International Lithium Corp. announces strategic changes
International Lithium Corp. (the “Company” or “ILC”) (TSX VENTURE: ILC.V) announces the appointment of Kirill Klip, the President of ILC, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, such that he will act as the CEO, President and Chairman of the Company. Gary Schellenberg has resigned as CEO and a director of the Company. Mike Sieb has also resigned as a director of the Company and Jerry Bella has resigned as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary. To fill the vacancies of the departing directors and officers, and to add an additional director, as permitted by ILC’s Articles, David Shen, John Wisbey and Ross Thompson have been appointed (subject to TSXV approval) as directors of the Company. Maurice Brooks has been appointed (subject to TSXV approval) as interim CFO. John Wisbey will fill the role of Corporate Secretary.
Kirill Klip, Chairman and CEO of International Lithium stated: “I would like to thank management and directors of International Lithium for the development of our Company and its portfolio of projects to this stage. Now it is time to bring our Company to the next level based on a strategic partnership with a worldwide leader in our industry Ganfeng Lithium. My strategy will be defined by maximising shareholders’ value in our Company. My priorities will be to build the ILC Team and advance our projects in order to facilitate potential production to their particular needs as a lithium end-user utilising Ganfeng’s technology and access to the capital. My focus will be to minimise dilution while optimising capital management at ILC in order to advance our Joint Venture operations and build a strong portfolio of new projects for further development.”
“Ganfeng has a strong commitment to supply Lithium products to various industries worldwide,” stated Ganfeng’s Director, Wang Xiaoshen, “so we clearly have a vested interest in these projects and have been very hands-on in the evaluation of ILC’s properties. I feel confident that these projects fit our resource strategy.”
Ganfeng is the largest integrated lithium producer in China, with a total capacity of around 30,000 tpa LCE. Ganfeng’s products include lithium metal, lithium hydroxide, lithium carbonate , lithium fluoride, lithium chloride, and other chemical products of lithium. In Australia, Ganfeng Lithium owns a 43.1% interest in the Mt. Marion lithium spodumene mine with Mineral Resources Ltd. (43.1%) and Neometals Ltd. (13.8%). Ganfeng was founded in 2000 and trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of around US$ 3 billion.
The recent Volkswagen scandal has once again shed light on polluting vehicles and the health hazard they pose to the public and environment. In hopes of ending this tainted legacy, governments have begun implementing regulations to phase out emission causing vehicles. Respectively, all major automakers have followed suit and pledged to build dozens of electric vehicles in years to come.
Maybe you missed it, but China is now “The Center of the Lithium Universe”. China is already the world’s largest electric vehicle market. BYD, the Chinese company backed by Warren Buffett, is the largest EV manufacturer in the world, thus the Chinese companies are producing the largest amount of lithium chemicals for the batteries required to make them. The market is booming, there are currently 25 companies making 51 models of electric cars in China. Over 500,000 EVs will be sold in China this year alone. By comparison, it took GM 7 years to sell 100,000 Chevy Volts since 2009 which is projected to be also the total of sales for BYD just in this year!
Now there are reports that China is pushing for the very aggressive California style Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program. "8% of new cars to be electric by 2018, 12% by 2020.” Let’s put it into perspective: this year there are just over 1% of new cars sales in China. By 2018 they are talking about a factor of 8x that and 12x by 2020. That’s a 12x increase in the number of electric cars to be produced in China! Let’s digest it all for a moment…
Chinese companies currently control the majority of the Lithium Hydroxide market, a critical chemical product (so-called battery grade lithium) that goes into EV batteries. The same product that also goes into Tesla batteries, which Panasonic makes lithium cells for.
Magazine “Industrial Minerals” reported about Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi Lithium from China and their incredible growth: “Lithium boom continues to fuel Chinese majors” – Tianqi Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium both saw turnovers more than double in the first nine months of 2016.
“I am very pleased that Ganfeng Lithium is reinforcing its strategic stake in International Lithium. Ganfeng is a worldwide leader in lithium materials production based in China. They provide not only the capital to advance our joint venture projects in Argentina and Ireland, but the technology to facilitate potential production to their particular needs as a lithium end-user. Ganfeng holds 19 patents and is the only company producing lithium chemicals both from brine and hard rock spodumene sources” states Kirill Klip, President of the Company.
International Lithium develops lithium projects on three continents: in Europe, Argentina and Canada. This year $17 million Canadian dollars were allocated to all ILC projects for development up to the end of 2017.
Two J/V with Ganfeng Lithium are financed by ILC’s Strategic Partner: Avalonia in Ireland and Mariana in Argentina.