Canadian lithium-tech companies find traction amid rise of electric cars

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Burnaby, British Columbia to announce his latest climate change initiative at the pilot plant of an upstart company that’s tinkering with lithium-ion battery technology.

His choice of venue revealed much about the opportunities in Canada as a new supply chain takes shape around the growing electric vehicle industry, which relies on lithium-ion batteries, not oil.

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Gradually, Then Suddenly
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Livent’s announcement last week that they would invest in E3 Metals Corp. of Alberta, Canada to help develop the company’s direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology was a major signal to the industry that new technologies can play an important role in meeting future lithium demand for batteries. Traditionally, financial capital in the mining exploration sector has chased unproductive assets as commodity prices have risen, only to be squandered when those same prices mean revert. Is there perhaps a new model or funding mechanism available to add to lithium supply?

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Alberta lithium project receives US$5.5 million boost
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Livent Corporation is investing US$5.5 million to advance E3 Metals Corp.’s proprietary ion-exchange lithium extraction technology towards commercialization.

The two companies have entered into an agreement to develop a process to produce battery quality lithium products from the lithium-enriched brines in the Leduc formation in Alberta.

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Energy Metals Poised for Massive Ramp-up in Demand
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The growing push towards replacing traditional fossil fuel derived energy sources with renewables has seen increased attention on the so called “energy metals” i.e. those metals that are key to the future generation, storage and use of electrical energy. Solar and wind energy are considered by many to be the panacea for all things fossil but it might not be so easy to continue rampant growth in these sectors. Both require specific exotic metals such as neodymium, indium and silver along with much rarer praseodymium and dysprosium

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Danielle Smith: Alberta's oilpatch may help fill global lithium shortage
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Earlier this year, Tesla executives warned that the world may soon be facing a critical shortage of minerals and metals needed to build batteries, in particular nickel, copper and lithium. Cobalt is also going to be a growing problem not only because of scarcity, but because it seems the only place it can be mined in great abundance is through the help of child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If the great transition to renewables is to take place, the world needs to find and develop more and better sources of these key battery components. When it comes to lithium, Alberta oilfields may hold the answer.

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E3 Metals
Smith: Alberta oil industry may be key to solving lithium shortage

Earlier this year, Tesla executives warned that the world may soon be facing a critical shortage of minerals and metals needed to build batteries, in particular nickel, copper and lithium. Cobalt is also going to be a growing problem not only because of scarcity, but because it seems the only place it can be mined in abundance is through the help of child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If the great transition to renewables is to take place, the world needs to find and develop better sources of these key battery components. When it comes to lithium, Alberta oilfields may hold the answer.

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E3 Metals
Lucrative lithium potential looms in Alberta
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The future of energy is lithium.

That’s according to a speaker from E3 Metals Corp, who outlined a new developing technology with business owners in Strathcona County at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday, June 19.

“There was a lot of interest in what E3 is doing and I think overall the opportunity for Alberta, which of course includes many of the communities across the province,” explained Liz Lappin, VP of corporate affairs and exploration at E3 Metals Corp. “I was very excited to speak but also about the energy in the room and meeting everybody, it is a pretty awesome group of folks.”

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E3 Metals Named Energy Excellence Awards Champion For Bringing Alberta A Step Closer To Commercial Lithium Production
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The Daily Oil Bulletin’s first annual Energy Excellence Awards were held in Calgary on Thursday, May 2. Awards were handed out in 12 categories under the banners of Operational and Project Excellence, Innovation and Research Excellence, and Exporting Excellence.

Over a two-week period we are profiling the champions in each of the 12 subcategories. Today’s instalment profiles the champion in the category Innovation & Research Excellence: Power, Transmission & Storage.

E3 Metals Corp. has delineated an inferred resource estimate of 6.7 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent from brine in the Leduc Reservoir, which now ranks Alberta as having one of the largest lithium resources in the world.

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Looking for lithium in all the right places
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A University of Alberta graduate is determined to drive a shift in energy’s future, powered by a high-efficiency battery. To help realize his goal, Chris Doornbos, the president and CEO of E3 Metals is working with scientists from his alma mater on a collaborative research project, together providing solutions for the fast and efficient concentration of lithium from Petro-Lithium brine.

“Once we get this project going, we will be able to definitively claim that we are producing the greenest lithium on the planet,” said Doornbos. Though quick to point out that lithium batteries aren’t the silver bullet to society’s environmental challenges, Doornbos encourages it’s a promising start to transition us toward a decentralized energy future. “Fundamentally, I’ve always believed that the key to energy’s future is a high-efficiency battery that’s going to allow us to move electricity efficiently.”

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Petro-Lithium production represents diversification of Alberta’s energy economy

Although Chris Doornbos heads a start-up that wants to prove its technology can commercially recover highly-valued lithium from old Alberta oil and gas wells, he’s already dreaming of a day when the province will become a centre of new-tech battery development.

“I’m hell-bent on developing a lithium industry in Alberta, with a gigafactory,” said the president and CEO of Calgary-based E3 Metals Corp. “We have everything we need in Alberta.”

If that happened it would mimic what electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla Inc. has done near Reno, Nev., where it has developed a lithium-ion factory, to produce the batteries that are at the heart of the EV technology. That plant was established there because there is some lithium production from mines in Nevada.

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