Microsmallcap | November 10, 2022
The United States is continuing to build its domestic EV battery supply chain. The Biden administration has awarded grants totaling $2.8 billion for developing electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facilities in the United States, as the country works to reduce its reliance on Asia. President Joe Biden has set a goal of electrifying half of all new vehicles sold by 2030. Demand for critical minerals critical for EV batteries is expected to skyrocket in the next decade due to increased EV sales, which Biden is calling "one of the most significant economic transitions since the Industrial Revolution." According to the US Department of Energy, the approved projects will eventually supply enough lithium to produce 2 million EVs, enough graphite to produce 1.2 million EVs, and enough nickel to produce 400,000 EVs per year. Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), Talon Metals (TSX:TLO) (OTCPK:TLOFF), and American Battery Technology Co (OTCQB:ABML) are among the companies that have received funding. Meanwhile, FE Battery Metals Corp. (CSE:FE) (OTCQB:FEMFD) and Sayona Mining Limited (OTCQB:SYAXF) are driving the electric future with their lithium mining projects.
The drill program is based on the historical and 2021 Phase 1 exploration data as well as the company's surface trenching and sampling program results. Several historical drill hole collars were also located on the Property, which helped in the current program's location and orientation of drill holes. A B-20 drill rig is deployed for this work, which can drill up to a 1,000-meter-deep hole. To date a total of 42 drill holes with a cumulative core drilling of over 7,500 m has been completed on the Property.
In October, FE Battery Metals announced the results of drill holes LC21-33 to 37 at Augustus. Among the highlights of the results was drill hole LC21-35 intersecting an 11.20-meter-wide zone with 0.91% lithium oxide (Li2O) at 146 meters, including a 5 meter zone with 1.03% Li2O at 146 meters and 3.2 meter with 1% Li2O at 154 meters. This drill hole also has a lower seven meters wide zone with 0.54% Li2O at 165 meters drilled depth and several other smaller intercepts with variable lithium grades.
The company also recently announced a corporate restructuring to spin off assets related to its current exploration properties located in Quebec and Ontario into a wholly-owned subsidiary. According to the company, each FE Battery Metals shareholder will receive one common share of Spinco for every post-consolidation share held.
Companies Are Advancing Critical Minerals Projects
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) subsidiary, Albemarle Lithium UK Limited, has completed the $200 million acquisition of Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials. In September 2021, a definitive agreement was announced to acquire Tianyuan. Tianyuan's operations include a lithium conversion plant with a designed annual conversion capacity of up to 25,000 metric tonnes LCE and the ability to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. Albermarle has received a nearly $150 million grant from the US Department of Energy. The grant funding is intended to cover a portion of the estimated cost of building a new commercial-scale lithium concentrator facility in the US at the company's Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
Talon Metals (TSX:TLO) (OTC Pink:TLOFF) announced that it has updated its mineral resource estimate for its Tamarack Nickel project in Minnesota. The total indicated mineral resource is estimated to be 8.56 million tonnes grading 1.73% nickel plus by-products (2.34% NiEq) containing 148,000 tonnes of nickel. Compared to Talon's previous indicated mineral resource estimate (PEA #3), this represents a 98% increase in contained nickel in the indicated category. The total inferred resource estimate is now around 8.46 million tonnes grading 0.83% nickel plus by-products (1.19% NiEq) containing 70,000 tonnes of nickel, in addition to the total indicated mineral resource. Talon Metals' wholly-owned subsidiary, Talon Nickel (USA) LLC has been selected as a recipient of President Joe Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's first set of projects to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for EVs and the electrical grid, as well as materials and components currently imported from other countries.
Sayona Mining Limited (OTC:SYAXF) has developed a transport solution for its North American Lithium (NAL) operation, with a contract to deliver NAL spodumene (lithium) concentrate to port awarded to a Québec rail operator. Solurail Logistique Inc., a Val d'Or company specializing in bulk transhipment and rail logistics, will be in charge of transporting lithium from the NAL operation in La Corne to the Port of Trois-Rivières for delivery to customers under the terms of the agreement. The C$43 million contract includes the rental of 110 rolling stock (railway vehicles), with the equipment ready for NAL's restart of production in the first quarter of 2023. Sayona Mining is targeting the further expansion of its Québec lithium resource with the launch of a pre–feasibility study for its emerging Moblan Lithium Project (Sayona 60%; SOQUEM 40%) in northern Québec. Continuing Sayona's focus on maximizing economic benefits for local stakeholders, InnovExplo will conduct the pre–feasibility study, targeting completion by May 2023.
American Battery Technology Co (OTCQB:ABML) has completed its Phase 2 drill program, which included six additional sites in addition to the 16-holes sampled in Phase 1 drilling, completing the 22-hole plan at its 10,340-acre Tonopah Flats Lithium Project. American Battery Technology has been chosen as a recipient of competitive funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for expanding domestic manufacturing of battery-grade lithium hydroxide for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, focusing on domestic production. In collaboration with grant partners DuPont Water Solutions, the University of Nevada, Reno, and Argonne National Laboratory, American Battery Technology was awarded $57 million from the Department of Energy for this project to design, build, commission, and operate a first-of-its-kind commercial-scale facility. This facility will be used to demonstrate its novel process for producing battery cathode grade lithium hydroxide from unconventional Nevada-based lithium-bearing sedimentary resources.
Volta | November 24, 2022
Volta Inc. (NYSE: VLTA) (“Volta”), an industry-leading electric vehicle (EV) charging and media company, today announced that a project application it collaborated on with Imagen Energy, LLC (“Imagen”), a developer of compact high-power EV chargers, was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The project seeks to develop and commercialize the next generation of domestically manufactured DC Fast Charging (DCFC) technology in support of the federal government’s clean energy and climate priorities.
The grant is part of the ARPA-E Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program, which provides further funding to previous ARPA-E teams that have been determined to be feasible for widespread deployment and commercialization domestically. SCALEUP selectees demonstrate a viable path to commercial deployment and the ability to attract private sector investments.
Through this project, Imagen and Volta seek to develop and commercialize chargers that are more flexible, more powerful, and more affordable by focusing on:
Scalable Chargers: The project will utilize Imagen’s flexible, high-efficiency silicon carbide-based (SiC) power conversion platform to produce compact charging cabinets that enable affordable, easier-to-install, and highly reliable high-power fast chargers capable of charging multiple EVs simultaneously and being deployed in a market quickly. The flexible platform is expected to facilitate optional, convenient integration with energy storage and renewable energy, and supports vehicle-to-grid integration.
BIL-compliance: Equipment is being engineered to deliver at least 150kW and be manufactured in the United States to comply with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) requirements. The technology will also fulfill network connectivity requirements, including Plug and Charge capabilities and communication through the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and Open Charge Point Interface protocol (OCPI), building upon Volta’s existing software implementation to allow flexible integration with roaming charging partners.
Visibility & Access: Volta will leverage its patented, award-winning PredictEV infrastructure planning software to identify optimal sites for effective piloting and initial deployment based on local EV ownership, mobility trends, demographics, and income levels. With more than 3,000 stalls currently installed, many within disadvantaged communities, and numerous existing relationships with leading retail and commercial properties, Volta’s EV charging network will enable quick feedback loops during the testing phase.
“Imagen relies on commercialization partners like Volta to accelerate the deployment of our high power density, silicon carbide-based power conversion platforms, The combination of Volta’s advanced PredictEV planning tool and the company’s existing charging network creates the ideal environment for quickly developing reliable, affordable, and efficient charging solutions that will support the rapid transition to electric mobility.”
-Ezana Mekonnen, Chief Technology Officer at Imagen.
While this is a modest initial government grant that does not replace the need for the capital we are currently raising, it is proof of Volta’s ability to align our business with the federal government’s priorities, said Vince Cubbage, Interim Chief Executive Officer at Volta. Volta’s collaboration with Imagen on this winning ARPA-E application demonstrates our commitment to supporting solutions that are compliant with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ensuring implementation can be done in a capital-efficient manner.
Volta Inc. (NYSE: VLTA) is an industry-leading electric vehicle ("EV") charging and media company. Volta's unique network of charging stations powers vehicles and drives business growth while accelerating a clean energy future. Volta delivers value to site partners, brands, and consumers by installing charging stations that feature large-format digital advertising screens located steps away from the entrances of popular commercial locations. Retailers can attract and influence foot traffic, advertisers can precisely target audiences, and EV drivers can charge their vehicles seamlessly as they go about their daily routines. Volta's extensive network leverages its proprietary PredictEV® platform, which uses sophisticated behavioral science and machine learning technology to help commercial property owners, cities, and electric utilities plan EV infrastructure intelligently, efficiently, and equitably.
Microsoft | November 17, 2022
LOckheed Martin and Microsoft today announced a landmark expansion of their strategic relationship to help power the next generation of technology for the Department of Defense (DOD).
The game-changing agreement will span four critical areas for the DOD:
Classified Cloud Innovations: Microsoft's latest secure framework will make Lockheed Martin the first non-government entity to independently operate inside the Microsoft Azure Government Secret cloud ushering in a new era of cloud opportunities for industry.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), Modeling and Simulation Capabilities: Lockheed Martin and Microsoft have entered a two-year collaborative research and development (R&D) program that will advance AI/ML and modeling and simulation capabilities for the DOD.
5G.MIL® Programs: The R&D agreement also expands the companies' existing collaboration to deliver advanced networking and secure 5G capabilities at the tactical edge.
Digital Transformation: Microsoft Azure will power Lockheed Martin's digital transformation journey, accelerating enterprise-wide productivity gains to deliver innovation at scale, enhance choice and flexibility, and create the next generation of defense technologies.
"Through this historic agreement, Lockheed Martin and Microsoft are blazing a new path in classified cloud, artificial intelligence, and 5G.MIL® capabilities for the Department of Defense. We are creating faster, safer, and more affordable 21st Century Security solutions that infuse immersive experiences and other advanced commercial technologies into the most capable defense systems. We are confident this unrivaled combination of capabilities will help keep our customers ahead of new threats and challenges."
-Yvonne Hodge, senior vice president, Enterprise Business and Digital Transformation, and chief information officer, Lockheed Martin.
Jason Zander, executive vice president, Strategic Missions and Technologies, Microsoft:
Our national security leaders need an unassailable information advantage, which is why we're bringing the power of the hyperscale cloud to accelerate their national security missions. In partnership with Lockheed Martin, we're demonstrating how the defense industrial base can bring classified data into the cloud securely while bringing advanced 5G connectivity, critical data processing and analysis, and immersive experiences to the edge to support decision- making where it's needed, when it's needed. Lockheed Martin is a valued partner in this effort, and we'll continue to innovate and explore the art of the possible to support national security.
Classified Cloud Innovations
Lockheed Martin is the first defense industrial base member to use Microsoft's newest National Industrial Security Program (NISP) framework for air-gapped clouds after a year-long pilot. Work on developing the classified and unclassified cloud environments is already underway, with expectations for the project to be operational in 2023.
Microsoft's first-of-its-kind technology will allow Lockheed Martin to dynamically scale IT demands under authorized guidance and directly operate mission workloads inside Azure Government Secret, including highly restricted special programs.
This allows Lockheed Martin to:
Modernize its legacy on-premises classified systems to owned-and-operated Azure Government Secret cloud tenants
Bolster cybersecurity reporting and compliance monitoring to near real-time.
Quickly create authorized mission workloads
Improve enterprise IT and research and development capabilities
Expand corporate efficiencies
Autonomously host enterprise cloud management, centralized collaboration, and
Provide governance at scale.
AI/ML, Modeling and Simulation Capabilities
Through this agreement, Lockheed Martin will partner with Microsoft to build on Microsoft's advanced gaming, exercising, modeling and simulation (GEMS) and emulation solutions to bring military planning and coordination through immersive environments. Using GEMS technology, Lockheed Martin and its customers can test military platforms and technologies that power joint all-domain operations on a digital platform. Such capabilities have the potential to cut costs for the DOD and minimize risk to service members by providing a digital alternative for some military exercises.
Using Microsoft Azure solutions and Lockheed Martin's 5G.MIL technologies, the companies will continue to develop secure, resilient communication systems that are interoperable with and seamlessly link to existing DOD networks. Key developments include a tactical 5G core, management and orchestration of applications and networks at scale and cloud-native security. The companies will also advance space domain connectivity for austere, infrastructure-light environments.
Advancing Lockheed Martin's Digital Transformation
With Azure as a foundation, Lockheed Martin will advance its business and digital transformation called 1LMX. By transforming its end-to-end business processes and systems, Lockheed Martin is creating a model-based enterprise with a fully integrated digital thread throughout the design, build and sustain product life cycle. 1LMX is enhancing the company's speed, agility, insights and competitiveness as it delivers the next generation of DOD systems. As part of this transformation, Lockheed Martin will become a multi-cloud environment in the unclassified space using Microsoft Azure as the cloud provider.
Lockheed Martin and Microsoft will continue to develop each of the four critical areas and demonstrate a series of progressively more complex capabilities throughout 2023. The capabilities unlocked by this collaboration will apply to a range of defense applications across all domains: land, sea, air, space and cyber.
About Lockheed Martin:
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Carahsoft | November 21, 2022
HUMAN Security, Inc. (formerly White Ops)--the global leader in safeguarding enterprises from digital attacks with modern defense, and Carahsoft Technology Corp., the Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced a partnership. Under the agreement, Carahsoft will serve as HUMAN’s Master Government Aggregator®, making the company’s industry-leading bot, fraud, and account abuse protection services available to the Public Sector through Carahsoft’s reseller partners and National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA), E&I Cooperative Services Contract, OMNIA Partners, and The Quilt contracts.
“As digital attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and targeted, agencies need a modern defense strategy to protect their operational efficiencies from threats and digital attacks, With the addition of the Human Defense Platform to our cybersecurity offerings, agencies can trust they are protected against digital attacks, fraud and account abuse. We look forward to working with HUMAN and our reseller partners to help our joint customers stay ahead of the threat landscape and protect their organizations from emerging cyber risk.”
-Rich Maigue, Sales Director who leads the HUMAN Security Team at Carahsoft.
The Human Defense Platform provides advanced technology, profound insights, and full lifecycle approach that rapidly protects many of the world’s largest entities against sophisticated digital attacks including, bots, transaction fraud, account takeover, data exfiltration and system compromises, and other malicious attacks. HUMAN’s software as a service (SaaS) solution is powered by massive observability by verifying the humanity of more than 20 trillion digital interactions a week (over 50% of the global internet population and 3 billion unique devices a month) on behalf of its customers. With this observability advantage and network effect, paired with threat intelligence for continuous adaptation, HUMAN is able to stay ahead of adversaries and disrupt their campaigns while protecting valuable customer and employee data, platforms and applications. Past examples of disruptions in collaboration with the government includes disrupting 3ve bringing together the FBI, Google, Facebook and many others in the industry; and the takedown of Methbot.
The first lesson I learned in the Air Force was to always go into battle with a distinct advantage. Unfortunately, when it comes to cybercrime, strategies built around defensive security don’t apply this same principle. At best, many are playing not to lose. HUMAN plays to win. Our unique approach with modern defense leverages internet observability, collective protection across hundreds of customers, and actionable threat intelligence and disruptions, enables us to win against cybercriminals, said Tamer Hassan, HUMAN Co-Founder and CEO, and a former decorated Air Force pilot who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. By partnering with Carahsoft and its reseller partners, we’re able to not only protect Government and military entities and Public Sector institutions from sophisticated bot attacks, fraud, and account abuse, but we’re able to adapt quickly to defend them from threats yet to come.
HUMAN’s modern defense approach protects customers along every step of the digital journey. The following featured solutions are part of the Human Defense Platform:
HUMAN Bot Defender
For digital businesses that need to protect their web and mobile applications and APIs, HUMAN Bot Defender is a behavior-based bot management solution that efficiently detects and mitigates the most sophisticated bot attacks. Unlike competing solutions that provide protection from only basic bot attacks, are hard to integrate and limit your infrastructure choices, HUMAN Bot Defender effortlessly integrates into any existing infrastructure and scales as your traffic grows to safeguard your online revenue and competitive edge.
HUMAN Account Defender
HUMAN Account Defender safeguards online accounts by detecting and neutralizing compromised and fake accounts on apps and websites. It stops fraud and abuse, reduces customer risk and cuts your fraud team’s workload. Account Defender uses behavioral analysis to continuously monitor accounts post-login for suspicious behavior. It generates an evolving risk score based on all activity in an account rather than relying on a single point-in-time check, such as only at login or at the point of transaction. When a risk threshold is met, automated actions such as locking the account are triggered.
HUMAN is a cybersecurity company that safeguards 500+ customers from sophisticated bot attacks, fraud and account abuse. We leverage modern defense—internet visibility, network effect, and disruptions—to enable our customers to increase ROI and trust while decreasing end-user friction, data contamination, and cybersecurity exposure. Today we verify the humanity of more than 20 trillion digital interactions per week across advertising, marketing, e-commerce, government, education and enterprise security, putting us in a position to win against cybercriminals. Protect your digital business with HUMAN.
Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator® for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and Engagement, and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles.