THE owners of the only producing lithium mine in the country are preparing to invest $176 million to build a new concentrator in Manitoba, which may be a precursor to an even larger investment in the province.
Tantalum Mining Corp. of Canada Ltd., which owns the lithium Tanco Mine near Lac du Bonnet, has already begun preliminary work on the site and is in discussions with neighbouring Sagkeeng First Nation. Consultants are preparing the information needed to apply for permits.
The new processor will be able to handle 3,000 tonnes of ore per day as opposed to its current capacity of 500 tonnes per day. Bill Curry, vice-president of North American business for Tantalum, said the additional capacity that will become available will initially be deployed to reprocess the mine’s tailings to extract lithium and cesium.
“We currently have over 60 years worth of tailings,” he said. “We know there is recoverable amounts of lithium and cesium in the out tailings.” The mine was acquired by Sinomine Resources Group Co., Ltd., a Chinese-owned company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, in 2019.
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