Clean Domestic Lithium Mining Hopes to Supply US Automakers

In a bid to challenge China’s stranglehold on the world’s elements for automotive battery production, North America plans its first lithium mine specifically targeting the electric vehicle industry.

Snow Lake Lithium has outlined plans to develop the world’s first all-electric lithium mine in Manitoba, Canada. It is in response to demand for EVs growing rapidly and recognizes that the global automotive and energy storage industries will be competing to access raw materials, especially lithium, a crucial component of batteries.

Currently, while US automakers automotive have committed manufacturing capacity to meet the demand for EVs, it is very much more preferrable to on source lithium hydroxide on the continent rather than importing it from China and Asia while creating an integrated domestic supply chain.

Snow Lake Lithium plans to establish a joint venture to create a lithium hydroxide processing plant and is seeking a partnership with an automaker or a battery manufacturer to deliver this.

Based in Manitoba, Canada, the company enjoys access to the US rail network via the Artic Gateway railway, which reduces transportation from thousands of miles by road and boat to just several hundred by train.

Its 55,000 acre site is expected to produce 160,000 tonnes of 6% lithium spodumene a year over a 10 year period. Currently, Snow Lake Lithium has explored around 1% of its site and is confident that this will expand over the course of the next year. Its mine will be operated by almost 100% renewable, hydroelectric power to ensure the most sustainable manufacturing approach.

Philip Gross, CEO of Snow Lake Lithium said: “We are facing a once-in-a-century industrial pivot as North America accelerates towards an electrified future. If we don’t act now to secure a seamless lithium supply chain from rock to road, the North American car industry will not exist in 10 years’ time. Our ambition is to become the first fully integrated, carbon neutral lithium hydroxide provider to the North American electric vehicle industry. We are developing the world’s first all-electric lithium mine, operated by renewable power, and are currently looking for a joint venture partner to create a lithium hydroxide processing plant in the region.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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