- Electric buses predicted to overtake electric cars in popularity, reaching over 80 percent market share
- Demand for lithium is surging and is set to grow further
- Irgon Lithium Mine in Manitoba closed half a century ago when lithium prices were low
As the electric vehicle market sparks a worldwide scramble for lithium, QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. (OTC: QMCQF) (TSX.V: QMC) (FSE: 3LQ) is optimistic about the potentially large resources to which it holds access.
The British Columbia-based company is exploring the reserves at its Irgon Lithium Mine Project in Manitoba, a mine that was mothballed by previous owners despite its estimated 1.2 million tons of lithium oxide, since the very low lithium price at the time ($11-12/short ton in 1955) meant that the project was not an attractive investment. Over half a century later, the mine’s prospects couldn’t be any more different. Rising demand for lithium has raised the potential for QMC’s Irgon Lithium Mine to be a lucrative project.
The International Energy Agency reported in May that there are now over three million electric vehicles on the road, and the number is predicted to grow exponentially (http://nnw.fm/c25iU). In addition, industry experts believe that the use of electric buses will overtake even the high-predicted numbers of electric cars. Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports that, by 2030, 84 percent of buses worldwide will be electric, as compared with 28 percent of cars (http://nnw.fm/3Lv1P). Additionally, Bloomberg analysts expect electric vehicles to account for 55 percent of the overall light-duty vehicle sales in 2040 and represent 33 percent of the total car fleet worldwide.
These predictions point to an all-but-guaranteed market for lithium, a key component of the batteries that power electric vehicles. Lithium prices have tripled over the last three years, and they are expected to triple again within the next decade. The development and uptake of electric vehicles is driving this surging price trajectory, and the global hunt is on to find commercially viable, high-grade lithium (http://nnw.fm/VDe7L).
In addition to its growing use in batteries, lithium is widely used in the production of glass and ceramics, lubricating grease and rocket propellants. Lithium has also been used for many years as a component in medicines to treat a number of illnesses, including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anorexia and bulimia.
A significant amount of preparatory work was carried out at QMC’s Irgon Lithium Mine in the 1950s. The previous owners, Lithium Corporation of Canada Limited, analyzed samples and estimated that the site has about 1.2 million tons of lithium oxide. QMC views this as a historic, non-NI43-101 compliant resource, and the company is currently in the process of bringing into compliance with current NI43-101 standards. QMC’s plans include continued exploration in order to give a fresh estimate of the resources, based on these current standards. The Irgon Lithium Mine is located in Manitoba in a well-established and productive mining region, which has the necessary logistics and infrastructure in place to facilitate the exploitation of lithium and other precious metal resources.
In addition to Irgon Mine, QMC is exploring other mineral deposits in its Namew Lake District project. The 57,000-acre project is in close proximity to sites that are currently producing copper, zinc, gold, silver, nickel, palladium and platinum. The Namew Lake District project is located close to good transport links and is accessible throughout the year.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.QMCMinerals.com
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