Thanks to James Bay, Quebec could become one of the largest lithium producers in the world and reveal new exploration discoveries.
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“The analysis we have performed shows that there is real potential and that James Bay could become a major source of lithium supply in North America,” Jean-Marc Lulin, CEO of Quebec-based Exploration Azimut, confides in the journal.
Earlier this month, Winsome Resources’ share price soared after the Australian company released exploration results that indicated the existence of a “world-class” lithium deposit at James Bay.
Ten days later, Vancouver-based Patriot Battery Metals also unveiled strong exploration results for its Corvette property, also located in James Bay. Another stock market jump.
“It flows. It’s like a gold rush, but it’s a lithium rush,” summarizes Mr. Lulin.
Azimut has a significant presence in James Bay and has four prospective lithium projects in the region, including two inmates at SOQUEM, a Quebec government company.
From gold to lithium
It’s the strong demand for lithium, a result of the EV craze, that prompted Azimut to scour James Bay. The preliminary but very positive results obviously boosted the company’s share price on the stock exchange.
“We didn’t think about lithium from the start. We didn’t look for it, we focused on copper, gold and nickel. It’s not an opportunistic move, but you can’t miss opportunities,” says Jean-Marc Lulin.
“You have to be pragmatic, and if it meets market requirements, all the better,” adds the geologist.
Caisse and funds FTQ
Azimut, which counts the Caisse de dépôt and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ among its shareholders, was able to take an interest in lithium relatively quickly thanks to its unique computing technology.
“For twenty years we have been developing a method that we have continually improved, namely algorithms that make it possible to process a large amount of digital data to generate exploration targets with a better probability of more important discoveries,” says Lulin.
Azimut, Patriot and Winsome discoveries could add to the list of future lithium mines at James Bay. It already has four projects in development.
However, mining companies must obtain the consent of the Cree communities residing on the territory.
“I wouldn’t say that we’re ready to fully embrace these developments yet. I’d rather say we’re investigating what lithium mining might become on our territory,” warned Mandy Gull-Masty, Grand Chief of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee, during an interview with Le Journal last fall.
According to the organization Eau Secours, the number of mining stocks in North Quebec has grown by more than 60% in the last three years.
Lithium at James Bay
projects in development
- Moblan (Sayona, Australia)
- Whabouchi (Nemaska, Quebec)
- Rose Tantalum (Critical Elements, Quebec)
- James Bay (Allkem, Australia)
- Corvette (Patriot Battery Metals, Canada)
- Adina (Winsome Resources, Australia)
- Pikwa and Galinée (Azimut Exploration and SOQUEM, Quebec)
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