

If you want to find out who won our hat giveaway, stick around till the end! Like always, questions for Emily and Joe can be asked at http://lithiumpodcast.com/ask/

The Global Lithium Podcast has crossed another country off the list! While Joe stayed in the United States, Emily temporarily left Argentina to remotely record on Irish soil. Thanks to the help of Dermot Fitzpatrick, the acting Irish Ambassador to Argentina, Emily recorded Episode 9 at the Ireland Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Aside from the unique logistics, Episode 9 also provides listeners with a variety of insights on updates within the lithium industry. Emily and Joe review Joe’s latest LinkedIn article and debate the factors that caused FMC Lithium to lose its place in the top three. From the present state of battery grade lithium to a possible Feasibility Study on Galaxy’s Sal De Vida project, they also answer listener questions. Finally, at the end of the episode they reveal how a listener can get a free Global Lithium hat and join the coveted Lithium Glitterati!

How to join the Glitterati and win a Global Lithium hat:
1) Write a review on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts.
2) Take a screenshot of your review.
3) Email the screenshot to globallithiumpodcast@gmail.com.
4) Write your review and email your screenshot by Friday, May 18.
5) The Global Lithium Podcast team will selected two random winners!*
***As a winner, you promise to wear your Global Lithium hat as often as you can. We’re talking about wearing it in the summer and in the winter. Also, anytime someone asks you about podcasts, should mention your passion for the Global Lithium Podcast. Finally, you agree to bother Lithium Americas about their lack of hats.

This is part two of the Global Lithium Podcast’s trip to China. Continuing with the cathode discussion from “Episode 7: Deak Dynasty,” Joe and Emily looked at the use of lithium for nanotechnology. The two spoke to Dan Blondal and Yingzi Feng of Nano One Materials. Nano One is a Canadian-based tech company that uses a three-stage industrial process to produce nanostructure composite materials. The four discussed the science behind batteries, the future for this technology, and they shared their tips for making a “lithium sandwich.”

Like the episode title? Joe says it’s “a word play on the nanotechnology world.” ?

View photos from the Global Lithium Podcast’s experience in China.

Question: What do cathodes and the Olympics have in common?
Answer: Doping!

Emily and Joe traveled to Shangai, China, to record two episodes of the Global Lithium Podcast. For the first episode in this series, the two spoke with Dr. David Deak, the CTO at Lithium Americas and the President of Lithium Nevada. The three discussed Lithium Americas Corp., Tesla, lithium ion batteries, and the future for electric vehicles.

As always, if you have any questions for the Global Lithium Podcast hosts, feel free to ask away at http://lithiumpodcast.com/ask/

In between packing their bags for their upcoming trip to China, Joe and Emily remotely recorded another episode of the Global Lithium Podcast. Aside from Emily attempting to teach Joe a few phrases in Chinese, episode six features some seriously big industry updates. On the investing end, the two share their opinions on Nemaska’s financing needs and Softbank’s future strategy. A new report from Industrial Minerals also indicates that there may be some additional drama in the Atacama. Finally, our hosts close this episode by providing a preview itinerary for their trip to China. The next few episodes will be recording while our hosts are abroad. If you have a question for these next few episodes ask away at lithiumpodcast.com/ask.

Emily and Joe, abandoned by their GenZer talent for spring break, take on their first remote podcast from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Charlotte, North Carolina respectively. They catch up on news in the lithium space, including BMW’s big turnaround decision to not directly invest in lithium assets, versus automakers like Toyota’s strategy.  We chat about the status of Gangfeng’s and Tiang’s IPOs in Hong Kong, and urban mining and ecosystem are still the watch words. Over on the Chilean side of the Andes, Mr. Dr. Bitran has left Corfo and Canadian PotashCorp has not yet sold its stake in SQM. Joe channeled his inner Kim Kardashian when he broke the internet by publishing his new supply and demand forecasts through 2025. Joe differs from the “flood forecasters” at Morgan Stanley and others on what’s going to come out of the Atacama but agrees with Albemarle and others on a few things. Piedmont sets the bar with the “Manhattan Project of Swag”. Emily may be suffering long term skin damage for lack of her Lithium Americas hat. Joe and Emily will be coming at you from China in April, where they’ll catch up with … and check out conversion capacity and cathode manufacturing in person.

Emily and Joe are joined by David Guerrero Alvarado, a man who might be better known as the “the brine foot soldier.” The three recorded this episode in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Aside from detailing David’s experience with a missing passport, the three give their thoughts on Chile, Morgan Stanley’s lithium analysis, and the outgoing face of CORFO. The end of this episode features a quirky and informative audience Q&A section. If you have a question for Episode 5, ask away at lithiumpodcast.com/ask.

Joe and Emily are joined in Perth by Neometals, where they discuss the lithium supply chain, and what exactly is meant by upstream and downstream. They cover the cost curve and “urban mining” via recycling battery materials. Joe comments on the “indigestion” in the supply chain, and the purgatory of the lithium industry. How many hydroxide plants will we see in The Great Oz? Will SQM’s deal with Corfo flood the market? Is there a coming disconnect between spodumene concentrate & lithium chemicals pricing. Will DSO ever make it to the Emerald City?

Joe and Emily are in in Santiago, Chile, where the drama surrounding SQM and Corfo is unfolding prior to a presidential election. Joe makes a new best lithium friend in Julio Ponce. Joe and Emily are joined by Matt Craze to discuss the lithium royalty schemes affecting SQM and Albemarle, as well as SQM’s strategy as a global mining company.

Joe Lowry and Emily Hersh are joined by Chris Berry in Buenos Aires, Argentina to kick off the world’s first global lithium podcast and “tell it like it is”. We look at Argentina’s recent political changes, and what that means to the lithium world. We cover FMC, Lithium Americas, and why Joe doesn’t not want the Clayton Valley for Christmas, as well as Joe’s take on strategic locations and the global lithium supply chain.