Shares of Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE.AX) (market cap US$273 million) jumped more than 9% today after the company announced that a definitive feasibility study (DFS) of the company’s Salar de Olaroz lithium-potash brine project in Argentina defined a resource base of 6.4 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent -- sufficient to sustain a mine producing 16,400 tonnes per year of battery grade lithium carbonate. The company’s website says initial commercial production at Olaroz is expected to begin in 2012.
A small handful of companies in the clean/efficient energy sector bucked Monday’s stock market downer by making strong gains. Two of these companies, lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AONE)) and wind turbine tower manufacturer Broadwind Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: BWEN), also halted months of sinking share prices.
Some special attention today for a handful of alternative energy companies that achieved share price increases yesterday in the face of the equity markets’ across-the-board decline: Biofuel Energy, Nevada Geothermal Power, Shear Wind, Lithium One, Fuel Systems Solutions, Oxford Catalysts Group PLC, Q-Cells SE, PV Crystalox Solar PLC, Aleo solar AG.
The “Lithium Rush” is in full swing. Existing producers are expanding properties and junior mining companies are looking for news ones to meet the demand from the dozen automakers who are introducing new electric vehicles over the next two years. Some automakers are investing in mining projects to ensure their future lithium supplies.