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Avalon Advanced Materials gaining national attention

Dec 5, 2023

Northwestern Ontario is now ground zero in Canada’s pursuit of battery metals. Both the federal and provincial governments are investing heavily in the downstream battery manufacturing demand, and now we need to deliver a local source of supply. All of this effort to build a domestic supply chain for storable electric energy is very much a part of securing Canada’s position as a global leader in the race to tackle emissions reduction and climate change.
The metal at the center of it all is lithium. Processing that metal into electric vehicle grade material took center stage in early October as Federal cabinet ministers Francois-Philippe Champagne and Patty Hajdu toured Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.’s planned Lithium Processing Site in Thunder Bay.
Avalon is working to build the province’s first domestic supply chain to link the considerable lithium deposits of Ontario’s north to an expanding EV battery manufacturing base in the south. At present, the manufacturing center lacks a stable, regional supply of this strategically vital resource.
Significant investment is being made to rapidly expand the downstream capacity of Ontario and North America’s EV battery manufacturing base. A proportionate level of financing is now required to develop a secure, and fully on-shored supply of lithium raw material for those manufacturers. Avalon’s core strategic objective is to build the midstream lithium processing solution in Thunder Bay that bridges the lithium resources of Northwestern Ontario with EV battery manufacturing in the south. 
“As proud Canadians, our vision is that lithium should be mined in Ontario, refined in Ontario, and consumed in Ontario, in order to lower the carbon footprint of battery manufacturing and secure a domestic supply chain.” said Jim Jaques, Avalon Chief Administrative Officer. “This is a decarbonization story as well as one of emissions reduction through electrification. We intend to generate long-term job growth and economic benefits for the region and province, both directly through our own commercial activities, and indirectly by attracting the capital necessary to commercialize other regional lithium projects.” 
The cabinet ministers were joined on their site visit by Marcus Powlowski, MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River. The delegation toured Avalon’s 383-acre industrial property that features major transportation infrastructure including, road, rail and deep-water port access. 
The Avalon team provided the delegation with details of its burgeoning project plan for an Industrial Park concept that includes Ontario’s first lithium processing facility, an Innovation and Technology center as well as lithium battery recycling capabilities, all of which will help catalyze Ontario’s economy, generate long-term job growth and deploy sustainable innovative process technology.

Thunder Bay Site visit  October 12th

Thunder Bay Site visit - October 12th 
Left to right; Zeeshan Syed, President of Avalon Advanced Materials, Hon. Francois-Philippe Champagne, MP. Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Jim Jaques, Chief Administrative Officer of Avalon Advanced Materials and Marcus Powlowski, MPP, Thunder Bay-Rainy River.

“We are extremely pleased to host the ministers and other dignitaries to showcase how far we’ve come in actualizing our vision to help decarbonize the economy and shift Canada to cleaner sources of energy-and underscore that we must continue to move quickly in order to secure Canada’s leading position in the global race to net-zero,” said Zeeshan Syed, President of Avalon during the visit. 
Over 500 direct jobs are expected to be created in Thunder Bay and Kenora through Avalon’s upstream and midstream commercial activities. 
The Avalon processing facility in Thunder Bay will operate as a regional hub, accepting feedstock from multiple producers and help generate associated investment flow across Ontario.
Avalon’s Industrial Park in Thunder Bay will also host an Innovation and Technology Centre in collaboration with local and regional educational institutions (e.g. Lakehead University and Confederation College).
Avalon is also working with leading international partners like Metso Corporation to test and co-create novel commercial production processes that will accentuate Canada’s environmental leadership. Through the R&D efforts undertaken by Avalon and partners, the proprietary lithium hydroxide process is vastly less pollutive than conventional acid roasting conversion methodologies. 
In addition, it is expected to be a safer process for the operating personnel, the environment and community in general compared to the traditional acid roasting technology employed in jurisdictions with less stringent commitments to environmental stewardship compared to North America. 
The company, through its new joint venture with Sibelco NV, is developing its Separation Rapids lithium deposit and Snowbank project near Kenora, while continuing to advance its Lilypad caesium project located near Fort Hope. Avalon is also working to develop its Nechalacho rare earths and zirconium project located in the Northwest Territories. This deposit contains critical minerals for use in advanced technologies in the communications and defense industries among other sectors.

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Tags: Northern Ontario / Exploration / Battery Metals / All Articles