Minister Pierre Corbeil Confirms a Loan Guarantee to Québec Lithium Inc. for a Project Valued at Nearly $250 Million
Val-d'Or, June 18, 2012 - Pierre Corbeil, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the Nord-du-Québec region, and Member for Abitibi-Est, announced on behalf of Sam Hamad, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, that Investissement Québec would be granting Québec Lithium Inc. a $60-million loan guarantee. This government financial support will enable Québec Lithium to mine a lithium ore deposit.
The project will strengthen Québec's presence in the growing lithium battery manufacturing industry, a priority sector for Québec. The project is also in line with the government's commitment to promoting green technology, as indicated in the 2011-2020 Action Plan for Electric Vehicles, while bolstering this industrial sector.
"With skyrocketing oil prices and the introduction of electric vehicles, experts predict the demand for lithium could triple by 2020. These encouraging forecasts explain our interest in this project, which will have a significant economic impact on the region during the construction and mining phases. In addition, the project's total fiscal impact over a ten-year horizon will be $34.4 million," remarked Minister Pierre Corbeil.
The project also includes the construction of a concentrator and a plant to process ore into lithium carbonate, a key component in lithium battery manufacturing. With a total estimated value of nearly $250 million, the project will create close to 200 jobs in and around La Corne Township in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
"It's an extremely profitable project for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue regional economy, for the workers, and for all Québec. It will lead to the creation of a specialized workforce and could encourage more young people to head into mining sector careers," added Corbeil.
Québec Lithium Inc. was formed in December 2009 for the purposes of this project. The company is a subsidiary of Canada Lithium Corporation, a public Canadian company specializing in the exploration and development of mine sites known to contain lithium. According to the company, the project could lead to the startup of the third-largest lithium mine in the world, employing 250 people during its construction phase and nearly 200 during the mining period. Canada Lithium plans to market its products in Québec, the United States, Europe, and Asia.
"There are few locations in the world where the concentration of lithium makes mining economically profitable. Our research efforts have paid off and now, thanks to the Québec government's support, we can continue on to the next phase, which is to hire large numbers of workers and prepare to mine the deposit," explained Peter Secker, Canada Lithium's president and chief executive officer.
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