E3 Lithium employees walk through the company's lithium pilot plant Alta. (PHOTO: X/e3lithium)
Alberta got out of the starting gates in the global critical minerals race Thursday with the opening of the province's first lithium extraction pilot project.With this opening, the state has joined the global lithium race.
with this project new job opportunities are expected to be created.
Lithium, a light metal, is in demand around the globe right now because it is a key component in electric vehicle batteries.
Currently, the world's biggest lithium producers are Australia, Chile and China. However, it has long been known that Alberta is home to one of the world's largest lithium deposits, located deep underground in the Leduc geological formation, which is also a major oil-and-gas producing area.
E3 Lithium Company has established its lithium plant near the town of Olds in central Alberta.
E3 Lithium CEO Chris Doornbos called the occasion the start of a "new era" for the province's traditionally oil-and-gas-dominated economy.
"The opportunity to be a global leader, and to make Alberta a lithium jurisdiction, is really and truly here.”
The company plans to pilot its technology over the course of this fall, with the goal of opening a full-scale commercial plant in the same area by late 2026.
That facility could process up to 150,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium product, Doornbos said, ready to be sold directly to battery producers and EV companies.
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