image of US DOD GIVES GRANTS TO ALBEMARLE AND TALON Writer: Kevin Dwyer, CEO & Head Trader
September 15, 2023
US DOD GRANTS $110M TO ALBEMARLE AND TALON FOR CRITICAL MINERAL PRODUCTION. In a robust show of support for the domestic production of critical minerals, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has conferred over $110m in grant funding to Albemarle and Talon Metals. This strategic investment is set to reinforce the US supply chain for vital minerals, including lithium and nickel. Albemarle, a noted presence in the lithium industry, is set to receive a $90m grant under the Defense Production Act (DPA). This allocation will expand domestic mining and lithium production activities, further strengthening the US's position in the lithium market. The grant funding will be directed towards purchasing a fleet of mining equipment, a critical asset for restarting its lithium mine in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Kings Mountain holds substantial hard rock lithium deposits and is projected to supply enough material to facilitate a lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) conversion capacity of 50 kilotonnes. This supply is sufficient to fuel 1.2 million electric vehicles per annum. In anticipation of the mine becoming operational in late 2026, Albemarle is actively implementing the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) standards, emphasizing environmental stewardship and community engagement. Eric Norris, the president of Albemarle's energy storage unit, underscored the significance of home-based lithium extraction, processing, and lithium battery material research. He views lithium as an integral part of a sustainable energy future, making securing a domestic supply a national imperative. Meanwhile, Talon Metals, through its subsidiary unit Talon Nickel, has struck a funding agreement with the DoD's Office of Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization. This financial boost will support expansion efforts, not only in staff numbers but also in resources, enabling the acceleration of initiatives to discover and delineate more nickel deposits within the nation's Midcontinent Rift geology. As part of this agreement, DoD will contribute $20.6m, with Talon adding $21.7m. Henri van Rooyen, Talon’s CEO, characterized the funding as an explicit recognition of domestic nickel supply as a national security priority. The financial boost will support Talon's efforts in uncovering domestic sources of battery-grade nickel, minimizing dependency on Russia, China or their ancillary companies in other countries. In essence, this reinforces the narrative that the sustainable development and security of domestic supplies of critical minerals are vital to the nation's defence and clean energy systems. The grants allocated by the DoD represent strategic investments in bolstering self-reliance in critical mineral production, a crucial step towards a cleaner and secure energy future. The stock looks good here. Have a great day!

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