“The economy of tomorrow will be driven by strategic sectors, like the electric vehicles and batteries sectors. This vision aligns perfectly with our vision to become a large responsible supplier of lithium to the flourishing electric vehicle and energy storage systems industries.” Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, CEO, Critical Elements Lithium Corp. — excerpt from January 20, 2021 News Release
Critical Elements Lithium Corp. (TSXV: CRE | OTCQX: CRECF) is a junior mining company in the advanced exploration stage with their flagship project, the Rose Lithium-Tantalum project, located in James Bay, Northern Quebec, Canada. The Company also has several other projects with exploration potential for copper, nickel, zinc, lead, gold, silver, rare earths, and platinum group metals.
The company is continuing to make progress in 2021 with the 100%-owned Rose Lithium-Tantalum project which, according to the company is one of the highest purity undeveloped lithium projects in the world. The company’s near-term focus is on securing final permits and project financing with first production targeted for 2022 and expects that the Rose project is on track to be fully permitted in2021.
Early in January, the company announced that it had engaged Cantor Fitzgerald Canada Corporation to pursue, engage and evaluate global strategic partners and investors to advance the Rose Project to production. The company announced on January 18, 2021 that it was informed that the public hearings for the Rose Project would be held in February, 2021 via webcast meetings. This is a significant step towards obtaining the governmental authorizations for the go ahead of the Rose project.
Continuing with a busy month, on January 20, 2021, the company also announced that the environmental assessment of the Rose project is on its way to being completed. The Joint Assessment Committee established by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the Cree Nation Government confirmed on January 14, 2021, have received all information required to allow the completion of the environmental assessment of the Rose Lithium-Tantalum project and prepare the draft environmental assessment report.
According to the company, this is a significant step in the federal process of obtaining the authorization for the project, which runs parallel to the provincial process updated in the news release of January 18, 2021.
Recall that the Rose Lithium-Tantalum project in northern Quebec, Canada is a highly prospective discovery. The NI 43-101 report issued in 2017 provided mineral resource estimates and a mineral reserve estimate that were used in a Phase 1 Feasibility Study that estimated an after-tax internal rate of return of 34.9% and a net present value of $CAD 726 million at 8%, a payback of 2.8 years and a mine life of approximately 17 years.
These are very robust economics. Recall that the deposit is highlighted by excellent ore characteristics and the deposit is a hard rock resource that hosts high purity lithium material with low iron and low mica content. This is important as new sources of high quality grade lithium material are urgently needed as the demand for lithium hydroxide is growing and current inventories are reaching their production limits.
The fact that the Rose project hosts high purity material which is required by the electric vehicle industry translates to a very attractive project in terms of mining costs, profitability and desirability by end-users. The company intends to become a major player in the future world of lithium supply.
Equally important is that the Rose Project, located in Quebec, is in an excellent jurisdiction for mining. The company has great access to infrastructure, including roads, low-cost power and skilled labour. The company has been very diligent in their interactions with the local communities and notwithstanding the upcoming public hearings, notes their strong relations with First Nations communities and local and provincial governments.
The flurry of news early in 2021 has not gone unnoticed by the capital markets. The company has seen a near-doubling in its share price in 2021 as they are now approaching a CAD$ 225 million market capitalization.
While mining projects always take time, the team is well-experienced and has a very well defined plan and timeline for execution. The company also has a guaranteed maximum price for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Rose Lithium-Tantalum project on a lump sum turnkey basis that is in line with the Project’s feasibility study from 2017.
Expect further news flow in 2021, as it a pivotal year towards planned commercial production from the Rose project in 2022.