Lithium processing could put northwestern Ontario city on forefront of a new age in mining
When John Mason worked as a provincial government geologist on the north shore of Lake Superior, there’s wasn’t much grassroots exploration or talk about lithium.
“On and off,” said the mining services project manager with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC). “Very minimal.”
The Ontario Geological Survey documented plenty of occurrences in the Kenora District and the Georgia Lake area close to Beardmore, where Rock Tech Lithium has a very advanced exploration property, but the market to actually mine the commodity just wasn’t there.
“In the 1950s, it was used as a lubricant,” said Mason. “The battery world wasn’t there.”
Today, lithium, graphite, magnesium, cobalt, aluminum and rare earth elements are among the integral components in the clean tech and digital economy, used for lithium-ion batteries in the automotive sector and various applications in aerospace, defence, clean energy and electronics.