Southern Times Writer
Harare - Platinum giant Anglo America Platinum, together with Platinum Group Metals Limited, have launched a new battery technology on the market called Lion Battery Technology.
According to a statement released by Anglo last week, the venture is a front-runner in the acceleration of next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium.
“The possibility of creating additional demand for platinum and palladium in the battery technology space is an exciting development and of strategic importance to both parties. The new venture, Lion, has also entered into an agreement with Florida International University to further advance a research programme that uses platinum and palladium to unlock the potential of Lithium Air and Lithium Sulfur battery chemistries to increase their discharge capacities and cyclability,” the company said.
Under the agreement with Florida International University, Lion will have exclusive rights to all intellectual property developed and will lead all commercialisation efforts. Lion is also currently reviewing several additional and complementary opportunities focused on developing next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium.
“Thanks to considerably higher energy density, Lithium Oxygen and Lithium Sulfur batteries can perform better, by orders of magnitude, than the best-in-class Lithium-ion batteries currently on the market or under development. This new generation of lightweight, powerful batteries has the potential to grow to scale on the back of the attractiveness of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the use of lithium batteries in other applications beyond mobility” stated Anglo America.
The price for platinum and palladium have been declining since the beginning of the year due to trade tensions and the vision of higher electric-vehicle adoption, which is likely to result in less demand for the metals, hence the move of diverting the metal to new technology is a good move that may curb the platinum industry from price risks, stated analyst Tatenda Nyachega.
According to FX metals, the platinum price on 10 July broke above its weekly resistance at US$820 per ounce. On 16 July, the price closed above US$842 per ounce, the highest point in last two months, hence the metal seems to be taking a turn from its bearish trend of the first half of the year.
However, analysts are of the view that the price movement needs to be monitored continuously to establish a solid position.