Companies hope to mine N.W.T. for vital elements in electric car batteries
Can the buzz around electric vehicles inject new energy into Northwest Territories mining? As pre-orders for Tesla’s latest electric car surpass 300,000 in a week, owners of N.W.T. lithium and cobalt projects — two elements found in Tesla’s batteries — say their time has come.
Getting these projects off the drawing board would mark an increasingly rare mining good-news story for the territory. But there are unique challenges ahead. Tesla calls it a “gigafactory.” Billionaire Elon Musk’s car manufacturer is constructing a vast production facility for its vehicles’ lithium-ion batteries outside the aptly-named Sparks, Nev.
Tesla boasts this one factory will, by 2020, make more such batteries in a year than the entire world produced in 2013. More factories, serving more companies, are planned. “Now is the time. If there was ever a time, now is the time,” says Adrian Lamoureux, who wants to start a lithium mine in the N.W.T.
Last month, his exploration business agreed to acquire land around Hidden Lake — an area north of Yellowknife where the Northwest Territories Geological Survey is working to pinpoint lithium deposits.
“You have Tesla spending $5 billion on this 10-million-square-foot gigafactory. That alone is absolutely huge,” said the 40-year-old.
“Tesla needs supply. Now, do they want to be paying the sometimes $20,000 per ton that lithium is fetching over in Asia? No. They want something a little bit more closer to home.”
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tesla-batteries-lithium-cobalt-nwt-mining-1.3536796