Limiting global warming requires a large-scale transition form fossil fuels to lower carbon dioxide (CO2)-producing energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and geothermal, and their associated storage systems. Moreover, the transportation of goods and people requires an equally significant shift from internal combustion engine (ICE) technology to battery electrification.
All of these initiatives are more metal-intensive, relative to their fossil fuel counterparts, on a per-unit-of-energy basis, accordingly, the demand for certain metals is expected to significantly outpace supply unless new sources are found (World Bank 2022).
Voltaic Strategic Resources' purpose is to discover an economic mineral deposit of strategic minerals ('battery', 'magnet', 'critical' or 'precious' minerals considered vital for the economy). The majority of our target metals are critical to the global 'clean energy' transition.
Metals such as Lithium (Li), Nickel (Ni), Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu) required to manufacture rechargeable Li-ion batteries. These batteries are used ubiquitously in society, with their primary application being electric vehicles (EVs) renewable energy storage.
Lithium-ion batteries are omnipresent in modern society - it would be extremely rare today to find a mobile phone, tablet, headphone or portable power tool without this technology. Moreover, there is growing use within the electric vehicle and energy storage sectors as the world transitions to a lower carbon future.There are wide range of battery technologies in commercial use and many manufactures will have their own unique battery formulation.Lithium (element number 2 on the periodic table of elements) is the fundamental within all of these batteries and is desirable due to its low atomic mass and unique electronic configuration that yields a very high voltage and charge storage per-unit-mass and unit-volume.
The rare earth elements (REEs) comprise 17 elements that includes the 15 "lanthanides" (elements 57 (lanthanum) to 71 (lutetium) on the periodic table of elements, plus Scandium and Yttrium (elements 21 and 39 respectively)
Scandium and Yttrium are commonly regarded as REEs because they share chemical and physical similarities with the lanthanides, and because they often occur in the same deposits as other REEs.
Traditionally, the REEs are divided into the following two groups on the basis of atomic weight: (a) the light REEs (LREEs), which include lanthanum through gadolinium (atomic numbers 57 through 64), and (b) the heavy REEs (HREEs), which include terbium through lutetium (atomic numbers 65 through 71). Note: Yttrium is considered a HREE due to chemical and physical affiliations with those member elements and Scandium lies outside of the LREE/HREE classification according to the U.S Geological Survey and the U.S Department of Energy.
The unique electronic configuration of the individual REEs determines its properties and hence uses.
REE's are vital to modern society and have huge range of industrial and technology uses including: aerospace, mobile phones, computers, magnets, alloys, ceramics and military defence technology.
REE's are critically important for the low carbon energy transition whereby REE permanent magnets - specifically, neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets - are the strongest magnets commercially available and provide a host of benefits to existing and emerging technologies, including electric vehicle motors and wind turbines.
NdFeB technlogies enable the construction of higher-capacity, more efficient wind turbines with reduced maintenance costs and manufacturing of more efficient, more powerful and lighter-weight motors in electric vehicles.
Precious metals are generally defined as those that are naturally occurring metallic elements which are rare in terms of occurrence and of high economic value. At Voltaic we are primarily interested in gold and platinum group metals (PGM) - palladium, platinum and rhodium.
Gold has been treasured since ancient times (or its permanence and beauty. Most of the gold that is fabricated today goes into the manufacture of jewellery. However, because of its superior electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion and other desirable combinations of physical and chemical properties, gold also emerged in the late 20th century as an essential industrial metal. Gold performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, LEDs, and a host of other products. Although gold is important to industry and the arts, it also retains a unique status among all commodities as a long-term store of value. Until recent times, it was considered essentially a monetary metal, and most of the bullion produced each year went into the vaults of government treasuries or central banks. Gold has long been held as an inflationary hedge against inflation for investors.
PGE: The catalytic properties of the platinum group metals are outstanding and since the 1970's, the automotive industry has emerged as the principal consumer of PGM as oxidation catalyst in catalytic converters to treat automobile exhaust emissions. These emissions include unburnt hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxides, all of which are deemed air pollutants. Moreover, PGE's have a wide range of other industrial uses including jewellery, circuit boards, catalysts for chemical and fertilizer manufacture, drug manufacture, glass manufacture and consumer electronics. The properties of PGE, such as high melting points. corrosion resistance, and catalytic qualities, make them indispensable to modern life.
Critical raw materials are determined as such by the European Union based on their economic importance and supply risk
They are directly linked to high growth technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and permanent magnets for electric motors and wind power that underpin the sustainable transition of society.
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