Evolving Battery Designs Place a Greater Significance on Nickel

NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As EVs gain a hold in the market, batteries powering such vehicles are much more materially diverse than the traditional internal-combustion engines they replace. As a result, the manufacturing of such cars is putting unexpected and unique strains on several raw materials industries. According to a report by IDTechEx, one of the most crucial materials is Nickel, an essential part of the cathode in the Li-ion batteries enabling electrification. Most automakers utilize Nickel-based batteries for their balance of energy and power density. For example, BMW, Hyundai and Renault use variants of the Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) chemistry, while Tesla uses a Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide (NCA) chemistry. Demand for Nickel is further improved by the trend towards higher Nickel content in cells, as manufacturers switch chemistries to improve energy density further and reduce dependence on Cobalt. Here To Serve Holding Corp. (OTC: HTSC), Canada Nickel Co Inc. (OTC: CNIKF) (TSX-V: CNC), Giga Metals Corp. (OTC: HNCKF) (TSX-V: GIGA), Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: SPAQ), NIO Limited (NYSE: NIO)

With new inventions arising, major changes have been introduced into the EV batteries market. The average energy density of batteries is predicted to increase at 4-5% each year. Some of the electric vehicles come with an additional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). Such vehicles are called Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). When a hybrid electric vehicle also has a plug-in function for directly recharging the battery, it is known as a Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV). The difference between a HEV and a PHEV is their battery capacity and the ability to charge the battery via a direct power source. Such models are included in the EV umbrella and provide various alternatives, some of which may be more affordable. According to data by Valuates Reports the global Electric Vehicle Market Size was estimated at USD 162.34 Billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 802.81 Billion by 2027 while at a CAGR of 22.6%.

Here To Serve Holding Corp. (OTC: HTSC) announced yesterday breaking news that its

wholly owned subsidiary Fortune Nickel and Gold Inc., "has identified preliminary drilling targets to test multiple electromagnetic (EM) anomalies (conductors) at its Gowan Property in Timmins, Ontario. These easterly trending, conductive zones extend over several miles long, and are identified through airborne electromagnetic survey data. The high-grade, historical RC drill hole (FH-68) with intersection of 3.5% Ni and 1.25% Cu (till samples) sits on a conductor zone. Moreover, these conductors are not drill tested to bedrock depth, and are coincident at or along faults and or lithologic boundaries, which by analogy in Timmins Mining Camp, are excellent sites for significant NiCu(PGE) deposits.

The Airborne Magnetics and EM survey data were available to the public through the Province of Ontario's Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and Ontario Geological Survey websites. Accompanying this news release are high resolution airborne magnetic maps showing the spatial distribution of NiCu(PGE) deposits / mines, and the close association of nickel sulphide deposits to ultramafic-mafic intrusions. The underlying geology at Crawford deposit and at Alexo-Dundonald mines are similar to Fortune's mining claims in Gowan Township, except the footprint of magnetic units are much larger plus it has several types of intrusive porphyries that also host large gold and copper systems.

Fortune's CEO, Paul Riss, said 'Canada Nickel has flown a modern deep EM survey, a detailed magnetics and a gravity survey over approximately 8 townships of property in Timmins. Their research gives us a head start on how we plan our exploration activities. Fortune is in process of sourcing for an airborne geophysical contractor to resurvey the property prior to the planned winter drilling in early 2021. A faster, cost-efficient alternative approach is to hire a consulting firm to re-process the old flight survey data from the government.

Riss continued, 'We are excited to perform a new survey with modern techniques. A new survey can see down 1,000 feet or more whereas the old survey may have only seen down 200 to 300 feet and in many areas may not have seen through the 150 foot thickness of overburden that is typical in the area. The survey results will direct Fortune's exploration and drilling plans on the ground towards the next level of discovery.'

Fortune management believes the Gowan property will offer some of the highest-grade nickel in North America. Company geologists believe the Gowan property may be a powerhouse nickel mine. Management hopes that the Gowan project will bring a tremendous increase in shareholder value as technology further proves high-grade nickel is prevalent throughout the property."

For more information: https://www.fortunenickelandgold.com/projects

Canada Nickel Co Inc. (OTCQB: CNIKF) (TSX-V: CNC) recently provided an updated mineral resource for its 100% owned Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulphide Project ("Crawford") near Timmins, Ontario which more than doubles mineral resources in both Measured and Inferred resource categories. This report includes a resource update for its previously reported Main Zone and an initial resource for its East Zone. Mark Selby, Chair and CEO of Canada Nickel commented, "This latest drilling phase did an outstanding job of delivering on both of its key objectives - better defining and increasing the Main-Higher Grade Zone and establishing an initial resource in the East Zone. With a 162% increase in the Measured High Grade Zone nickel content, a 121% increase in total inferred resources, and an initial East Zone resource, this resource update puts us in excellent position for the delivery of a Preliminary Economic Analysis ("PEA") by year-end. I look forward to continued drilling results as we explore several highly prospective nickel and PGM targets at Crawford, and to completing the remaining metallurgical and engineering testing for the PEA. With the recently completed financing, the Company is well-positioned to aggressively advance Crawford towards a Feasibility Study expected by year-end 2021."

Giga Metals Corp. (OTCQB: HNCKF) (TSX-V: GIGA) earlier in September provided an update regarding certain nickel market developments. "We were not surprised to learn today about Vale's decision to place their High Pressure, High Temperature Acid Leach (HPAL) operation in New Caledonia, commonly known as Goro, on care and maintenance" said Mr. Vydra. "HPAL is exceedingly complex and can be prone to failure. Even the best designed and constructed facilities must rely on experienced and well-trained personnel or they are likely to suffer setback after setback." Earlier this year the Ambatovy HPAL operation in Madagascar was also placed on care and maintenance. These two operations represent nameplate capacity of close to 120,000 tonnes per year of nickel and 10,000 tonnes per year of cobalt.

Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: SPAQ) and Fisker Inc. announced this week that as of the deadline for redemption elections in connection with the pending business combination between the two companies (the "Fisker Transaction"), approximately $550 million of the original $552 million will remain available in Spartan's trust. When combined with previously announced outstanding financing commitments of approximately $500 million and cash on hand at Fisker, the post-combination company expects to have in excess of $1.0 billion (net of transaction fees and expenses) of cash on the balance sheet and no funded debt, following the closing of the Fisker Transaction. This amount is expected to fund Fisker operations and the development of the Fisker Ocean program through the planned start of production in Q4 2022. California-based Fisker Inc. is revolutionizing the automotive industry by developing the most emotionally desirable and eco-friendly electric vehicles on Earth. Passionately driven by a vision of a clean future for all, the company is on a mission to become the No. 1 e-mobility service provider with the world's most sustainable vehicles.

NIO Limited (NYSE: NIO) reported earlier in August that it has launched the innovative Battery as a Service (the "BaaS") subscription model and announced the establishment of Wuhan Weineng Battery Asset Co., Ltd. (the "Battery Asset Company"). The BaaS model allows users to purchase electric vehicles and subscribe the usage of battery packs separately. If users opt to purchase an ES8, ES6 or EC6 model and subscribe to use the 70 kWh battery pack under the BaaS model, they can enjoy the vehicle purchase price with an RMB70,000 deduction off the original price and pay a monthly subscription fee of RMB980 for the battery pack. Meanwhile, the users will continue to enjoy the existing favorable policies such as purchase tax exemption and government subsidies for EVs. The first vehicle under the BaaS model has completed the process of license plate registration, insurance purchase, and auto financing. All users who purchase NIO vehicles are now eligible to place orders with the BaaS model.

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