May 17, 2020

Ontario Government to Invest $900K For Mining Research

Mining research
Centre for Excellence in Mining In
2 min
Ontario Government to Invest $900K into Funding for Mining Research
The Ontario government announced on Friday its investing $900,000 into funding for mining research.Ontarios premier Kathleen Wynee said the investment...

The Ontario government announced on Friday it’s investing $900,000 into funding for mining research.

Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynee said the investment, which will be provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), will go towards creating jobs, reducing operating costs and improving safety in the mining industry.

“We are making smart investments through the NOHFC to help support innovation and job creation in key sectors like mining. When we support Northern Ontario’s success and build on the North’s unique strengths in mining, we ensure a more prosperous future for the entire province," Wynne said.

A majority of the investment will go towards the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation to create a mobile canopy system to assist companies in developing tunnels faster as well as keeping workers and equipment safe.

The contribution is expected to speed up the development of deep mineral deposits and help to make it more economically feasible to open new mines, leading to more mining jobs in Northern Ontario.

"I am very pleased that the NOHFC is investing in innovative research in Northern Ontario,” NOHFC chairperson and Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said.

“These projects will further advance Sudbury’s position as a leader in the mining services and supply sector. And they will have a large impact on underground workplaces, and on the health and safety of underground workers.”

The investment is part of Ontario’s plan to build the province up by investing in people, building modern infrastructure and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Since 2003, the NOHFC has invested $953-million in projects across Northern Ontario, creating more than 23,800 jobs.

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Jul 20, 2021

British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars

3 min
The ever-increasing need for electric vehicles is mounting pressure on British Lithium as the 2035 deadline inches closer

The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change. 

It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.

British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad. 

Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe 

After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company. 

“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”

Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector. 

Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial. 

Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production

“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”

The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction. 

Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably. 

“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.

“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”

Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK. 

“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”

Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.

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