Alberta on the cusp of another resource boom – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – March 28, 2023)

Alberta may end up leading the world’s transition to lithium batteries

The most important date in 20th-century Canadian economic history took place on Feb. 13, 1947, on a farm near Edmonton, when Imperial Oil made one of the largest oil discoveries in the world.

A plume of oil and flames reached 15 metres toward the sky and Leduc No. 1 ushered in Alberta’s incredible oil industry. Within weeks, 500 oil companies were formed, launching Alberta and Canada into the energy big leagues and becoming a major contributor to the Canadian economy and our standard of living.

Now, it appears as though history may repeat itself. Alberta’s Leduc geological formation contains an abundance of lithium, a critical and rare metal that is needed in batteries to power electric vehicles and cellphones.

Lithium has traditionally been extracted from “hard rocks,” but in Alberta, it exists in the brine, or water, left behind in oilfields across the province. Geologist Chris Doornbos started E3 Lithium, a TSX-listed geo-tech company that entered into a strategic partnership with Imperial Oil last year. And last week, the company announced some impressive test results.

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