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New York, NY – March 21, 2023 – John Kaiser of Kaiser Research believes Canada is due for a “lithium awakening.” According to Kaiser, the market is moving past the 10-year bear market for the resources sector, particularly for juniors, and transitioning into a potential decade-long bull market with lithium leading the charge. Kaiser has been keeping a close eye on Canada’s James Bay region, which he sees as a burgeoning area bet but James Bay lithium projects aren’t the only ones garnering attention in Canada. The US Inflation Reduction Act has elevated Canada’s standing as a battery material manufacturer due to its proximity and trading ties with the US. Sayona Mining Limited (OTCQB:SYAXF) and Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ:PPL) recently produced its first batch of marketable lithium concentrate at its North American Lithium (NAL) mine in Quebec. E3 Lithium (TSXV:ETL) (OTCQX:EEMMF) is focused on developing its significant lithium resource in Alberta, while Lithium Americas (TSX:LAC) (NYSE:LAC) and Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) are working on lithium projects in the US.
Alberta’s leading lithium developer and extraction technology pioneer E3 Lithium (TSXV:ETL) (OTCQX:EEMMF) is continuing to accomplish monumental milestones in developing its Clearwater Lithium Project in Alberta and piloting its Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology in the field this year.
On March 21, E3 Lithium announced a mineral resource upgrade to 16.0 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) Measured and Indicated (M&I) including 6.6 Mt of measured LCE and 9.4 Mt of LCE Indicated within its Bashaw District.
According to Natural Resources Canada, the country currently has an estimated 3.2 million tonnes of M&I lithium resources located in hard rock deposits, making E3 Lithium’s M&I resource the largest in Canada.
“This resource upgrade is significant and puts E3 firmly on the map on a global scale for high confidence resources,” said E3 Lithium’s President and CEO Chris Doornbos. “The amount of data and geological work required to upgrade resources of this magnitude is significant and further increases our understanding of the Leduc Aquifer and as a result, our technical confidence in our commercialization plans.”
E3 used data from its 2022 drill program, continuous reviews and analyses of core samples, and the creation of a comprehensive geological model of the Bashaw District to complete the resource upgrade. This model provides a more thorough depiction of reservoir parameters, resulting in a more accurate resource calculation.
According to E3 Lithium’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), the Clearwater Lithium Project has an NPV8% of US$1.1 Billion with a 32% pre-tax internal return rate (IRR) and US$820 Million with a 27% after-tax IRR.
For more information on E3 Lithium Ltd (TSXV:ETL) (OTCQX:EEMMF), visit this link.
Miners Are Progressing on Lithium Projects in Canada and the US
Australian lithium mining companies Sayona Mining Limited (OTCQB:SYAXF) and Piedmont Lithium (NASDAQ:PPL) just successfully produced the first commercially viable spodumene (lithium) concentrate at its jointly owned North American Lithium (NAL) mine in Québec, Canada. A total of 1,200 tonnes of lithium concentrate, including SC6 (6% lithium grade), have been produced while commissioning efforts have been ongoing. The production of the first lithium concentrate was successful, which validates Sayona‘s ability to produce a commercial concentrate. The first shipment of lithium is expected in July 2023 as the NAL reactivation is progressing on track and within budget. In the first half of fiscal 2024, Sayona anticipates total production to range between 85,000 and 115,000 tonnes.
In addition to Piedmont‘s financial involvement in the joint venture, the company also has an offtake agreement with Sayona Quebec under which it will purchase the greater of 113,000 metric tonnes annually or 50% of the SC6 production of the joint venture. Following that, Piedmont will start supplying spodumene concentrate from NAL in H2 2023 after reaching deals with LG Chem and Tesla.
After receipt of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) notice to continue, Lithium Americas (TSX:LAC) (NYSE:LAC) announced that construction has begun at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada. In two 40,000 tpa phases, Thacker Pass plans to produce 80,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3). It is planned for the first stage of production to start in the second half of 2026 and is expected to create 500 operating jobs and 1,000 construction jobs.
The MARBL lithium joint venture between the parties in Australia will be reorganized, and MinRes will invest in Albemarle conversion assets, according to a February 22 announcement from Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), a world leader in converting lithium and bromine into vital components for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health. The announcement of the signing of a non-binding letter of intent in February 2022 was followed by the announcement of the completion of these agreements.
E3 Lithium is well-funded after receiving C$3.545 million from the Government of Canada’s Critical Minerals Research Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program and $4.9 million from the exercise of warrants from financings that closed in December 2020 and February 2021.
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