Calgary-based company secures $27M in federal funding to develop lithium extraction in oilpatch – by Josh Aldrich (Calgary Herald – November 28, 2022)

https://calgaryherald.com/

The goal for E3 Lithium is to separate lithium from the aquifer of the Leduc reservoir for use in EV and battery technology

Calgary-based E3 Lithium has secured $27 million in federal funding to help the company continue to progress toward extracting lithium from the province’s old oilfields.

The funding announced Monday is part of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Strategic Innovation Fund, which has put $6.8 billion toward 107 projects across Canada.

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Lithium exploration near Yellowknife could begin next year – by Sidney Cohen (CBC News North – November 29, 2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Li-FT Power Ltd. proposes drilling near Hidden Lake and Bighill Lake

Lithium exploration near two Yellowknife-area lakes popular with hikers and paddlers could begin in 2023. On Nov. 23, Vancouver-based Li-FT Power Ltd. announced it had amalgamated with 1361516 B.C. Ltd. to acquire the Yellowknife Lithium Project. The project comprises 13 mineral leases, including properties near Hidden Lake and Bighill Lake.

Li-FT Power’s CEO, Francis MacDonald, says the company aims to begin drilling as soon as it gets its permits and water license, carries out community engagement, and hires drill contractors.

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Rock Tech drops lithium refinery plans in new Georgia Lake prefeasibility – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – November 16, 2022)

Global mining news

Rock Tech Lithium (TSXV: RCK) released a prefeasibility study for its Georgia Lake lithium project in northern Ontario showing lower resource grades and a reduced net present value, while dropping a plan to build a refinery.

The updated indicated resource comes to 10.6 million tonnes grading 0.88% lithium oxide, inferred resources of 4.2 million tonnes grading at 1% lithium oxide, the company announced on Wednesday. The study also included a first probable mineral reserve for Georgia Lake estimated at 7.3 million tonnes grading 0.82% lithium oxide.

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Argentina could help the world by becoming a big lithium exporter (The Economist – November 15, 2022)

https://www.economist.com/

But can exports of the metal help sort out the country’s economic woes?

Picture a country in South America that is pro-business, is attractive to foreign capital and offers political stability for long-term investment. Most people would think of Chile. But when it comes to mining lithium, a light, salt-like metal used for batteries in electric vehicles and mobile phones, the country in question is its dysfunctional neighbour, Argentina.

Better known for triple-digit inflation and railing against the International Monetary Fund, Argentine officials have gone on a charm offensive to Washington, DC and London with a boosterish message: the mining sector is open for business.

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A new mine could position Quebec as a lithium leader, but its rocky past worries locals – by Kate McKenna (CBC News Montreal – November 15, 2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/

It could be a boon for a small community, but critics brace for impact after history of failures and spills

In an expansive open-air pit 550 kilometres northwest of Montreal, 100-tonne trucks criss-cross the climbing roads, preparing for the mine to open.

The chalk-white veins of those rocks have metals inside, including one of the most sought-after minerals in the world: lithium, a key component of electric car batteries.

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Investing in lithium mines may shield electric-vehicle makers from rising prices – by Anthony Barich (SP Global – November 2022)

https://www.spglobal.com/

It is time for electric-vehicle makers to go beyond lithium off-take agreements and get more involved in mining and processing, industry observers said.

Recent price increases for certain metals showed their vulnerability to supply chain disruptions, which threaten to boost the cost of clean energy technologies and slow their deployment, the International Energy Agency, or IEA, said in its World Energy Outlook 2022, published Oct. 27.

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Southwestern Newfoundland could be home to a high-grade deposit of highly in demand lithium – by Evan Careen (Saltwire.com – November 14, 2022)

https://www.saltwire.com/

Early test results are promising at the Kraken project near Burgeo

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — When people think mining in Newfoundland and Labrador, iron ore, nickel and, in recent years, gold, tend to come to mind.

Gold was actually what Tim Froude, CEO of Sokoman Minerals Corp., and his mining partners, Benton Resources Inc, were looking for at their Golden Hope project in southwestern Newfoundland when something else caught their eye. “We were flying along in a helicopter when we noticed a white outcrop in the distance, so we landed to take a look,” Froude said.

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Canada draws a line on critical minerals, but leaves unanswered questions – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – November 2, 2022)

Global mining news

Less than a year after the federal government approved the takeover of Neo Lithium by China’s Zijin Mining without a full national security review under the Canada Investment Act, it has signalled an entirely new approach to Chinese investment in Canada’s critical minerals sector.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson issued new guidelines on Oct. 28 regarding foreign investment in the sector, which is key to Canada’s competitiveness in a future low-carbon global economy. Had they been in place at the time of the Neo Lithium takeover, which closed in January this year, it’s probable — if not 100% certain — that the deal would have been rejected.

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Canada deals itself a blow in cutting China out of critical minerals – by David Olive (Toronto Star – November 10, 2022)

https://www.thestar.com/

Ottawa has just shown tangible resolve in declaring Canada off-limits to Chinese ownership of Canadian critical minerals. These are minerals essential to the production of electric vehicles (EVs), cellphones, laptop computers, and power from alternative energy technologies.

It’s by no means certain that this recent prohibition is in Canada’s interests. More on that later. Last week, Ottawa ordered Chinese companies to divest their ownership in three junior mining firms based in Canada. The firms plan to develop lithium deposits in Canada, Argentina and Chile.

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Juniors consider legal options after Chinese divestment order – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – November 7, 2022)

https://biv.com/

Lithium exploration companies react to Canada ordering Chinese investors out

A junior exploration company in the critical minerals space says it is considering its legal options in response to the Canadian government ordering one of its investors to divest from the company.

Ultra Lithium Inc. (TSX-V: ULT) is one of two B.C.-headquartered companies that has Chinese investors ordered to divest their equity positions in the Canadian companies, based on national security concerns over control over critical minerals.

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Lithium prices prove ‘immune’ to recession anxiety – by Alex Gluyas (Australian Financial Review – November 2022)

https://www.afr.com/

Lithium is proving to be largely immune from the volatility that has rocked commodity markets as prices soar in the face of a looming global recession, prompting Macquarie to deliver another round of upgrades for producers and developers of the battery metal.

Lithium prices have continued to hit record levels this year with spodumene, carbonate and hydroxide surging 243 per cent, 124 per cent and 152 per cent respectively.

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Ontario-focused Frontier Lithium aspires to become Canada’s ‘lithium champion’ – by Henry Lazenby (Northern Miner – November 7, 2022)

Global mining news

Frontier Lithium (TSXV: FL; US-OTC: LITOF) reports progress towards completing a resource update and prefeasibility study for its PAK project in northwestern Ontario by the first quarter of 2023. The prospective lithium pegmatite project is 170 km north of the famed Red Lake Gold Camp in an emerging lithium mineral district in the Canadian Shield dubbed the ‘Electric Avenue.’

Having already outlined one of the largest and highest grade spodumene resources in North America, the project has the potential to crystalize the vision of Frontier becoming Canada’s ‘lithium champion,’ as owner, president and CEO Trevor Walker tells The Northern Miner in an interview.

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Column-Canada slams the door on China in critical minerals race – by Andy Home (Reuters – November 4, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

The Canadian government this week ordered Chinese companies to divest their holdings in three Canadian-listed junior mining companies planning to develop lithium deposits.

The ban comes within days of Canada announcing a tougher policy on investment in the minerals sector by state-owned entities, particularly those from China, which dominates the processing of key energy transition metals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earths.

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Cochrane-area cesium explorer willing to stand its ground against Ottawa – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 4, 2022)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Power Metals and Hong Kong partner plan to appeal federal divestment order

A junior miner searching for cesium and lithium in northeastern Ontario said its Hong Kong financing partner intends to appeal a Canadian government order to pull its investment from the critical minerals exploration project.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual Power Metals said of its ongoing exploration drilling at its Case Lake Project site, 80 kilometres east of Cochrane, near the border with Quebec.

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Beijing accuses Canada of ‘suppressing Chinese companies’ – by Steve Chase and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 4, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Beijing is accusing Canada of “suppressing Chinese companies” by forcing three of its state-controlled corporations to sell their stakes in Canadian critical minerals businesses.

On Wednesday, Ottawa ordered Chinese state-owned companies to immediately divest their interests in three Canadian critical minerals companies. The federal government had faced an avalanche of criticism earlier this year for allowing too much investment from the Asian superpower in Canada’s domestic mining sector.

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