Archive | Lithium

Lithium Miner’s German Smelter Plan Draws Billionaires – by Eyk Henning and Christoph Rauwald (Bloomberg News – January 11, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Rock Tech Lithium Inc. plans to raise $400 million to build a lithium refinery in Germany and has attracted support from billionaires including Peter Thiel investing in Europe’s push to create a local electric-vehicle battery industry.

The Canadian miner is in advanced talks with investors and sees the Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt regions as possible locations for the smelter, Chairman Dirk Harbecke said by phone.

Europe is expected to overtake China as the top EV market this year, spawning investment into the necessary infrastructure and local supply chains to reduce a dependence on Asian battery makers. Continue Reading →

Firm clarifies information about its lithium plan – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – January 3, 2021)

A Vancouver company proposing to build a US$457-million lithium plant in Thunder Bay has clarified “misleading” information it released about the project in November following a review by the British Columbia Securities Commission.

“Accordingly, the company has retracted and restated certain statements contained in a Nov. 4, 2020, news release, and advises the public to not rely on the retracted statements,” Rock Tech Lithium Inc. said in a statement in December.

A Northwestern Ontario mining-industry veteran said corporate retractions are not unheard of, and occasionally occur when news releases go out before being thoroughly reviewed. Continue Reading →

Child labour, toxic leaks: the price we could pay for a greener future – by Robin McKie (The Guardian – January 3, 2021)

The battle to stave off Earth’s looming climate crisis is driving engineers to develop hosts of new green technologies. Wind and solar plants are set to replace coal and gas power stations, while electric cars oust petrol and diesel vehicles from our roads. Slowly our dependance on fossil fuels is set to diminish and so ease global heating.

But scientists warn there will be an environmental price to pay for this drive to create a world powered by green technology. Prospecting for the materials to construct these devices, then mining them, could have very serious ecological consequences and major impacts on biodiversity, they say.

“The move towards net zero carbon emissions is going to create new stresses on our planet, at least in the short term,” said Prof Richard Herrington, head of earth sciences at the Natural History Museum, London. “We are going to have to learn how to consider profit and loss with regard to ecosystems just as we do now when we are considering economic issues.” Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay could be a globally known hub for clean tech metals processing – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 14, 2020)

Lithium processing could put northwestern Ontario city on forefront of a new age in mining

When John Mason worked as a provincial government geologist on the north shore of Lake Superior, there’s wasn’t much grassroots exploration or talk about lithium.

“On and off,” said the mining services project manager with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC). “Very minimal.”

The Ontario Geological Survey documented plenty of occurrences in the Kenora District and the Georgia Lake area close to Beardmore, where Rock Tech Lithium has a very advanced exploration property, but the market to actually mine the commodity just wasn’t there. Continue Reading →

Hydro-Québec’s battery push is built on making the province a lithium player. Will it work? – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 10, 2020)

Quebec has high hopes of becoming a player in the global lithium market with Hydro-Québec moving into the battery-storage industry, but experts say the challenges are immense and the province’s track record doesn’t bode well.

On Wednesday, Hydro-Québec announced plans to design and sell lithium iron phosphate batteries. The public utility aims to sell large numbers of the industrial energy storage units to transmission providers, distributors and other power producers.

Hydro-Québec says the global lithium iron phosphate battery market could generate $3-billion in sales a year by 2030, and the utility hopes to gain about 10-per-cent market share. Continue Reading →

Rare earth riches in the mine waste pile – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 25, 2020)

Avalon Advanced Materials looks to clean up, extract value from tailings dumps

Shuttered mine sites with legacy environmental issues pose a unique opportunity for Avalon Advanced Materials to recover rare earth minerals.

Don Bubar, CEO of the Toronto-based lithium and rare earth producer, talked strategy last week in a web call to shareholders, a day after announcing a partnership with Rock Tech Lithium on a possible processing plant for Thunder Bay.

Avalon is carving out a space in the clean and green tech economy with a diverse mix of Northern Ontario exploration properties in lithium, rare earth metals, cesium, tantalum and other non-traditional minerals that the company hopes to advance over the next couple of years. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining can supply the metals for a clean energy future – by Cody Battershill (Northern Miner – November 24, 2020)

Global mining news

If leadership on climate action and environmental best practices are worthwhile pursuits, then the Canadian mining sector is an industry that’s deserving of Canada’s – and the global market’s – full support.

And if a strong regulatory framework for environmental performance, growing Indigenous support and a superior record on human rights are equally important benchmarks, then our country’s mining sector is on the right track.

Beyond the metals that contribute to so much of our modern world, let’s focus for the moment on electric vehicles (EVs). They’re viewed by a growing number of consumers here and abroad as an important way to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve air quality in many developing cities. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay could be the site for a northwestern Ontario lithium mineral processing hub – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 17, 2020)

Two northwestern Ontario exploration and mine development companies are eyeing Thunder Bay as a potential site for a lithium processing plant.

Toronto’s Avalon Advanced Materials and Rock Tech Lithium of Vancouver signed a letter of intent to team up on establishing a facility that makes lithium sulphate, a chemical used in making lithium-ion batteries. It would the first facility of its type in North America, said Avalon president-CEO Don Bubar in an interview with Northern Ontario Business.

The facility would accept lithium mineral concentrates from Avalon’s Separation Rapids deposit, 70 kilometres north of Kenora, and Rock Tech’s Georgia Lake deposit, located 17 kilometres south of the town of Beardmore, just off Highway 11. Continue Reading →

Mexico moves ahead with lithium nationalization plans – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 17, 2020)

Mexico is moving ahead with plans to nationalize its emerging lithium industry after a member of the ruling Morena party introduced a draft bill in parliament last week, which calls for the battery metal to be deemed the exclusive property of the nation, with production controlled by the state.

Alejandro Armenta, head of the Senate’s finance commission, is proposing the creation of a new state-owned entity, LitioMex, to regulate lithium mining.

“It is not about closing the door to investment,” Mena said in an online session of the parliament. “There needs to be regulation (…) Continue Reading →

German industry hopes to lift Bolivia’s lithium treasure – by Franz Viohl (Deutsche Welle – November 12, 2020)

The glory days of the mines in Bolivia’s Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) region are long gone. The only ones left digging for the silver that gave the mountain its name are a few children from the nearby city of Potosi.

Situated on a cold and barren plateau at the foot of Cerro Rico, Potosi is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and ranks as one of the world’s highest cities at an altitude of 4,050 meters (13,290 feet). In its city center you can find a number of colonial-style buildings, including a museum of local history that depicts the plight of Bolivian miners past and present.

Centuries of mining for silver, tin and copper at Cerro Rico, however, have made only others rich, the locals say. They quip that the silver extracted by the country’s former Spanish rulers alone would have been enough “to build a bridge from Bolivia to Europe.” Continue Reading →

Mining for metals needed for electric cars faces obstacles in Canada due to low prices – by Dan Healing (Global News – November 8, 2020)

There’s opportunity for Canada to help supply the world’s growing need for “energy transition metals” used in electric vehicle and power storage batteries but it faces stiff competition from other countries, especially China, observers say.

Last month, the federal and Ontario governments announced they will each contribute $295 million to help Ford Canada produce electric vehicles in Oakville, Ont., while also vowing to help Fiat Chrysler in its plans to invest up to $1.5 billion at its Windsor, Ont., plant.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, CEO of EV manufacturer Tesla, has promised big contracts for miners around the world who increase nickel production for the batteries his vehicles are soon going to need. Continue Reading →

Gold, high tech metals spur exploration in Ontario’s Near and Far North – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 26, 2020)

Three junior miners advance their projects down the path of mine development

A British junior miner continues to drill off a gold deposit near Armstrong in northwestern Ontario.

Landore Resources has started a 14,000-metre fall-winter drill program to begin infilling and expanding its BAM Gold Deposit on its Junior Lake property, 235 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

The Guernsey-headquartered company has two drill rigs turning to explore within and beneath an already defined deposit of more than a million ounces, and then step out to the east and west. Continue Reading →

Tesla’s move into mining aimed at energising battery supply chain – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – October 20, 2020)

When Tesla held its socially distanced “battery day” last month at an outdoor parking lot in California, it invited executives from the two big US lithium companies, Livent and Albemarle.

As they sat in their allotted Model 3s watching Elon Musk on their in-car screens, he dropped a bombshell: the electric car maker was becoming a competitor.

Tesla, Mr Musk said, had acquired the rights to a 10,000-acre plot in Nevada where it planned to extract the metal using simple table salt, and would build a lithium refinery to supply a new factory in Texas. The next day Albemarle and Livent lost a combined $1.7bn in market value as their share prices plunged. Continue Reading →

The Socialist Win in Bolivia and the New Era of Lithium Extraction – by Kate Aronoff (The New Republic – October 2020)

An apparent victory for Evo Morales’s Movement Toward Socialism shows that tomorrow’s green energy won’t look much like the old oil empires

Just under a year after Evo Morales’s government was ousted by U.S.-backed far-right forces, his Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS, party looks almost certain to take back power after Sunday’s election.

Morales, the country’s first Indigenous president, remains in exile in Argentina. His election in 2019 remains hotly debated: While the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States challenged the result due to a gap between preliminary and final results, subsequent analyses have argued that the gap was explainable and legitimate and that the OAS assessment was “flawed” and highly political.

Now, with an estimated 52.4 percent of the vote, Morales’s former finance minister, Luis Arce, is on track to become the country’s new leader after a deadly year of racist state repression under interim President Jeanine Añez Chávez. Continue Reading →

Lithium sparks disputes in Chile’s Atacama Desert – by Lorena Guzman ( – October 16, 2020)

Lithium is considered a strategic resource in Chile, and its exploitation is steeped in difficulties.

For almost four years the activity has been the source of a legal dispute between the communities of the Atacama Desert and SQM, one of the country’s biggest companies, which is partially owned by the Chinese firm Tianqi since 2019.

Some 1,500km north of the capital Santiago de Chile lies the driest desert in the world. The Atacama once contained enormous masses of water, but what is left now hides underneath the surface, mixed with valuable minerals. Continue Reading →