05 25 2016
Lack of leadership got Alaska here
Alaska is at the cusp of the "fiscal cliff" debate, and the time for action is upon Alaska's Legislature.
The Buck Stops at the Top ...
DALLAS - Shareholders at Exxon Mobil's (XOM) annual meeting rejected several resolutions backed by environmentalists that would have pushed the company to take a stronger stand in favor of steps to limit climate change.
The US Navy Is Back- ???
Unless something changes -
and let's be clear, a lot of things could change - the U.S. Navy
will finally achieve its goal of a substantially bigger fleet five years from now, in 2021. United States Navy »
Back where? ...
Still there is No Navy In Alaska!
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 25 (UPI) -- The information and electronics backbone of the U.S. Navy's East Coast Undersea Warfare Training range is complete, the sea service said Tuesday.
Just a bunch of Warm Water Sailors
"But recently US Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric Rubin indicated that the Pentagon's strategic planning, in the immediate vicinity of Russia's Crimea, includes a new and very important element - a fixed base of US Naval Special Operations Forces (SOF ...
U.S. Coast Guard Icebreakers?
The U.S. Coast Guard, which operates the icebreaking fleet, has said it needs six big ships to handle all its missions in the Arctic and in Antarctica.
Building fewer than that will make it harder for Washington to police those open waters, escort ...
The move marks a major step forward in a yearslong campaign by Alaska lawmakers and others who say the U.S. needs to mind its dwindling Arctic infrastructure, particularly as a melting ice cap makes way for increased commercial shipping traffic and ...
How long could you survive if you became shipwrecked during a cruise in the Arctic ice?
In order to find some of the answers to this the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel KV Svalbard served as the home and workplace to a week long research mission, headed ...
But with expensive pretrial incarceration rates on the rise in Alaska, the bill attempts to help judges determine who can be let out of jail without endangering the public.
The small-batch craft distillery officially launches its vodka, 68 Below Alaskan Potato Vodka, during a soft opening Wednesday and Thursday at the distillery at 410 Cushman St. in downtown Fairbanks.
Hollywood Make Fools Out of Alaskans
Tesla Scams The World
Archambault raised eyebrows last week when he upgraded Tesla Motors Inc. to “ buy” from “neutral” the same day it was announced that his firm, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., would co-manage with Morgan Stanley the sale of $1.4 billion in new Tesla stock.
Toxic 'White gasoline' soars
CNBC Nyshka Chandran
Iron ore and gold have been the traditional staples underpinning Australia's commodities industry but lesser-known lithium could soon take over the mantle.
Atlas Iron (AGO-AU), an iron ore explorer, is one miner gradually gravitating towards the commodity dubbed the "white petroleum" for its silver-white appearance.
Speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the Resources' Rising Stars Conference on Wednesday, Atlas Iron's managing director David Flanagan hinted that a tie-up with a lithium producer may be in the cards.
"We're not going to become a lithium player but if there's an opportunity to get value from that for shareholders, we'll do the right sort of deal."
Fresh from a major restructuring operation that involved halving its debt, Atlas announced in its May investor presentation that it held "prospective tenure in zones of known world-class lithium-tantalum deposits" in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
"It turns out we've got a lot of tenements near companies with high-value lithium projects. It also turns out that some of that lithium also appears on our grounds," said Flanagan. "Lithium is going to be an important commodity for the world's future."
Australia is already the world's biggest producer of lithium, followed by Chile and Argentina.
The metal is an essential ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries widely used in consumer electronics. The batteries are also crucial to electric vehicles and demand is set to spike as brands such as Tesla (TSLA) ramp up production.
Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that he intends to churn out 500,000 electric cars by 2018, from 50,580 cars sold in 2015.
Back in December, Goldman Sachs called lithium "the new gasoline," predicting that just a 1 percent increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) penetration would increase lithium demand by 70,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) per year, or roughly half of current global demand for lithium.
So far in 2016, the price of lithium carbonate is already nearly double last year's average price, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a research firm specializing in the global battery supply chain.
The rally has sent the stock prices of certain Australian lithium miners into a tizzy. In the past twelve months, Prospect Resources has soared 400 percent while General Mining Corporation and Pilbara Minerals have both witnessed spikes of a thousand percent.
"I don't think we fully understand the actual future demand for lithium," John Holmes, exploration manager at Pilbara Minerals, told CNBC.
"With the surprising quick uptake of Tesla's new vehicles and electric vehicles in general, we're going to see a massive surge in demand for lithium-ion batteries in the foreseeable future."
The company is targeting 300,000 tons of lithium concentrate when production gets underway at its new project in Pilgangoora, located south of Port Hedland, in 2017.
"Our cost of production is $200 a ton, based on our price estimate of $456/ton. But current pricing is $600/ton. So, there's a massive margin even using the conservative price," explained Holmes.
Aside from electric vehicles, wall-mounted home batteries will also lead demand for the commodity, he noted. Last year, Tesla released a line of energy-storing batteries for households to use when energy is scarce or expensive.
But the outlook isn't entirely rosy. As producers look to get into the market as quick as possible, lithium could endure the same fate as other in-demand commodities, i.e. oversupply, said Holmes.
"At the moment you're seeing a constriction in supply and an exhilaration in demand so there is a pressure point at the moment," James Brown, managing director at Australian producer Altura Mining, told CNBC earlier this month.
But because the metal is difficult to mine, the current supply situation should hold up and support prices for a while, he added.