Lithium, lithium, lithium — as much as we cover the lithium market, there’s much more to cover. The lithium market is jumping. Below are 7 notable lithium stories we haven’t written about before today.
Lithium Americas has started construction on its Thacker Pass lithium project located in Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provided the permission to start construction and it’s now underway. The company adds: “Thacker Pass is targeting 80,000 tonnes per annum (‘tpa’) of battery-quality lithium carbonate (‘Li2CO3‘) production capacity in two phases of 40,000 tpa, respectively (‘Phase 1’ and ‘Phase 2’). Phase 1 production is expected to commence in the second half of 2026. The Project is expected to create 1,000 jobs during construction and 500 jobs during operations. Further information can be found in the technical report titled ‘Feasibility Study, National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report for the Thacker Pass Project Humboldt County, Nevada, USA’ with an effective date of November 2, 2022 (the ‘Technical Report’), filed on SEDAR under the Company’s profile on January 31, 2023.” Some have said this project will make Nevada into something like the Silicon Valley of lithium production. Lithium Americas also provided a more detailed construction update.
A lithium reserve has been found in Iran for the first time. According to Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade, the western province of Hamadan is where the country has found a lithium reserve for the first time. They estimate the scale of the reserve to be at 8.6 million tons. That’s a lot, and it would put Iran 4th in the world in terms of known lithium reserves, only trailing Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Furthermore, Ebrahim Ali Molabeigi from the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade noted, “The discovery of the first lithium reserve in Hamedan province is promising news which signals the possibility of other reserves in the western Iranian province.”
India has also gone from practically no known lithium supply to a large lithium reserve discovery. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) announced the discovery last month. “The 5.9 million tonnes of Lithium inferred resources have been established in the Reasi district of the northern union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the GSI said in a statement.” Taking the Iran news above into account, this discovery would put India 7th in the world in known lithium reserves. Indian has already announced plans to auction off blocks of this large lithium reserve.
The lithium project Lithium One has been transferred 100% to the company Joshua Gold Resources Inc. (JSHG / OTC Pink Sheets). “The acquisition provides JSHG full control of 40 contiguous mining claims, of which it previously owned 50%.” This is in the province of Ontario, Canada.
“The 40 staked claims comprising Lithium One cover a group of three prominent areas, with an approximate land area of 1600 acres. The staked claims share a similar type of terrain where pegmatite outcrops containing spodumene have been identified on other potential lithium properties in the Gogama, Ontario area — which has been a hotbed of mineral exploration activity and home to a recent staking rush.”
Another lithium project in Ontario, Canada, has moved to the next stage (in a sense) by Green Technology Metals of Australia gaining the right to purchase the majority of the project. Here are the basic details:
“Green Technology Metals Limited (ASX: GT1) (GT1 or the Company), a Canadian-focused multi-asset lithium business, is pleased to announce that it has signed a binding option agreement (Option Agreement) for an option (Option) to purchase an 80% interest (80% Option Interest) in the Junior Lake Project (Junior Lake or the Project) from Landore Resources Canada Inc. (Landore) which comprise 591 staked mineral claims on 10,856 Hectares (109 km²) of tenure located adjacent to the Flagship Seymour Project (Seymour) in Ontario, Canada.”
For much, much more, read the 30-page report here.
One of the largest lithium deposits in the United States has been “identified” by American Battery Technology Company (ABTC). An analysis by a 3rd party has determined that 15.8 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent are located there. ABTC is a “critical battery materials company that is commercializing both its primary minerals manufacturing and secondary minerals lithium-ion battery recycling technologies” based in the USA. The Inferred Resource Report that the company commissioned analyzed its lithium deposit at its Tonopah Flats Lithium Project in Big Smoky Valley, Nevada. What they found was one of the largest lithium deposits known to exist in the country.
The company summarizes, “The ABTC Tonopah Flats Lithium Project encompasses 517 unpatented lode claims covering approximately 10,340 acres, and ABTC controls 100% of the mining lode claims comprising the Tonopah Flats property and the rights to all locatable subsurface minerals without any royalties. ABTC began surface sampling of these claims in the Summer of 2021, and subsequently performed multiple subsurface drilling programs totaling 12,000 feet of exploration covering approximately 65% of its property.”
Getting back to Lithium Americas to wrap this lithium roundup up, the company recently wrote about its Letter of Substantial Completion from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office. This concerns the Thacker Pass project noted at the top, but particularly some financing matters. Lithium Americas is applying for funding from the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM Loan Program). The aim is to get up to 75% of the capital costs for construction from the ATVM Loan Program’s piggy bank.
“We applaud the Biden Administration for their efforts to date and support to secure a domestic supply chain of critical minerals to strengthen our national security, our economy and our commitment to sustainability,” said Jonathan Evans, President and CEO. “We are pleased to have the support of both GM and the DOE to accelerate the energy transition while spurring job creation and economic growth in America. Over the past months, we have achieved major milestones that allow us to commence construction and begin ordering long-lead equipment at Thacker Pass, putting into motion a solid foundation for a domestic lithium supply chain for electric vehicles.”
Featured image courtesy of Lithium Americas