Skip to content

Size of Kenora lithium deposit expands by 20 per cent

Avalon Advanced Materials aims for 2026 startup for open-pit mine
Separation Rapids project, north of Kenora, in 2018 (Avalon photo)

The Separation Rapids lithium deposit, near Kenora, has crested the 10-million-tonne mark, according to a new mineral resource estimate released by Avalon Advanced Materials.

The estimate represents a 20 per cent increase from the last resource calculation put out in 2018 and is based on 98 drill holes and more than 17,400 metres of drilling, the company said in a news release.

Separation Rapids is a proposed open-pit operation located 70 kilometres north of Kenora. It’s a joint venture between Avalon and Belgium-based SCR-Sibelco NV.

The drill results will be rolled into an upcoming feasibility study due in early to mid-2024 that will show what a mine will look like. Avalon is looking to start mining operations sometime in 2026. The company also intends to develop a lithium hydroxide processing facility in Thunder Bay. 

Want to read more stories about business in the North? Subscribe to our newsletter.

The report shows a measured and indicated resource of 10.08 million tonnes of lithium oxide, averaging 1.35 per cent.

“This updated estimate reveals the quality and quantity of the resource at Separation Rapids, and underscores the rationale for the strategic partnership between Avalon and Sibelco. It confirms that the deposit can deliver sufficient volumes of commercial-grade feedstock suitable for both the glass-ceramics and lithium battery markets," said Scott Monteith, Avalon CEO, in a statement.

The company feels confident that the Separation Rapids deposit can expand by an additional 3 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes with more exploration work.