Archive | Lithium

Rio Tinto produces battery grade lithium in the US – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 7, 2021)

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) has kicked off lithium production from waste rock at a plant located at a borates mine it controls in California.

The demonstration facility is the next step in scaling up a breakthrough lithium production process developed at the Boron mine. The method allows Rio Tinto to recover the critical mineral and extract additional value out of waste piles from over 90 years of mining at the operation.

An initial small-scale trial in 2019 successfully proved the process of roasting and leaching waste rock to recover high grades of the metal, vital in the production of batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and most high tech electronics. Continue Reading →

Battery and ‘green’ metals brighten outlook for mining sector – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – April 6, 2021)

Global mining news

The transition to electric vehicles could take a decade or two but demand for the key metals in batteries and energy storage systems will only continue to grow as the shift to a greener future gains traction.

China currently leads the world in EV and battery production. The latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to BMO Capital Markets, show that sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in February were 585% higher than the same month in 2020, and the country’s production of lithium-ion batteries jumped 108% year-on-year to 18.25 billion units annually in the months of January and February.

The U.S. wants to catch up. Under U.S. President Joe Biden’s US$2.3 trillion infrastructure renewal and job creation plan announced last week, US$174 billion has been earmarked for EVs. Continue Reading →

Mining executives warn Ottawa about dependence on China for strategic minerals amid deteriorating relations – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – April 5, 2021)

It’s estimated that China will control 67 per cent of global capacity to build lithium-ion batteries by 2030

OTTAWA — Mining executives and national security experts are warning the federal government about China’s domination of strategic mineral supplies, saying Ottawa needs to better protect supply chains for modern technology that relies on them like electric vehicles and smart phones.

In testimony before the House of Commons natural resources committee this month, experts described China’s decades-long efforts to control the market for critical minerals — including the 17 rare earth elements — by rapidly expanding its processing capacity or by acquiring foreign assets to dominate supply chains.

The minerals, which include magnesium, lithium and scandium, are used to develop such strategic products as solar panels, wind turbines, electric car batteries, mobile phone components and guided missiles. Continue Reading →

Fort William First Nation ready to be the host community of a lithium processing plant – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 31, 2021)

Avalon Advanced Material signs letter of intent with northwestern Ontario community on brownfield site search

A potential developer of a lithium chemical plant in northwestern Ontario has inked an agreement with Fort William First Nation (FWFN), next to Thunder Bay, to identify a suitable refinery site on reserve land.

Toronto’s Avalon Advanced Materials has signed a letter of intent with the community to collaborate on the possible construction of a lithium processing plant on Fort William’s spacious heavy industrial lands.

The reserve has more than 1,100 acres of brownfield property available, formerly known as the Grand Trunk Pacific Lands, that is being marketed as a development-ready industrial business park. Continue Reading →

Rising U.S. Lithium Industry: A Potential Quandary For Environmental Activists – by David Blackmon (Forbes Magazine – March 16, 2021)

Lithium mining has been present in America for decades, although in a minimal way. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that, although the U.S. is very rich in underground lithium resources, it currently mines and processes only about 1% of annual global lithium production.

According to that report, “China, with a huge chemical industry and low costs, unearths about 10% and processes about two-thirds of what’s dug up.”

Lithium mining and production appears likely to become a much bigger enterprise in the United States as the Biden/Harris administration implements policies designed to encourage and stimulate it. Continue Reading →

America’s Battery-Powered Car Hopes Ride on Lithium. One Producer Paves the Way. – by Scott Patterson and Amrith Ramkumar (Wall Street Journal – March 9, 2021)

GASTON COUNTY, N.C.—The rolling hills of North Carolina’s Piedmont region are an unlikely setting for a next-generation technology transformation that has become a national priority.

Lamont Leatherman, a 55-year-old geologist who grew up here, is its unlikely instigator. A decade ago, he combed the woods near his childhood home in search of lithium, a soft, white metal he believed would be crucial to the burgeoning industry of electric vehicles.

Now, the company he helped found five years ago to explore the region, Piedmont Lithium Ltd. , has deployed drilling rigs throughout the 2,300 acres it owns or controls to map out deposits. The company is preparing to launch one of the first big new lithium mines in the U.S. in decades. Continue Reading →

Canada Used To Provide A Lot Of World’s Lithium, But Can It Revive That? – by Michael Barnard (Clean Technica – February 24, 2021)

Lithium used to be used to treat mania and mood swings, and now its availability or lack thereof is making market swings. In the 1950s, Canada was actually a player in the international lithium market, with a mine in Quebec providing tons of the salt, then failing as the market failed.

Fast forward to 2021, and lithium is a core component of the electrification of transportation, in all of our electronic gadgets and a lesser component for grid storage.

Canada actually has massive lithium reserves underground. Can it return to being, if not the king of lithium, at least a well-positioned pawn? Continue Reading →

Electric cars are fueling the US’s lithium mining boom – by Michael J. Coren ( – February 21, 2021)

Lithium, a silvery metal so lightweight it floats on water, has been dubbed “white gold.” The element is key to the future of the automobile industry, increasingly powered by powerful batteries that require the metal, and meeting climate deadlines to decarbonize the global economy.

After decades relying on imports, countries are now scrambling to secure their own domestic supplies of the crucial ingredient, also used in ceramics, glass, lubricants, and polymers.

“Lithium supply security has become a top priority for technology companies in the United States and Asia,” according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) (pdf). The US Interior Department listed lithium as a critical mineral in 2018, fast-tracking mine permits. Continue Reading →

Canada could be top player in global EV battery market — report – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – February 22, 2021)

Canada has a sizeable opportunity to become one of the world’s leaders in the lithium-ion battery market, but that potential needs to be recognized and nurtured by regulators and miners, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence director Simon Moores told the House of Commons on Monday.

Moores, who joined a parliamentary discussion on Canada’s role in building a domestic and global lithium-ion battery ecosystem, said the combination of natural resources and a highly-skilled workforce should make it easy for the country to create a sustainable value chain for battery materials.

Canada is rich in lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, aluminum and manganese, key ingredients for advanced battery manufacturing and storage technology. Continue Reading →

Sudbury lithium company talks of Great Lakes port-side processing plant – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 19, 2021)

Frontier Lithium predicts 28-year mine life for its PAK project in northwestern Ontario

An emerging lithium producer is considering a chemical processing plant at a “Great Lakes port” as part of a US$685-million plan to bring an open-pit mine project into production in northwestern Ontario.

Frontier Lithium, a Sudbury company with two high-quality lithium deposits north of Red Lake, released a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on Feb. 16 of its PAK Lithium Project, estimating a 26-year mine life.

The company has an ambitious goal of becoming a vertically integrated supplier of battery-grade lithium hydroxide to the North American electric vehicle market with a mining and milling operation and a downstream, value-added, processing plant. Continue Reading →

These Metals Are Soaring on a Green Frenzy and Global Recovery (Bloomberg News – February 19, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Industrial metal prices are powering to the highest in years on bets an economic recovery from the pandemic and worldwide push for cleaner, greener energy will unleash vast amounts of pent-up demand.

From base-metal bellwethers to essential inputs for batteries and home electronics, post-crisis consumption threatens to outstrip near-term supply.

Governments and companies globally are announcing net-zero emissions goals, Europe is rolling out a package of environmental initiatives as part of its growth plan, and President Joe Biden has pledged $400 billion on clean energy research and development over 10 years. Continue Reading →

Battery metals are critical over the next decade, Roskill says – by Carl A. Williams (Northern Miner – February 18, 2021)

Global mining news

The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is driving the increasing demand for lithium, nickel and cobalt – critical metals used as cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries in the automotive, energy and electronics industries.

According to Deloitte’s Electric Vehicle Trends, EV sales are forecast to grow from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million by 2025, and to 31.1 million by 2030. Analysts from Roskill, a commodity research firm and a leader in critical materials supply chains, provide an outlook on battery metals’ markets over the next decade.


Global demand for lithium carbonate — one of two primary forms of lithium used in EVs — is expected to exceed one million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2026, according to David Merriman, an expert on EV and battery materials at Roskill. Continue Reading →

WORLD BANK NEWS RELEASE: Mineral Production to Soar as Demand for Clean Energy Increases (May 11, 2021)


For Report:

The more ambitious climate targets, the more minerals needed for a clean energy transition

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2020 — A new World Bank Group report finds that the production of minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, could increase by nearly 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that over 3 billion tons of minerals and metals will be needed to deploy wind, solar and geothermal power, as well as energy storage, required for achieving a below 2°C future.

The report “Minerals for Climate Action: The Mineral Intensity of the Clean Energy Transition” also finds that even though clean energy technologies will require more minerals, the carbon footprint of their production—from extraction to end use—will account for only 6% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuel technologies.

The report underscores the important role that recycling and reuse of minerals will play in meeting increasing mineral demand. It also notes that even if we scale up recycling rates for minerals like copper and aluminum by 100%, recycling and reuse would still not be enough to meet the demand for renewable energy technologies and energy storage. Continue Reading →

Legacy mine tailings present mineral recovery opportunity for junior miner – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 17, 2021)

Avalon Advanced Materials acquires closed Kapuskasing mine, Matheson processing plant as part of $16-million property package deal

A lithium exploration company wants to dig into a mine waste pile to recover valuable critical minerals that are used in fertilizer applications.

Avalon Advanced Materials is picking up four industrial minerals properties in Northern Ontario, including a former phosphate mine near Kapuskasing and a processing plant in Matheson.

Toronto-based Avalon announced Feb. 17 that it has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire a privately owned numbered company, 2333382 Ontario Inc. Continue Reading →

Li-Cycle rides excitement around surging EV sales with SPAC merger – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – February 18, 2021)

Ajay Kochhar, co-founder and chief executive of Mississauga-based Li-Cycle Corp. sometimes refers to his company as akin to an urban miner — a subtle hint at how excitement around the electric vehicle industry is reshaping global industry.

His business involves shredding lithium-ion batteries, and separating out the metals inside — mainly lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese — so they can be recycled for use in future electric vehicle or smartphone batteries.

On Tuesday, Li-Cycle announced a deal to combine with Peridot Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC, which raised US$300 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in September. Continue Reading →