Lithium-ion batteries use lithium and graphite — now add some tin to triple capacity

An interesting item this month in The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Washington. It reports that a team at Washington State University is working on building a better battery for smartphones. Actually, the story first emerged two years ago when some technical journals featured the work of Professor Grant Norton and his team at WSU's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. They had come up with the idea to introduce a tin anode rather than a carbon one, so — they hoped — tripling capacity and allowing faster recharging. But it was not a smooth road. Last year it was reported that, while Washington…

Nuclear energy is China’s weapon of choice to fight pollution

ap1000night Westinghouse Electric is poised to win more contracts in China for the construction of eight new third-generation AP1000 nuclear reactors. This represents the first major nuclear energy program since the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. China needs to reduce its dependence on coal in order to reduce air pollution, which has reached intolerable levels. If left unaddressed, the government risks considerable social and political unrest given the growing concerns for cleaner air coming from China’s growing middle class. The eight reactors are estimated to cost USD$ 24 billion. It is noteworthy, in the context of China’s sovereignty dispute with Japan…

New technology for critical metals, agribusiness, nuclear plants, 3-D printing, renewable energy — you name it, Japan’s there

Uniqlo Having spent a few weeks (involuntarily) accompanying various shopping expeditions in Paris, I have become — suddenly — aware of Uniqlo. The crowds of women of all ages lining up at the cash registers at one of its Paris stores attests to the extraordinary success. And I read that staff are allowed just 60 seconds to process each retail transaction. Now this Japanese designer of casual wear is planning to launch in Australia, with a target of 100 stores in this country. The Uniqlo phenomenon, and I am assured by the shopper in this household that it is a phenomenon, lies in sharp…

Solar sceptics may need to reconsider: power from the sun is becoming more economic

120px-Mafate_Marla_solar_panel_dsc00633 Solar power has had some bad press in recent years. The case against it seemed increasingly persuasive: it cost too much: it would never replace fuels (like oil, coal and nuclear) which offered reliable base-load power generation; and even if solar systems could be made more efficient and, helped by better and better storage batteries, to produce reliable electricity even when the sun wasn’t shining, solar still couldn’t compete on price with other fuels, particularly coal. We’ve heard all these arguments and, in the case of this writer, pushed them ourselves. Well, maybe it’s time for a rethink. According to some…

Heartbleed Bug ‘contagion’ creates market malaise

Contagion Our last week ended with the rumbling from the confusion that came from disruptive impact of the Heartbleed bug that had online paranoia at an all-time high. In case you have not drilled down through the endless media coverage and analysis on what happened here’s what your computer(s) and various electronics may or may not have caught: “The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and…

Hop Boyd on the real advantage of having the right chemical processing engineer on the job

Weslosky-Boyd April 10, 2014 -- Hop Boyd Jr., Chief Manager, Process Engineering Associates LLC (PROCESS) speaks to Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel. Hop has been a chemical engineer for many years and he describes his job, in jest, as a "highly educated plumber". Of course, PROCESS does much more than that. It offers process engineering services - as opposed to electrical, mechanical or structural -- from design and to safety services, relying on its over 50 highly qualified, full-time chemical engineers. As a further analogy, Hop describes the typical scenario of a prospective client approaching PROCESS to shift from…

Agribusiness trends upward, Zinc hunt in full force, and ‘Shiny Black Gold’ leads the market

investorintelreport.png.xar Let’s enjoy this ride as March is the last month we will have the REE Leaders Index. And for the record, this is the only rare earth index in the world calculated by FTSE. Alas, REEL closed down 9.50%, closing at 284.01 versus the InvestorIntel members – up +2.17%. I was in NYC at John Tumazos Very Independent Research event on Monday, so you’re in luck this week with both the month-in-review for March 2014 and week-in-review ending April 4th, so you can get your gas pedals ready as I Tesla-drive you through an update that is sure to have…

Rising star U3O8 Corp. on uranium-vanadium in Argentina and uranium-phosphate in Colombia

Spencer-Weslosky March 30, 2014 -- Richard Spencer, President and CEO of U3O8 Corp. ("U3O8" TSX: UWE | OTCQX: UWEEF), speaks to Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel, about uranium, rare earths and phosphate projects in South America. In March, U3O8 completed an oversubscribed private placement resulting in proceeds of about USD$1.15 million. Richard said "the insiders stepped up yet again and we've developed some support from a new shareholder over the last couple months and this group has been amazing. They were in the market in December when no one else was....this guy likes this story." Meanwhile, the past few…

Market is like “waiting for water to boil”

War-Cycle InvestorIntelReport Week-in-Review: Just tell everyone ‘we are phucked’ said Rockstar in reply to market questioning on Saturday. Hmmm, I thought – I prefer our book-keeper’s commentary that "it feels like we are waiting for water boil". At the end of the day, I agree with numerous members of our financial community that see strong signals that we have entered a "war cycle" in our marketplace, which means that basically investors need to tread carefully in the marketplace, as we genuinely have no idea where the mines are located. And this makes it different from post 2008, how? Speaking of mines, rare…

The Impact of the “War Cycle” on Markets: High Tension Metals

Ecclestone-War-Cycle-1 The Cold War supposedly ended in 1989 but it would appear that somewhere or other there has been a major regional war going on since that time. Just when it appeared that Iraq and Afghanistan were behind us, along came Syria and rising tensions over the Crimea. Of course any war is “good” for gold, both in demand and prices. The people in the war zone want the metal as a store of value if they need to flee while the broader global economy players tend to harbour gold because it’s hard to think of any war that does not…

Texas Rare Earths could supply Lithium to Tesla Motor’s battery ‘Gigafactory’

gigafactory_timeline Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturer Tesla is planning a massive expansion of its production and wants to build its very own USD$5 billion battery factory. Tesla’s stock performance has been remarkable; its share price (NASDAQ: TSLA) has bewitched Wall Street, rising from USD$ 78 in February of 2013, when the Company was first listed on the NASDAQ to the present USD$ 236. This performance, which reflects the rising sales success of Tesla automobiles, explains the Company’s very ambitious plan to build its own Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery factory. Tesla expects such demand as to not be able to rely on…

Everything you need to know about the Lithium market

Lithium-3 Lithium – A Fluctuating Flavour: With lithium mainly mentioned in popular culture as drug to control moods swings it is somewhat amusing to reflect upon the manic-depression of the promoters in the metals in recent years. Many needed more lithium in their medicine cabinet than in their portfolios. The Lithium story started to get up a head of steam in the second half of 2008, boomed through the first half of 2009 (as a concept, but not price-wise in the physical), lost momentum as gold hogged the headlines and the momentum crowd moved on to the Rare Earth space. Lithium…

Tesla drives Sustainability and Technology Metals for a homerun, Uranium goes bull and Gold stocks rock again

investorintelreport.png InvestorIntelReport Month-in-Review (February 2014): The Rare Earth Leaders Index (FTSE: REEL) closed at 313.83 February 28, 2014 -- up +5.97% for the month. InvestorIntel Rare Earths & Technology Metal members up +17.91%, Graphite & Graphene up +13.58% and Cleantech also up +6.67% due to growing support for Environmental Waste International Inc. Comparatively global equities fared well, with both the MSCI world index up +4.81% and the S&P 500 index similarly rising +4.31% for the month of February 2014. InvestorIntel Gold, Base & Precious Metals members up +20.46% with Carlisle Goldfields and Tinka Resources leading the pack. Uranium & Nuclear Energy +15.10% up as news…

Electric Cars go mainstream thanks to Graphite

TESLA Since Tesla Motors introduced its Roadster, an all electric vehicle (EV), to the market in 2008, enthusiasm for the electric car has grown all over the world. The technical and scientific crowds love its efficiency, the environmentalists have bought into its ‘clean’ energy message and car fanatics liked its sporty styling. If a Facebook user were to post a picture of the Tesla roadster, or even that of the Model S sports-sedan, it would surely gather more ‘likes’ than any other vehicle. Tesla Motors has shifted electric motoring away from the preserve of a very socially conscious and, let’s be…

Technology Metals lead market charge with GeoMegA (+81.58%), Star (+40%), UCORE (+31.95%) & Peak (+31.34%) up for the week

IIR InvestorIntel Week-in-Review: GeoMegA Resources Inc. TSXV: GMA was up +81.58% for the week ending February 21, 2014. Stock halted yesterday and this morning they just released news release titled the Physical Separation of REE-Neighbour series, which will undoubtedly increase the cavalcade towards GeoMegA for more information. They are building off of 3 news releases since the New Year and they were the headline stock in last week's InvestorIntelReport, as we calculated GMA up +280% since the holidays. Speaking of technology metals, Star Minerals Group Ltd. CSE: SUV was up +40% and the week before last they were up +42.86% with 2 stellar…

Vanadium — from steel additive to critical battery technology

Vanadium Here’s another to add to your technology metals list: vanadium. It’s now seen as a “new energy” metal. And, like so many of the critical, technology metals, its supply is concentrated in a few hands — in this case, by South Africa, Russia and China. The metal is now in the process of being given a new future by a massive game-changer — and the name of that game-changer is Vanadium Redox Batteries (VRBs for short). It’s all about the ability of national power grids to store energy. Hardman & Co, a London-based brokerage, has just done a detailed analysis…

The War is on for Strategic Materials in France

Lifton February 23, 2014 -- Jack Lifton, Sr. Editor of InvestorIntelReport provides a confidential synopsis for members of his participation last week in Paris at the French National Assembly Building (Parliament) for a roundtable “The War of Strategic Materials”. Attended by 20+ members of Parliament, plus an additional 250 members from the critical materials sector. Jack offers commentary and conclusions on his respective understanding of what was achieved at this event. For starter, France does not produce domestically any of the technology materials needed to maintain its technological society. Cognizant of the fact that they (the French) are completely reliant on…

InvestorIntelReport: Day Traders chase the Gold and Silver Bull Run just in time for PDAC 2014

GMA-Chart InvestorIntelReport Week-in-Review: InvestorIntel Gold, Base & Precious members up +11.32%; Uranium & Nuclear Energy up +11.26%; Rare Earths & Technology Metals +2.48%; Graphite & Graphene +1.26%; and Potash & Phosphate -5.98% for the week ending on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2014. InvestorIntel Gold, Base & Precious Metal clients were up +11.32% for the week, so let’s start with the leaders: Tinka Resources and Carlisle Goldfields, both up +27% for the week. “Gold just posted its first string of five consecutive gains since August 2012 and you’ve got some unmistakable short-term momentum.”  I pulled from Barrons on Wednesday evening. That was arguably day 6 of this new…

Specialized chemical engineering firm steers entrepreneurs out of trouble

Porcess-Engineering-AssociatesV2 Progress comes from failure but it doesn’t have to be your failure. This is especially true in the world of manufacturing where those who understand the alchemy of chemicals and minerals painfully determine success. Such is the motto of Process Engineering Associates LLC, an East Tennessee that was formed in January 1996 to provide process design, engineering, and safety services to any and all of the chemical processing industries:  metals, energy, pharmaceuticals, mineral extraction, pulp and paper, waste handling, specialty chemicals, chemical plants among many. There are lots of good inventions in garages and shops and even in the laptops…

Interview: Environmental Waste International introduces a revolutionary tire recycling technology

Kaute-Weslosky Dr. Daniel Kaute, President and CEO of Environmental Waste International Inc. (‘EWS’, TSXV: EWS) speaks to Tracy Weslosky, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief from InvestorIntel about the Company’s revolutionary microwave gasification technology for tires and its considerable commercialization possibilities. Dr. Kaute is an expert in materials engineering. He is ideally suited to lead EWS in developing its technology to breakdown and recover usable and profitable by-products from tires. Dr. Kaute explains that ‘carbon black’ is the key component of EWS’s recycling process. Carbon black “is used in the production of new tires”. The rest is used in a variety of automotive and…