Natural resource explorer and developer Snow Lake Resources Ltd. d/b/a Snow Lake Lithium Ltd. (LITM:NASDAQ), which owns a 100% interest in the 55,000-acre Thompson Brothers Lithium property in Winnipeg, Man., Canada, announced Friday that "it signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with LG Energy Solution (373220:KRX) of South Korea as a next step towards building the domestic supply chain for the North American electric vehicle market."
Snow Lake Lithium is dedicated to building and operating the first fully electric sustainable lithium mine that is powered completely by renewable energy to meet the needs of the North American electric vehicle (EV) and battery markets.
"Our all-electric lithium mine in Snow Lake Manitoba will power 5 million electric vehicles over the next 10 years, helping to secure the future of the North American automobile market."
The two firms plan to collaborate to create a lithium hydroxide processing plant in CentrePort, Winnipeg, Man. that will be capable of supplying LG Energy with lithium for 10 years or longer. Production at the site is expected to commence during 2025.
The terms outlined in the MOU are subject to numerous conditions and allow each firm to complete its respective due diligence activities. The report indicated that a scoping study is already being conducted to determine the best design plan for building a world-class lithium hydroxide plant in Manitoba.
Snow Lake's CEO Philip Gross commented, "Snow Lake Lithium and LG Energy Solution both recognize the importance of local sourcing of critical raw materials, such as lithium, and that this is the logical step for battery and electric vehicle manufacturers … Our all-electric lithium mine in Snow Lake Manitoba will power 5 million electric vehicles over the next 10 years, helping to secure the future of the North American automobile market."
CEO Gross added, "We are grateful for the commitment of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier of Manitoba, Heather Stefanson, and Invest Canada to support the development of a sustainable mining industry in Canada which has helped to facilitate our partnership with LG Energy Solution."
LG Energy Solution's CEO, Youngsoo Kwon, stated, "Our mid- to long-term strategy is to focus on North America, the fastest growing EV market. These partnerships serve as a crucial step towards securing a stable key raw material supply chain in the region."
Snow Lake Lithium noted that its lithium mine is ideally situated to serve companies in the North American automotive industry. The property offers nearby convenient access to the U.S. rail network via the Artic Gateway railway.
Heather Stefanson, Premier of Manitoba, remarked, "At a time of global energy insecurity, Manitoba is uniquely positioned to supply the critical minerals and materials the world needs to pursue decarbonization…We are thrilled to see this partnership move forward between Snow Lake Lithium and LG Energy Solution to advance Manitoba's leadership position in the North American electric vehicle supply chain."
Friday's announcement comes just one day after LG Energy Solution signed a three-year supply agreement with Electra Battery Materials Corp. (ELBM:TSX.V; ELBM:NASDAQ) for 7,000 tonnes of cobalt sulfate, which it intends to use for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for the rapidly expanding North American EV market.
Snow Lake mentioned that "Canada is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that has all the critical minerals required for EV batteries, including lithium." The company's Lithium operations are expected to produce 160,000 tonnes of 6% lithium spodumene per year over a 10-year period, an amount sufficient to power 5 million EVs.
Snow Lake Lithium is focused on exploring and developing lithium resources for use in the North American EV and battery markets. The firm's wholly-owned Thompson Brothers Lithium Project has only undergone minimal exploration to date and, according to the company, contains "an 11.1 million metric tonnes indicated and inferred resource at 1% Li2O."
LG Energy Solution is a global manufacturer of batteries based in South Korea. The company's lithium-ion batteries are designed for use in EVs, energy storage systems, information technology, and mobility. The company owns greater than 24,000 patents related to battery design and manufacturing and is a major global battery supplier for several of the world's largest automakers.
Snow Lake Resources started the day with a market cap of around US$56.7M million, with approximately 17.84 million shares outstanding. LITM shares opened nearly 17% lower today at US$2.65 (-US$0.53, -16.67%) from Friday's US$3.18 closing price. The stock has traded today between US$2.44 and US$2.66 per share today and is currently trading at US$2.49.
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