Market Overview

Lithium Market Set to Grow as EV Development Progresses

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Lithium Market Set to Grow as EV Development Progresses

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, August 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to data compiled by Market Research Engine, the lithium-ion battery market is expected to exceed USD 68.97 Billion by 2022 while increasing at a CAGR of 16.6% in the forecast period of 2016 - 2022. Based on power capacity, lithium-ion batteries are segmented into 0 to 3000mah (milli-Ampere-hours), 3000mah to 10000mah, 10000mah to 60000mah and more than 60000mah. Lithium-ion batteries are currently used in a wide array of applications across several industries. Based on industry segmentation, the market covers aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, marine, medical and power. Blue Eagle Lithium Inc. (OTC:BEAG), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC), BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM)

Many auto companies have pledged to begin putting in place production lines that are solely dedicated to electric vehicles for a cleaner environment, which will naturally set demand growing for lithium-ion batteries. Currently, EVs are still underdeveloped, which undermines its current ability to grow. Countries such as China, U.S. and many in the European Union are expected to drive the EV market forward. "Li-ion batteries have an unmatchable combination of high energy and power density, making it the technology of choice for portable electronics, power tools, and hybrid/full electric vehicles. If electric vehicles (EVs) replace the majority of gasoline powered transportation, Li-ion batteries will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said science researchers Naoki Nitta, Feixiang Wu, Jung Tae Lee and Gleb Yushin.

Blue Eagle Lithium Inc. (OTCQB:BEAG) earlier this week announced, "the official launch of the Company's new corporate website and to introduce Blue Eagle's core leadership team of energy, lithium and exploration specialists. Blue Eagle is a lithium exploration company engaged in identifying, evaluating, and developing early-stage lithium exploration opportunities in North America. The Company's initial property is located in Railroad Valley, Nevada, a highly prospective green-fields Petro-Lithium brine target area that features many similarities to the nearby Clayton Valley and which the Company believes warrants an extensive exploration program. The company has a 100% Working Interest in 200 placer claims. The staked claims cover 4,000 acres (~1,619 hectares).

Website Launch - Blue Eagle is pleased to launch its new corporate website at http://www.blueeaglelithium.com . The website provides a detailed overview of the Company's structure and focus; Blue Eagle's property, Company management, an overview of the growing lithium market, relevant industry news, company news, brochure, fact sheets, all contact details, and Investor Relations area.

Leadership Team - Blue Eagle's core leadership team comprises of experienced leaders that represent many years of industry experience in the energy, financial, and geology fields. The following biographies provide overviews of key team members' experience and expertise.

Rupert Ireland: CEO, Board of Directors - Rupert Ireland brings to Blue Eagle Lithium more than 20 years of experience in the energy, financial services, and technology sectors. He has first-hand knowledge in operations and significant business relationships, including being a principal of the private equity and merchant banking alliance Gladstone Global. All are vital to the successful direction and execution of Blue Eagle's business objectives and future fund raising requirements. Prior to Blue Eagle, Rupert has been involved with an oil and gas project, building his expertise in various areas such as taking an early stage project through to a drilling program. His previous experience includes roles as Head of Trading at Carax (now Tradition), and Sales Trading at City Index, with clients including JP Morgan, Citibank and other major hedge funds. Rupert attended the University of Newcastle.

Rod Murray: Chief Operations Officer (COO) - Rod Murray has 30 years of oil industry experience, primarily in new ventures and the management of projects and operations in developing countries and the US. His projects have ranged from multi-million to billion-dollar wildcat exploration, discovery, appraisal and development scenarios. Over the course of his career in the energy sector, Rod has managed over 200 projects, working for most of the majors including BHP, BP, Shell, Amoco, Chevron and Mobil. Over the years he developed a proven track record of forging strong relationships with government officials, investors and operators. Rod spent his early career as a Consultant and Operations Geologist in Europe, Africa and the North Sea. Rod is a graduate of the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College (MSc. Petroleum Geology), and the University of Manchester (BSc. Geology).

Gavin Harrison: Director of Operations - Gavin Harrison is a well-known figure in the US lithium and "petro lithium" exploration industry, having quickly dispatched and acquired 500,000+ acres of mineral lands equating to over 25,000 mineral claims in Utah, Arizona and Nevada on behalf of clients during the lithium land rush in 2016. His reputation and hard-earned experience in the lithium industry is invaluable to Blue Eagle. Gavin's company, Harrison Land Services (HLS), has a wide range of exploration instruments and equipment for carrying out field tasks and is a well-equipped field service company.

Robert FE Jones: Board Advisor - Robert FE Jones is a seasoned geophysicist with 40 years of experience in the energy sector. Most recently, Robert has worked as an independent and is currently in NED roles for Caithness Petroleum and Tristone Energy. Robert has strong capability across all aspects of energy exploration and development, founded on technical excellence in geoscience/exploration. He has successfully delivered over 400 projects, including new ventures, exits, re-organizations, and major discoveries in South America, the Arctic, Asia, Middle East, Europe and West Africa. Robert is a Certified Petroleum Geophysicist (AAPG) and a graduate (MSc. Marine Geotechnics, BSc. Physics) of University College of North Wales.

Management Comments - 'We're very fortunate to have assembled a team of this caliber,' commented Blue Eagle's CEO, Rupert Ireland. 'My own years of participation in the energy, financial services, and technology sectors have taught me the vital importance of first-hand experience when it comes developing early stage exploration companies. The teams collective knowledge allows us to make the correct planning decisions, which is the back bone of successful exploration. I'm looking forward to working with our initial team, we are keen to implement our exploration program and look to secure the key partnerships needed to move this company forward. Among our first steps will be to announce our plans for Blue Eagle's initial exploration program which we are finalizing now.'

About Blue Eagle Lithium Inc. - Blue Eagle Lithium is a lithium exploration and development company based in Henderson, Nevada. The company is engaged in identifying, evaluating, and developing early-stage lithium exploration opportunities in North America. Blue Eagle's team comprises experienced leaders that represent over 60 years of industry experience in the energy, financial, and geology fields. Blue Eagle has a 100% Working Interest in 200 placer claims in Railroad Valley, Nevada, a highly prospective green-fields lithium brine target in the heart of the Basin and Range geologic province. The staked claims, covering 4,000 acres (~1,619 hectares) over a large portion of Railroad Valley, are ready for the next phase of lithium exploration."

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts. Albemarle Corporation recently reported its second quarter 2018 net sales of USD 853.9 Million, earnings of USD 302.5 Million and adjusted EBITDA of USD 258.6 Million. Lithium reported net sales of USD 317.6 Million in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 30.2% from second quarter 2017 net sales of USD 243.8 million. The USD 73.7 Million increase in net sales as compared to prior year was primarily due to favorable pricing impacts, increased sales volumes and USD 7.7 Million of favorable currency exchange impacts. Adjusted EBITDA for lithium was USD 141.6 Million, an increase of 22.9% from second quarter 2017 results of USD 115.2 Million. The USD 26.4 Million increase in adjusted EBITDA as compared to the prior year was primarily due to favorable pricing impacts, increased sales volumes and USD 0.8 Million of favorable currency exchange impacts, partially offset by higher royalty payments. "We saw strength in all three businesses in the second quarter, with each delivering double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth," said Luke Kissam, Albemarle's Chairman, President and CEO. "The Company grew adjusted diluted EPS by 28% over 2017, excluding divested businesses. Our lithium capital projects continue to progress on plan. We are confident in a strong 2018 and are raising our guidance for the full year to USD 5.30 to USD 5.50 per diluted share."

FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC) has served the global agricultural, industrial and consumer markets with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. FMC Corporation recently reported second-quarter 2018 revenue of approximately USD 1.3 Billion, an increase of 92% year-over-year. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported earnings of USD 0.96 per diluted share in the second quarter, or USD 130 Million, which is 71% higher than the GAAP earnings of USD 0.56 per diluted share, or USD 75 Million, in the second quarter of 2017. Second quarter adjusted earnings were USD 1.78 per diluted share, an increase of 271% year-over-year. FMC Lithium reported second-quarter segment revenue of USD 108 Million, an increase of 46% versus the prior-year quarter. Segment EBITDA increased 85% year-over-year to USD 51 Million in the quarter, USD 2 Million above the mid-point of the prior guidance range, driven by higher volumes and higher realized prices in all major product categories. Pierre Brondeau, FMC CEO and Chairman, said, "FMC delivered a very strong quarter. In Ag Solutions, we continued to generate robust demand for the recently acquired products as our worldwide integration is progressing very well. In Lithium, volume increases from our plant in Argentina and average realized price increases of over 20% on both lithium hydroxide and carbonate led to a near doubling of Lithium segment EBITDA year-over-year. We were also very encouraged by the cash flow performance in the quarter, and we have increased our outlook for the full year."

BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) is a world-leading resources company. BHP's Olympic Dam site in South Australia is one of the largest underground copper mines in the world and its investment there in light electric vehicles, powered by lithium-ion batteries, is good news for its people and the planet. After extensive planning, one such exciting initiative kicked off at Olympic Dam earlier in June. The Company's first ever light electric vehicle (or LEV) is joining the existing underground fleet of 240 light vehicles with a second expected to join the fold in the coming months. This is all part of a broader initiative aimed at achieving a 50% reduction, right across BHP, in the number of employees with potential exposure to particulate matter. Olympic Dam's switch to LEVs in its operations will reduce emissions, exposure and costs - as well as influencing the rollout of similar initiatives in the Company's other locations.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) is the global mobility company that introduced the Prius hybrid-electric car in 1997 and the first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, Mirai, in 2014. Toyota Motors Corporation recently announced that its 2018 Toyota Prius remains a hybrid benchmark. Almost two decades after the first Toyota Prius was introduced in the U.S., hybridization has become common, and the Prius still leads in North American hybrid sales. It's also one of the world's most fuel-efficient vehicles without a plug, with EPA-estimated 58 city / 53 highway / 56 combined MPG fuel economy ratings (Prius Two Eco). Every generation of the Prius has one key element in common: it exceeded the fuel efficiency of the previous generation. The latest version of its Hybrid Synergy Drive combines the output of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and two motor/generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT). Shift-by-wire technology, which uses electric signals to transmit shift operations, offers light, fingertip operation from the dash-mounted shifter. The regenerative brake system switches the motor into a generator to recover the wheels' kinetic energy as electrical power, storing it in the hybrid battery. The fourth-generation Prius uses smaller, lighter hybrid components than before, including a lithium-ion hybrid battery that replaced the nickel-metal hydride battery (excluding the Prius One and Two standard grade).

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