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Podcast: Maciej Jastrzebski, CEO of Li-Metal

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In this week’s podcast we revisit the world of advanced battery materials, as we chat with the CEO of Li-Metal [CSE:LIM], a Canadian and Frankfurt-listed [FRA:5ZO] battery materials specialist. The company visited New York in June for 121 Mining Investment, but this is a chance to hear CEO Maciej Jastrzebski taking our questions directly.

If you have been following our coverage of battery materials specialist Nano One you will know that the future of battery tech depends not just on the amount of raw materials you can dig out of the ground. It also revolves around how those batteries are put together, and whether we can make them more efficient.

Canadian-based Li-Metal is already dealing with numerous inquiries from various quarters from potential customers of its output, including the EV sector. It specialises in the manufacture of lithium metal and lithium metal anode batteries. It is in effect working on the development of next generation batteries, for vehicles and other requirements, using production methods that are more sustainable than existing products. It creates lighter, more energy-dense, and ultimately safer batteries.

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Next-generation batteries are the successor to today’s lithium-ion batteries, enabling longer ranges and better performance, to a factor of as much as 100%.

Li-Metal only went public on the CSE last year, raising CAD 32m in the process. It already had an operating lithium-ion facility in Rochester, NY, and has now also opened what it calls an advanced anode development facility in Ontario. Sample products are already being delivered to potential clients.

Of most significance in our view was the inking of a deal earlier this year with Blue Solutions, the largest developer in the world of solid-state lithium-metal batteries. It has also attracted the attention of the Canadian government, which provided the company with a grant from Next Generation Canada.

The lithium anode market is approaching a crunch point – it is expected to exceed USD 10bn per year by 2030, and USD 40bn by 2040. Over 90% of lithium output now comes from China, giving the country a commanding role in future lithium production. That puts enormous pressure on lithium supplies from outside China, and is one reason why many investors are getting so excited about the sector.

That’s not slowing the EV market however, with many major manufacturers already working hard to deliver electric vehicles over the next decade or so.

Li-Metal is taking a two-pronged approach to this, which we discuss on the podcast. It is aiming to build out a lithium metal strategy for both North America and Europe, currently in its pilot stage, and secondly a lithium anode strategy which it is currently defining based on customer requirements.

We are very excited about the prospects for Li-Metal. The deal with Blue Solutions, which makes the batteries for Daimler buses, is obviously a game changer for the company. It reports 20 ongoing discussions with auto makers and 12 next-gen battery companies currently actively sampling its materials. Listen to the podcast to find out more!

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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