Leading Edge Materials Corp (CVE:LEM) this year certainly seems to be delivering on its aim to supply materials vital for a low carbon energy world - not least the batteries used in electric vehicles.
If a firm could be said to be 'on trend', then surely this is one....
Elon Musk's baby Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is never far from the news and with its market cap surpassing first Ford’s (NYSE:F) and then General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) last month, talk of electric vehicles supplanting gasoline-powered peers has grown louder than ever.
A Tesla buzz..
That Tesla buzz centres generally around lithium, but notably such batteries contain more graphite than they do the other, and, as well as cars, are used in all sorts from smart phones to solar panels.
Leading Edge Materials (CVE:LEM) has now, in the second set of encouraging battery test results this year, revealed that material from its Woxna mine in Sweden has been used to make a 18650 lithium-ion battery cells and performed well.
Such batteries are equivalent to those used in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) electric vehicles and the firm said results were 'strong and consistent', shwoing they could be used to create a long battery life - vital in such vehicles.
At the Woxna mine, the firm usefully has 100 tons of material stored and available for further testing. Testing is a vital part of development such resource technology and is likely to go on for at least six to 12 months more, according to LEM.
The firm is encouraged by the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries, and is ready to supply potential new gigafactories in Europe (like Tesla's in Nevada), and it is in the right place to do so - in Scandinavia.
At the end of April, the firm announced a $2mln investment, secured from a select group of strategic European investors who are active in the development of European electro-mobility and green energy storage markets.
Leading Edge says it's the only western producer of natural flake graphite with a fully constructed, permitted and producing plant (100,000-tonne-per-annum feed producing 10,000 tons of over 90% graphite concentrate).
The Woxna plant was on care and maintenance when the firm bought it in 2011 and operations restarted in 2015 using freshly mined material but falling prices for flake graphite and a downturn in the sector meant operations stopped.
The plant is now on what's called a production-ready basis while higher value graphite products are developed and will not restart until market conditions improves.
And there's also lithium potential with Bergby
In October last year, the firm's geologists also discovered its first lithium project called Bergby. Fifteen samples taken from three outcrop areas returned lithium oxide averaging 1.71% and ranging from 0.01% to 4.6%.
And a first program of drilling high lithium grades at a very shallow depth, placing Bergby as a leading lithium project in the Nordic region, the firm said.
Recent drill results have been highly encouraging. In the latest set of assays, boss Way told investors: "Mineralization has been discovered in every drill hole to date, and we look forward to advancing the prospect quickly from here. In addition to lithium, regular elevated grades of tantalum are also being discovered."
Bergby lies in central Sweden, 25km north of the town of Gavle, and has major roads, rail and power supply passing immediately adjacent to the claim boundaries.
And now Rotmyran...
And earlier this year, LEM said it was expanding its footprint in Sweden further, staking a new lithium project called the Rotmyran project.
The project lies 20 kilometres north of Bergby and was selected as a high priority target based on the geological similarity to Bergby plus presence of a strong tin (Sn) - lithium (Li) till anomaly in Swedish Geological Survey data.
Leading Edge shares in Toronto rose 1.75% to stand at 58 cents on the day.