Tesla competitors currently sourcing lithium for their power plants in Canada
Lithium supply is paramount to the future of clean energy. As long as demand for vehicle propulsion systems and portable electronic devices continues to increase, the world will continue to look for new sources of their component parts. International Lithium Corp. (TSXV: ILC) (“ILC”) is superbly placed to meet this demand, having positioned itself with solid development partners and acquired high-quality grass roots projects at early stages of exploration, ILC aims to be the investor’s choice and is currently battling the Canadian winter for that very title.
On 1st December 2016, ILC commenced a diamond drilling program at its Mavis Lake lithium pegmatite project in Ontario, and soon after shelved the drill until January. The retreat was ordered by a freak rain event that rendered the ground unsuitable for drilling and the team were forced to wait until the new year for the earth to freeze; the delay will result in the process being more efficient and overall environmental impact being reduced.
Thankfully, this is the Canadian mid-winter, and so an extreme cold warning is never far away.
ILC’s rare metals pegmatite properties in Canada (the Mavis and Raleigh projects) and Ireland (Avalonia project) complement the company’s lithium brine project in Argentina. The Avalonia project is under option to long-term strategic partner, the global lithium giant Ganfeng Lithium, and the Mavis project with strategic partner Pioneer Resources Limited. The Mavis and Raleigh projects together form the basis of the company’s newly created Upper Canada Lithium Pool designated to focus on acquiring numerous prospects with previously reported high concentrations of lithium in close proximity to existing infrastructure.
I’m excited about Mavis et al. It seems like there are endless brine evaporation operations crawling towards production, and even though their Argentina brines are ILC’s main focus, there’s really nothing like smashing open a good pegmatite. The granite-like rock is formed as the final stage of magma crystallisation and is characterised by its very large crystals; it frequently contains sizeable precious stones and a variety of rare-earths from which ILC hopes to extract both the lithium and caesium that have been identified.
When rare-metal pegmatites solidify, the host rocks adjacent to the pegmatite may be enriched by the associated fluids, and what is known as a dispersion halo forms around the pegmatite body. Normally the extent of the rare-metal alteration halo is within a few meters of the pegmatite, but notably, the pegmatite belts at Mavis and Raleigh exhibit alteration halos in the order of tens of metres wide, representing some of the broadest and strongest host-rock lithium anomalies observed around the world.
A previous drill returned lithium concentrations as high as 3.08% in the Mavis Lake pegmatite, and we are hoping for further good news as the arctic temperatures at the site begin to subside this week, permitting work to continue. The budgeted exploration expenditures will be wholly funded by Pioneer as part of their earn-in on the project, and a $1 million budget has been allocated across both the Mavis and Raleigh projects.
Automakers with facilities in Ontario like GM, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler are all developing EV’s to compete with Tesla, and are currently sourcing lithium for their power plants. ILC’s focus on the area is no surprise then and with an established global lithium giant serving as advisor they are more likely to survive the winter than most.