Chinese mining company Sinomine planning Manitoba lithium refinery, eyeing Korea’s LG as joint venture partner – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 6, 2023)

Chinese mining company Sinomine Resource Group Co. Ltd. is considering building a lithium refinery in Manitoba, and is looking at teaming up with Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd. in an attempt to assuage any national-security concerns on the part of the federal government.

Last year, Beijing-based Sinomine put its Tanco lithium mine into production in Manitoba. It currently ships unrefined lithium concentrate from the site to China for use in the country’s electric-vehicle industry. China dominates the processing of lithium, with roughly a 60-per-cent share of the global market.

If Sinomine gets the go-ahead for the construction of its new facility, known as a lithium hydroxide plant, the company would be able to refine the key battery metal in Canada and sell it into the North American supply chain. The company is hoping this arrangement will ease the minds of politicians concerned about China hoarding EV metals at home.

“We are planning to talk to the government by the end of this year, and tell them that we want to build a plant here,” Frank Wang, the president of Sinomine’s North American division, said in an interview.

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