Lithium exploration ramp up: Canada is primed to become a supplier of lithium to help fill the looming gap for the energy transition – by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco (CIM Magazine – March 20, 2023)

In 1950, the authors of a federal government document entitled “The Miscellaneous Non-Metal Mining Industry” noted that Canada had little to no known use for lithium. “Thus, an outside market would have to be found for any production,” the authors concluded.

Such uses for lithium as lubricants, glass, ceramics and pharmaceuticals would subsequently open up niche markets for the white mineral, but over the decades lithium exploration and mining in Canada have remained sporadic, with mines being few and far between.

Today, a market has been found for Canada’s lithium – a booming one – and dozens of Canadian junior mining exploration companies have joined the global lithium rush by looking for the mineral here at home. According to Natural Resources Canada, spending on exploration and deposit appraisal activities for “other minerals,” which includes cobalt, lithium and rare earths, rose by 167 per cent in 2021 to $95 million, and is anticipated to have increased by another 77 per cent in 2022 to $169 million.

Collectively, these juniors are part of something much bigger than just building a business, they are helping to pioneer a new battery-grade lithium mining industry in Canada.

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