- Demand for lithium is expected to triple by 2025
- QMC is in the process of expanding the historic reported resource estimate of 1.2 million tons prior to initiating production
- Recent sample returned over 4.15 percent Li2O
- Companies continue to report new lithium supply contracts
- Innovations such as 3D-printing of Li-ion batteries in virtually any shape continue to drive demand
Lithium-ion batteries, the worldwide mainstay of the electrical industry for powering computerized products that range from wrist-worn devices to electric cars and trucks, have been the subject of intense scrutiny by hundreds of research and development efforts attempting to improve existing technology. Innovation does take time and is likely to present itself as a new wrinkle on an old way of doing things, which is good news for junior miners exploring the profit potential of Earth’s lithium resources. The Irgon Mine Project is one of these lithium resources; located in southeastern Manitoba, it is a large spodumene-bearing pegmatite dike currently being developed by QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. (OTC: QMCQF) (TSX.V: QMC) (FSE: 3LQ).
At the first-ever S&P Global Platts Battery Metals Conference held in New York on October 16, a discussion on a wide variety of potential new battery chemistries led Roman Kramarchuk, the head of technology policy and energy analytics for S&P Global Platts, to argue (http://nnw.fm/HJc3b) that developments in battery technology “are not necessarily a quick process. It can take 10 years to go from introduction to full development. These are the technologies of the future, but they will not sneak up on us.”
In the meantime, the lithium market is enjoying a robust forecast in an active supply chain. Lithium pricing has weakened slightly this year amid concerns about oversupply of the metal, but Lithium Investing News’ third quarter assessment, also published October 16 (http://nnw.fm/Ru6mV), predicted that demand for the metal will triple by 2025 as businesses increase their push for lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide for use as Li-ion battery cathodes. It also noted a number of new supply contracts and the introduction of new spodumene concentrate supplies from Australia and Brazil.
“This escalation in downstream interest shows that lithium supply remains a key concern throughout the battery supply chain,” Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Senior Analyst Andrew Miller told the agency.
An ACS Applied Energy Materials report notes that researchers have developed a new method to 3D-print lithium-ion batteries in virtually any shape – an advance that may also help manufacturers streamline production efficiency of their materials (http://nnw.fm/X4xkL).
QMC continues to aggressively bet on the lithium market’s potential. The company is working toward establishing a new North American source of the metal by breathing new life into the Irgon Lithium Mine operation in the Cat Lake-Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field of southeastern Manitoba.
A NetworkNewsAudio production released earlier this month states, “QMC’s flagship project, the Irgon Lithium Mine, is directly centered on a site rich with lithium-indicated resources. In the 1950s, the Lithium Corporation of Canada Ltd. drilled 25 holes into the Irgon Dike and reported a historical resource estimate of 1.2 million tons grading 1.51 percent Li2O over a strike length of 365 meters and to a depth of 213 meters… An interactive 3D model displaying historical data derived from past drilling and underground work shows that exploration and underground development has taken place only on the central portion of the dike, which means there’s a significant opportunity to quickly increase tonnage along strike.”
QMC is in the process of bringing the historical resource data up to date to meet current NI 43-101 reporting standards by undertaking a drill program and analyzing detailed channel samples to confirm the historical results. QMC has invested two years of work in the project already, and analytical results of the channel sampling on the dike are very positive, having returned results of 1.73 percent lithium-oxide over 14 meters. Sampling of other dikes known within the property have produced chip sampling results with concentrations over 1.90 percent lithium oxide, including one that returned over 4.15 percent Li2O.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.QMCMinerals.com
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