Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding to forge a strategic partnership with the Finnish industrial machinery company, Metso Corporation, to develop a lithium hydroxide production facility.
The company said on Monday that the proposed facility will be for processing lithium mineral concentrates necessary for the North American electric vehicle (EV) battery value chain.
Avalon plans to use Metso’s advanced technology to build and operate a lithium processing facility at its newly acquired site in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Once the project is finished, Avalon will be the first company in Ontario to handle the entire process of lithium production, from start to finish. This will ensure that Canada’s electric vehicle battery manufacturing industry has a nearby and reliable source of this important resource for the long term.
“Metso’s platform and technological solutions perfectly complement Avalon’s vision to complete an integrated lithium value chain in Ontario, predicated on innovative process solutions,” said Zeeshan Syed, president of Avalon.
“We view Metso as an integral part of this rapidly growing sector, and a foundational partner in developing internationally best-in-class processing capabilities that are environmentally sustainable, allowing Avalon to meet the soaring demand for battery-grade lithium.”
Avalon licenses Metso’s tech to produce lithium hydroxide
Avalon will use Metso’s technology and solutions under a licensing arrangement to produce lithium hydroxide cathode materials for the electric vehicle (EV) market.
Additionally, Metso will have the opportunity to conduct testing and engineering work on Avalon’s critical-mineral projects, including its main deposit at Separation Rapids near Kenora, Ontario. The parties expect to finalize the definitive agreement on or before September 1, 2023.
Metso’s environmentally friendly and advanced production and processing technologies are being used worldwide by governments and clean-energy companies to meet the growing demand from the electric vehicle (EV) battery industry.
Avalon’s partnership with Metso is the first of its kind in Canada and is a big step towards achieving its comprehensive business plan. This partnership will also strengthen Ontario’s position as a leading manufacturing hub, serving not only North America but the global market as well.
This partnership aligns with Avalon’s strategic goals and supports the federal government’s Critical Minerals Strategy, which aims to increase the supply of responsibly sourced critical minerals and develop domestic supply chains for the green and digital economy.
The Thunder Bay processing facility and lithium project in the Kenora region will create approximately 500 jobs and encourage the development of other lithium assets in northwestern Ontario. This facility will also bring new economic opportunities to local and regional First Nations communities.
Shares of Avalon Advanced Minerals rose 3.3 per cent to $0.155 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Rising electric vehicle trend spurs lithium hydroxide demand
With the increasing demand for EVs and renewable energy systems, the availability of a stable and long-term supply of lithium hydroxide is crucial. It ensures the continued growth and development of these industries, facilitating the transition towards a more sustainable and low-carbon future.
Vancouver-based Sage Potash Corp. decided to create a new subsidiary called Sage Lithium Corp in June.
This subsidiary will focus on exploring areas in Colorado and Utah known for having valuable minerals, specifically lithium. The company plans to test for lithium and other minerals in the region, as previous oil and gas wells have shown high concentrations of lithium, potassium and bromine.
The primary goal of Sage Lithium Corp. is to evaluate the potential for mining lithium and other valuable minerals in the area covered by the company’s mineral leases.
CDN Maverick Capital Corp. made an agreement with certain independent sellers to purchase the Northwind Lake Property in the Red Lake mining area of Ontario in June.
The property is situated about 10 kilometers north of the Frontier Lithium Inc.‘s PAK deposit, which contains some of the highest-quality lithium deposits in North America.
The Northwind Lake Project includes multiple mineral claims covering around 7,040 hectares. To acquire the property, CDN Maverick Capital Corp. will issue 500,000 common shares and make cash payments totalling $100,000 to the sellers. The payment structure involves an initial payment of $50,000 upon closing the deal, with the remaining balance to be paid within 120 days.