The demand for lithium batteries, which are used in electric automobiles and other devices, is rising as the globe works to reduce its carbon footprint. We are beginning to notice a shortage of the material, though.
Although there is enough lithium underground, it is not extracting at a rate that is sufficient. Even if all current mines maintain their current pace of production, it is predicted that by 2030 there will only be just enough metal to meet half of the world’s demand.
According to a Wednesday interview with New Atlas, one new company is now getting ready to do something about it. The CEO of Snow Lake Lithium, Philip Gross, spoke with the media about the company’s intentions to open Canada’s first lithium mine that will run entirely on electricity.
He asserted that everyone can clearly see the incoming lithium shortage. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is burying their head in the sand, according to Gross, who spoke to New Atlas.
Tremendous demand from consumers for EVs
“Governments are not the only ones pressuring consumers to buy this. Already, EV demand from consumers is out of control. Our current generation is finally aware of these problems and is motivated to do something about it “said Gross.
“These people have already put their names on 2 waiting lists for electric cars, made a down payment, and will have to wait for their vehicles for years. It’s crazy. It’s also just the tip of the iceberg because all of the high-end electric vehicles on the road now cost at least $50–$60 thousand dollars. Soon we’re going to arrive to the automobile that costs $30,000 US.”
While China provides over 80% of the world’s batteries, the majority of the known lithium deposits are found in Australia and South America. This makes it very difficult for the West to catch up, especially since lithium has only just started to be in high demand as a commodity.
A newly developed interest
For many years, “nobody was interested in lithium,” said Gross. “Ecosystems were not funded, nor was any money spent on it. You cannot use lithium that has been extracted from the earth in North America without first sending it to China.”
Nevertheless, Snow Lake Lithium intends to overcome that problem through an MoU with LG, a major Korean battery manufacturer.
The company will construct a nearby hydroxide processing facility to enable processing of the material discovered by the lithium plant and production of battery-grade lithium ready for the gigafactories.
The new company is “dedicated to managing a totally renewable and sustainable lithium mine that can supply a completely traceable, carbon neutral, and zero harm product to the electric vehicle and battery industry in North America,” according to Snow Lake Lithium’s website.
The new factory, which will be the first wholly electric lithium mine, will be powered entirely by renewable energy sources. Over an 8 to 10 year period, 160,000 tonnes per year of 6% lithium spodumene concentrate are anticipated to be produced.