By Dave Brown - Exclusive to

Increased attention to cleaner transportation alternatives and  technology will enhance demand for LithiumOn March 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of the health-care bill that was approved by the Senate in December 2009.  The Senate is planning this week to bridge the differences with the House proposals and pass the revised bill under the reconciliation process that paves the way for President Obama to sign the bill and introduce the most aggressive health-care reforms since 1965.

While analysts are still debating the net impact of health-care reform on a multitude of factors (including the fiscal deficit and health-care outcomes per dollar), Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist for the Vice President seems to be already diverting focus to other challenges including green technology.   With the Presidential agenda identifying its next priority, lithium investors gain some context as to what could quickly shift potential demand into realized production.

In his most recent publication of “ Recovery Act in Action” from March 24, Mr. Bernstein demonstrates his optimism, “once investors saw that the Federal government was serious about seeding investment in clean energy, they were ready to take the plunge themselves.  This public/private partnership is essential to bringing these investments, and the jobs they create, to scale.”

Company News

On Monday, Electrovaya Inc. (TSX: EFL) announced that former Chrysler Chief Executive Thomas LaSorda joined its board of directors and was appointed as special adviser to the Chief Executive Officer, Sankar Das Gupta.

Mr. LaSorda, has also held senior positions at General Motors during his over 30-year career and will help with the company's growth strategy, including business development and global alliances.  Mr. LaSorda was pleased with the opporuntity in the release, "As the only major zero-emission manufacturer of lithium ion batteries, Electrovaya is uniquely positioned to address this vast new market for electric vehicles and other products."

On Tuesday, the company followed up with an announcement that it was chosen by Chrysler as the battery supplier for 140 Ram plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) for a demonstration program.  The program will run for a period of three years at various geographic and climatic locations across the US. More than 21 Chrysler partners across the U.S., including utility companies, government agencies and universities, will independently test the Ram PHEV and provide data for the advancement of the research, technology and commercial success.

Electrovaya Inc. designs, develops and manufactures proprietary Lithium Ion SuperPolymer batteries, battery systems, and battery-related products for the clean transportation, smart grid power, consumer and healthcare markets. The Company has over 150 global patents on its Lithium Ion SuperPolymer battery technology and associated system technologies, specializing in large format prismatic cells.  Electrovaya has production facilities in Canada as well as in the US, and a well diversified international customer base.

The market reacted very strongly to the positive news flow as the share price appreciated from its close on Friday of $.95 to $1.07 at the end of Monday.  Consistent demand for the shares increased the price to $1.21 at the end of Tuesday, however by mid morning on Wednesday the price escalated to the $2.20 range.  Some profit taking during the afternoon saw the valuations revert to levels of $2.07 by the close of the trading session.

On Tuesday, Nortec Ventures Corp. ( TSX-V: NVT) provided an update on the Company's corporate activities and on exploration developments in Finland.  In addition to announcing a bullish independent research report recently published by eResearch, the company provided additional details on pegmatite dykes containing over 1 percent lithium at the Tammela Lithium Project.

The eResearch report highlights Nortec's diverse portfolio of properties operating in Finland, Canada and Ecuador with exploration of base and precious metals, lithium and rare earth elements.  The initiating coverage analysis recommends Nortec as a ‘speculative buy' and indicates a 12 month target share price of $.24, with the current valuation trading in the $.10 range.

According to the Nortec press release, the Tammela Project, compares well to existing lithium projects in Scandinavia, and was a strategic acquisition for Nortec. Lithium values are significant and there is relatively low iron and magnesium content relative to lithium.

The company expects demand for lithium resources in Europe to increase in the future due to lithium applications in automobile and hi-tech batteries by European manufacturers and the low iron and magnesium content also make this asset very favourable for the ceramics and glass industries.

Original article on Lithium Investing News