The demand for battery minerals like graphite is expected to soar in the coming years as the electric vehicle market takes off. For Paul Gill, CEO of Lomiko Metals, an emerging graphite developer in Quebec, the timing could not be better. “I think the electric vehicle revolution is exciting. Now major manufacturers like GM and Ford have confirmed they will move away from internal combustion engines, something that is already a stated commitment of some European countries. We see all this infrastructure being built. That just means a bigger and bigger demand for our graphite. I think Lomiko is entering the space at the perfect time”.
Considering that each lithium-ion battery requires 15 times more graphite than lithium, the outlook for Lomiko is bright. GlobalData, a trusted data analytics and consulting company, estimates that annual EV production will surge from 3.4 million vehicles in 2020 to 12.7 million in 2024, with a corresponding surge in lithium-ion battery production. That surge is expected to push the graphite market to $27 billion dollars by 2025.
A lot of that demand will come from China, which now produces nearly two thirds of the world’s lithium-ion batteries. But China, one of the world’s biggest graphite producers, is also a net importer looking to nail down a continuing supply of this rare earth metal. Understandably, this has caused concern within North America, given the expectation that we will need 15 new mines just to keep up with our own growing demand.
This global scramble for graphite has prompted an initiative to develop a North American supply chain for battery materials that resembles the push to lessen the U.S.’s dependency on middle east oil in the 70’s. That effort ultimately turned the U.S. into a net exporter of oil.
Paul Gill believes Lomiko’s La Loutre graphite mine in Quebec can be a big part of the solution. The mine is located about 120 kilometers northwest of Montreal and is close to ports and facilities.
The property is about 28,000 hectares and has 12 anomalies. “We’ve only really explored two of them at this time” Gill offered. “The first one by itself produced a resource approximately 18.4 million tonnes of 3.19% Cgindicated, and
16,675,100 3.75% Cg inferred. That’s only the one area. The second area, the EV zone, will probably duplicate that, but at double the grade. We have a lot of material here, and that we are confident the grades will be economic”.
Most of the deposit is easily accessible from the surface, which reduces costs and is more sustainable to extract. A Preliminary Economic Assessment, which will include a new 43-101 resource estimate, will be coming out this summer.
In addition to their graphite property, Lomiko optioned a 70% interest in the Bourier Lithium Project in Nemaska, Quebec from Critical Elements (TSX-V: CRE) cecorp.ca in April 2021 to give itself a legitimate lithium exploration play. The property sits in what is now considered to be Canada’s lithium triangle along with other explorers like Vision Lithium (TSXV:VLI) visionlithium.com and Nemaska Lithium www.nemaskalithium.com/en/ (XTSE: NMX). The location has Gill excited. “Bourier is just early stage at this point in time, but we hope to see a number of big discoveries in that area.
With suppliers like Lomiko, the world can finally start to catch up to the demand for rare earth metal in the hope of creating a greener economy.
The EV revolution is here, and investors can be part of it with Lomiko Metals.
For more information on Lomiko Metals Inc. (TSX.V: LMR, OTC: LMRMF, FSE: DH8C) please visit their website at www.lomiko.com
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