Avalon announces bigger plans for lithium plant site – by Ian Kaufman (TB News Watch – September 18, 2023)


The company behind a planned lithium processing plant in Thunder Bay says it intends to attract partners for a wider ‘industrial park’

THUNDER BAY – The company behind a plan to build Ontario’s first lithium processing plant in Thunder Bay says it’s upsizing its aspirations, eyeing an industrial park that would also be home to a battery recycling facility and an innovation centre.

Leaders with Avalon Advanced Materials discussed the plans during a visit to Thunder Bay this week. for the Central Canada Resource Expo. President Zeeshan Syed called the visit a chance to “unveil Avalon and our plans for Thunder Bay,” while meeting with mining industry players, local politicians, and academic institutions.

The Toronto-based company announced in June it had acquired a former mill site on Strathcona Avenue for a lithium-hydroxide processing plant. It says it hopes to have the plant in operation by 2027 or 2028. In an interview Friday, Syed said the rising importance of the lithium industry in fuelling the transition to electric vehicles had inspired Avalon to eye ambitious plans for its role in that transition.

“Critical minerals have become a geopolitical issue, quite frankly, and it’s really elevated the importance of getting this right,” he said. “Avalon’s aspirations are not simply just to create our one processing facility, but to look for efficiencies in building that supply chain.”

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