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Australian explorer aims to be Ontario's first lithium miner and refiner

Green Tech Metals strikes strategic alliance with Lithium Americas to establish a northwestern Ontario supply chain for the automakers

An Australian lithium explorer operating in the Armstrong-area is teaming up with a Canadian multi-national to develop a lithium mining and processing business in northwestern Ontario.

Green Technology Metals (GT1) has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Lithium Americas Corp. (LAC) of Vancouver to start a lithium supply chain for the auto sector. 

LAC is a heavyweight player in the American lithium market and will provide the technical support to turn the mined lithium concentrate, known as SE-6, into the battery-grade lithium hydroxide material needed for the auto industry.

Green Tech is sitting on an almost 10-million tonne resource of lithium-enriched spodumene rock at its flagship Seymour Project, at the top end of Lake Nipigon, some 250 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. The Perth-headquartered company continues drilling there to enlarge the deposit.

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Lithium is a vital battery metal needed to power electric cars. Lithium prices are in excess of US$70,000 per tonnethe surging stemming from the momentum in sales of electric cars.

Green Tech is on an accelerated pace to start initial production at Seymour sometime during the second half of 2025, according to its very ambitious project timelines.

With battery cell plants being built in southern Ontario and elsewhere, and raw material supply crunch coming, Green Tech Metals wants the Seymour Project to be Ontario's first lithium mine in commercial production. The company has started a preliminary economic assessment at Seymour, which is due out sometime during the first half of 2023. 

With Lithium Americas’ help, Green Tech is angling to establish a lithium chemical processing plant in Thunder Bay, potentially a second such plant in the city. Avalon Advanced Materials of Toronto also wants to set up shop in Thunder Bay.

Lithium Americas holds the Thacker Pass mine project in Nevada, one of the largest lithium resources in the U.S. The company cut the ribbon on a chemical demonstration facility in Reno over the summer.

They became a Green Tech shareholder investor last April, injecting US$10 million into the junior mining company. The pair have since been discussing how to create a mining, processing and chemical processing supply chain in Ontario.

Green Tech has already locked up a milling partner in the Primero Group, considered industry experts in designing, building and operating lithium concentrators, which produce the SE-6 material. 

“Both GT1 and LAC have the shared objective of building the pre-eminent vertically integrated lithium business in North America,” said Cameron Henry, Green Technology Metals’ non-executive director, in a statement.

“With the recent passing of the Inflation Reduction Act by U.S. Congress, and the substantial domestic battery minerals sourcing requirements this imposes on car manufacturers seeking to attract consumer tax credits for their vehicles, the value of this end goal has increased further again. We look forward to working more closely with LAC over the coming months and years in pursuit of our shared aims in North America.”

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Green Tech has a number of other exploration projects in its 41,000-hectare stable, including Wisa in the Fort Frances area; Root Lake, southwest of Pickle Lake; and Allison, in the Kenora area. Exploration drilling has started at Root, which has a known lithium resource. The company anticipates this will be their second mine. 

The company picked up these lithium assets last year from Ardiden Resources. At Seymour, they inherited a 4.8-million-tonne lithium resource, which they’ve more than doubled at 9.9 million tonnes after a winter and spring of exploration drilling. 

Green Tech hit the ground running in starting environmental baseline work this year as part of the federal and provincial mine permitting process. They've also signed exploration agreements with area First Nations before commencing its drilling programs.

Seymour is road accessible and CN Rail's main line crosses the property. The Jackfish hydroelectric power plant project is seven kilometres from the site.