Lithium demand is only expected to skyrocket. In fact, according to Fairfield Market Research, the global lithium mining market could exceed $1 billion by 2025. All as “lithium has been gaining traction across sectors like battery technology, chemical manufacturing, ceramics, glass, lubricants, and polymers. Demand will also remain influenced by its growing consumption as an ideal material in industrial processes like cooling, dehumidification, and air treatment,” they noted. That’s all great news for companies such as Q Battery Metals Corp. (CSE: QMET) (OTC: BTKRF), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Lithium Americas (NYSE: LAC) (TSX: LAC), American Lithium Corp. (NASDAQ: AMLI) (TSXV: LI), and Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ: PLL).
We also have to remember that governments all over the world are pushing for a greener future. The U.S. just promised to cut emissions by up to 52%. Europe says it’ll cut emission by up to 55%. China will stop releasing CO2 in the next 40 years. In doing so, they all want millions of electric vehicles on the roads. But to do so, more lithium is required. It’s also the reason
major auto companies, like General Motors is investing in lithium miners.
Look at Q Battery Metals Corp. (CSE: QMET) (OTC: BTKRF), For Example
Q Battery Metals Corp.is currently in the process of refining targets on their La Corne South Lithium Project located north of Val d'Or, Quebec. In particular, the geological team will remodel the company's 2021 drone-supported magnetics survey results and their 2022 deep penetrating electromagnetics survey results to better determine the presence of pegmatites on the property. Previous data interpretation has outlined high magnetic and conductive zones in search of massive sulphide deposits that have distinctly different geophysical characteristics from pegmatite bodies. The data will be re-modeled for geophysical attributes that better reflect pegmatites.
Q Battery Metals is also preparing to complete ground resistivity surveying over the highly interesting target area of the Boily Berubé mineral showing which has been described as white feldspar and quartz veins with molybdenite and bismuth. The documented lithium showings on the margins of the La Corne batholith often have associated molybdenum indicated in the mineralization summary. As well, the North American Lithium deposit is described as containing molybdenite and bismuthinite. The presence of these elements at the Boily Berubé mineral showing is now considered good indicators for lithium. QMET's geological team is preparing to prospect, map and sample the Boily Berubé showing and the La Corne Batholith margins to analyze for lithium content. The current geophysical survey remodeling and proposed resistivity survey will assist in determining the location of lithium-bearing pegmatites in that region of the property.
Nine lithium projects are located within 20 kilometres (km) of the La Corne South project, including North American Lithium (NAL) mine (Sayona Mining-Piedmont Lithium Joint Venture). The projects are located on the periphery of the La Corne granitic batholith, an area that is highly prospective for pegmatite lithium mineralization. Sayona has successfully produced their first saleable spodumene concentrate of 1,200 tonnes with 6% lithium grade (Sayona March 8, 2023 News Release). Sayona has announced plans for continued drilling at both their NAL project and the adjoining Vallée Lithium property. More than 50,000 metres of drilling are planned (Sayona release March 7, 2023).
CEO Richard Penn states that “after attending the PDAC and Swiss Mining Institute conferences, we now have an even greater appreciation of the potential for lithium on the La Corne South Project. Many other lithium projects were summarized at these conferences. We feel that we are in the right location at the right time with the La Corne South and Pegalith Lithium Projects, and are looking forward to exploring and advancing both projects in 2023”.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Albemarle Corporation announced plans to locate its previously announced lithium hydroxide Mega-Flex facility in Chester County, South Carolina. Plans for the facility include an initial investment of at least $1.3 billion to help meet the surging demand for domestic and international electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries. The term Mega-Flex refers to the facility's ability to process diverse lithium feedstock, including lithium from recycled batteries. Albemarle expects the facility to annually produce approximately 50,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from multiple sources, with the potential to expand up to 100,000 metric tons. Production at the facility would support the manufacturing of an estimated 2.4 million electric vehicles annually.
Lithium Americas commenced construction at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada, following the receipt of notice to proceed from the Bureau of Land Management. “Starting construction is a momentous milestone for Thacker Pass and one we have been working towards for over a decade,” said Jonathan Evans, President and CEO. “We are excited about the prospect of generating economic growth in Northern Nevada and playing a major role in the domestic lithium supply chain for electric vehicles.”
American Lithium Corp.announces it has filed an independent National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Tonopah Lithium Claims project located in the Esmerelda lithium district northwest of Tonopah, Nevada. Highlights of the PEA were previously announced on February 1, 2023. The PEA and accompanying Technical Report were completed by DRA Global and Stantec Consulting Services Inc. and demonstrate that the TLC project has the potential to become a substantial, long-life producer of low-cost, high purity lithium carbonate.
Piedmont Lithium, a leading global developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, announced that its jointly-owned North American Lithium project has successfully produced initial spodumene concentrate as plans advance to fully restart the Quebec operation. Approximately 70 metric tons of spodumene concentrate were produced as part of commissioning with first shipment of saleable product targeted for Q3 2023. Patrick Brindle, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Piedmont Lithium, applauded the progress toward full-scale production. “This initial production from NAL underscores the diligence and dedication of the management team to restart the mine and concentrator both on time and on budget. NAL is the most advanced lithium project in terms of development in the U.S. and Canada, and we expect the operation to provide the only major source of new SC6 production in North America in the near term.”
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