The lure of lithium creates an exploration boom in the Northwest – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business -July 12, 2023)

Developers with lithium deposits edge closer to construction while new explorers make inroads into the region

Northwestern Ontario is one of the one of the most active areas for lithium exploration in the world. Entering the height of the summer field season, the news flow emanating from junior mining firms is fast and furious. The projects range in progress from early-stage prospecting to more advanced mine-ready developments.

Lithium prices began booming in 2021, crashed through the first four months of this year, then finally stabilized in June. There are no lithium mines in Ontario.

Across the border in Manitoba, the Tanco tantalum mine produces lithium as a byproduct. Quebec’s Nemaska Lithium just signed automaker Ford as a customer and Sayona Mining looks to bring a lithium and mill near Val d’Or into production as early as 2026.

Two of northwestern Ontario’s best mining prospects are Avalon Advanced Resources’ Separation Rapids Project, outside Kenora, and Frontier Lithium’s remote PAK Project, 175 kilometres north of Red Lake. Both could come into production or start construction within a couple of years if senior levels of government can cooperate to expedite project approvals and provide support on technology and infrastructure.

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