Quebec could benefit from the electric car sector, which will need metals to manufacture rechargeable batteries in the coming years.
“We are in the process of positioning ourselves as an important player in this niche,” Josée Méthot, president of the Quebec Mining Association (QMA), told the Journal on the sidelines of the Mines Québec conference held in the capital until ‘on Thursday.
According to her, major investors are looking more and more at Quebec as a land of opportunity for the supply of metals that will make up the future batteries of electric vehicles.
By 2030, the number of electric vehicles is expected to reach 125 million units on the planet compared to the current three million on the road.
Lithium, cobalt and graphite are highly sought-after metals, while deposits are very numerous in Quebec. By 2023, demand for lithium is expected to grow by 20% per year as growth in demand for cobalt could double over the same period.
The Nemaska Lithium project
Quebec mining company Nemaska Lithium is building a $ 1.1 billion lithium plant in Shawinigan while developing its Whabouchi mining complex north of Chibougamau.
Nemaska Lithium intends to become the world leader in the production of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. The mine targets a production of 33,000 tonnes per year. For 2020, Nemaska Lithium says it has an almost full order book.
Johnson Matthey, the British manufacturer of cathodes for electric car lithium-ion batteries, is already a big customer of Nemaska Lithium.
Other projects in the boxes include those of Mason Graphite ($ 200 million on the North Shore) and New Graphic World ($ 250 million in Saint-Michel-des-Saints).