Talison snapped up on bet of a battery-charged future  

Posted by Big Gav in

Renew Economy reports that WA based lithium miner Talison has been taken over - Talison snapped up on bet of a battery-charged future.

Three years after it was forced to pull an Australian stock market float due to a lack of interest from local investors, the Australian-based Talison Lithium (TLH:TSX) – the world’s largest producer of lithium ore – has been snapped up in a deal that values it at more than twice the price.

Talison, which has been producing lithium at its Greenbushes mine in Western Australia for more than 25 years, and accounts for one-third of the global market in lithium ore, has agreed to a buyout by US-based materials group Rockwood Holdings for $C724 million ($704 million).

Lithium is the key ingredient used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries – one of the favoured technologies in the so-called “secondary” or “rechargeable” battery market. The batteries are used in mobile phones, laptops, tablets and the like, but are also expected to gain a major share of the electric vehicle market, and play a key role in the development of solar energy storage and in grid stabilisation.

The purchase comes just after Talison doubled production at its main mine in anticipation of a boom in demand of lithium-ion batteries, and secured a 15 per cent increase in prices – taking its price increases for calendar 2012 to date to 25 per cent.

“Talison was, and remains of the view that lithium will be a major part of the world’s new energy future, not just for mobile electronics such as iPads, but electric vehicles, grid stabilisation batteries, and solar storage,” chairman Peter Robinson said at the opening of the expanded operations earlier this month.

According to a recent presentation by Talison, demand for lithium-ion batteries has been growing by more than 20 per cent a year since 2000, and this is expected to surge from around 2015, as the rollout of electric vehicles takes off, and as lithium-ion batteries are deployed in large format basis in electricity grids and for storing solar energy.

And then there is the boom in smart phones and tablets. This graph below indicates anticipated demand over the next decade.

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