Avalon partners with India’s Essar Group to build Ontario lithium refinery

Ontario’s strategic push to establish a fully integrated lithium-ion battery supply chain got a massive boost on Monday after Avalon Advanced Materials […]
Avalon Advanced Materials has reached an agreement with India-based Essar Group to jointly fund and provide development support for a lithium refinery in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Credit: Avalon Advanced Materials.

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Ontario's strategic push to establish a fully integrated lithium-ion battery supply chain got a massive boost on Monday after Avalon Advanced Materials (TSX: AVL) reached an agreement with India-based Essar Group to fund and provide development support for a lithium refinery in Thunder Bay.

Avalon and RenJoules International have partnered to co-develop a regional lithium battery materials supply chain. It is intended to serve the needs of future electric vehicle and battery manufacturers in Ontario and North America, sending Avalon's Toronto-quoted equity nearly 47% higher to 22 cents per share.

Avalon said in a news release that the new refinery would accept future production from its flagship Separation Rapids lithium project near Kenora and be able to take concentrates from other developers of northwest Ontario's lithium pegmatite resources.

Avalon has established a new subsidiary, Avalon Lithium, in which Essar will become a co-owner.

The next steps entail finalizing initial commercial terms and completing final feasibility studies for both the refinery operations and lithium mineral concentrate production at the Separation Rapids site that will provide the initial feed for the refinery until other new producers also get started. This will also include finalizing the exact location of the refinery.

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