In this Trade To Black Podcast, TDR Founder Shadd Dales interviewed First Phosphate CEO, John Passalacqua. Fresh off his company’s Canadian Securities Exchange listing on February 22, John talks about the role of phosphate as a critical element in lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, phosphate’s expansive demand runway, the company’s main mining project and more.
When investors think about electric vehicle (EV) batteries, they inevitably think about lithium’s role as an indispensable material. However, phosphate is also a mineral of need. While PO₄ is abundant in nature, it is mostly mined as a fertilizer component. And while abundant, it has to be re-engineered to an immensely high purity before it can be used in LFPs. A purity few companies focus on or can deliver.
Enter First Phosphate, which is 100% focused on the complete start-to-finish life cycle of phosphate production. According to CEO John Passalacqua, that makes his company stand out, as perhaps the only company in the world to concentrate solely in this highly-specialized niche industry:
I do believe that we are the only company that I know of worldwide, focused 100% on the LFP battery. And the pitch point is going to be massive in purified phosphoric acid. You know, I hear some of the giga factory guys talking all day long, they’re like, ‘Ah, you know, we’re making this, we’re making that.’ They’re focused way downstream here—they don’t know what the elements are that have to go into their process. And they’re saying things like, ‘Ah phosphate is abundant.’ I’m like, ya, okay, you try opening up your electric tank taking a bag of fertilizer and dumping it into your EV, and like that’s going to power your EV. That’s not how it works.
Overall, Mr. Passalacqua states that First Phosphate aims to become to the LFP industry what Nutrien Ltd. or Mosaic Company is to fertilizer industry. As the only player in this niche sub-sector, he believes this ambition is attainable.
Phosphate had an important role in certain types of electric batteries, specifically LFP batteries. These batteries are a type of rechargeable lithium-ion battery that uses a cathode made of lithium iron phosphate, and an anode made of graphite or another carbon-based material.
In these types of batteries, the phosphate (PO4) ions act as a bridge between the cathode and anode, allowing lithium ions to move back and forth during charging and discharging. The phosphate-based cathode is also more stable and less prone to overheating than other cathode materials, making LFP batteries safer and more durable.
LFP batteries are used in a variety of applications, including electric vehicles, solar power systems, and backup power supplies. They are known for their long cycle life, high power density, and low environmental impact compared to other types of batteries.
Click on the embedded link for more with company CEO, John Passalacqua.
To view our previous Trade To Black podcast featuring Pelorus Equity Group Co-Founding President Rob Sechrist, click here.