Canada has an astounding wealth of mineral resources, and when it comes to critical minerals, it is rich in 31 out of 35 of them. Deemed essential to electrification, decarbonization and technological advancement, many of these minerals are quickly approaching current global production limits while demand continues to increase. The need for reliable critical metals production goes far beyond Canada, too. The European Union recently identified 30 critical minerals, while the United States contains deposits for all 35 critical minerals. However, the US relies entirely on Canada for 14 of these minerals and is 50 percent import-reliant for 17.
From a global perspective, Canada also accounts for 70 percent of in-development graphite projects. It’s safe to say North America will require every one of those projects moving forward.
Graphite is expected to experience a 37-percent under-supply by 2030 and a considerable upturn in demand this year. Moreover, the production of minerals such as graphite, lithium and cobalt may need to increase by 500 percent by 2050.
Multiple major corporations are in talks with Quebec for the development of battery factories and gigafactories, with their combined investments representing billions of dollars. Stakeholders include Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Britishvolt, Lion Electric Company (TSX:LEV), Stellantis, LG, Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TYO: 7203).
The Canadian Federal Government has also announced plans to hit net-zero emissions and 100-percent electric vehicle market penetration by 2035. If Canada is to reach this goal, it must look to domestic solutions for mineral development and production.
Lomiko Metals (TSXV:LMR
, OTC:LMRMF, FSE:DH8C) is a Canadian mining, exploration and development company headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia. Its strategic vision is to develop a sustainable approach to mineral extraction based on a collaborative, people-first partnership approach with local communities and a strong understanding of Indigenous traditions and values. The company is heavily focused on supplying the critical minerals required to facilitate the transition to clean energy while maintaining a net positive environmental impact.
Currently, Lomiko Metals is involved in the development of two major mining projects in the Province of Quebec. The first, La Loutre, is situated within the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nations Territory, located 180 kilometers northwest of Montreal. The 2,867-hectare site comprises 48 contiguous land claims. Based on a preliminary economic assessment, La Loutre has a potential graphite concentrate production of 1.43 Mt graded at 95.0 percent Cg.
Alongside Critical Elements Lithium (TSXV:CRE), Lomiko Metals is also exploring the Bourier lithium project. Located southeast of Quebec's Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory, Bourier covers 10,252 hectares. An AI analysis carried out by GoldSpot (TSXV:SPOT) in 2021 revealed the project has considerable lithium potential.
Six new prospective graphite projects have been acquired in the Grenville Province graphite metamorphic belt. The site consists of 236 claims over 14,255 hectares. The company has completed time-domain electromagnetic and magnetic surveys and will follow up on the survey results with field prospecting to identify near-surface conductors to help guide the fieldwork in the future.
Lomiko Metals is proudly represented by a diverse majority-female, majority-independent board, including Indigenous and francophone directors, who between them have decades of experience in mining development and production, capital raising and management. It believes that committed and open engagement with community, environment, investors and public stakeholders plays a crucial role in the successful advancement of its projects.
"It is our shared values of respect, integrity, personal performance and ingenuity that brought us together so we can grow a domestic, secure and stable supply chain of critical minerals in Quebec and in Canada," says CEO and Director Belinda Labatte. "We are creating a people-first, responsibly sourced, secure and stable supply of critical minerals assets where projects are developed alongside communities and with all the innovation and ingenuity required to ensure the projects have a net positive impact on the environment and the communities we serve."
- Lomiko Metals is an exploration-stage mining company based in Quebec, Canada, with a focus on high-grade large flake graphite and lithium mining.
- The company intends to have a net positive environmental impact, rather than simply net-zero.
- The company holds a 100-percent interest in the La Loutre graphite development in Southern Quebec, with an estimated annual graphite production of 109 kt for the first eight years.
- Lomiko is exploring the Bourier lithium project near James Bay with Critical Elements Lithium Corporation, which according to a 2021 analysis has high lithium production potential.
- Six new prospective graphite projects in Grenville Province-graphite metamorphic belt
- Lomiko Metals has completed its infill and extension exploration drilling program at its wholly-owned La Loutre graphite project.
- Lomiko Metals is guided by a shared purpose through a leadership team that has decades of experience in the mining and capital markets.
Fully owned by Lomiko Metals with a 1.5 percent NSR, the La Loutre project has a concession size of 4,528 hectares and is situated 180 kilometers northwest of Montreal, Quebec. The site is currently undergoing various tests to confirm details, such as the grade of graphite at the location, the amount of mineral present, the expected “lifetime” of the mine and the best way to ensure environmental sustainability.
La Loutre contains extensive graphite deposits with 1.04 kt indicated and 1.88 kt inferred resources. The site's estimated lifespan is 14.7 years, during which time it is expected to produce 21,874 Kilotons (kt=1,000 metric tonnes) of mill feed yielding 1,436 kt of graphite concentrate grading 95.0 percent Cg. This averages out to a graphite concentrate production rate of 108 kt for the first eight years with an overall average annual production of 97.4 kt.
- High Grade Concentrate: Open circuit variability flotation tests produced consistent metallurgical results with combined concentrate grades between 97.6 percent and 98.6 percent Cg.
- Initial Capex of $236.1M: This includes mine pre-production, processing and infrastructure (roads, power line construction, co-disposal tailings facility, ancillary building and water management).
- Close to Major Infrastructure: La Loutre is situated 192 km from the Papineau Highway, a major thoroughfare that provides direct access to power, infrastructure and talent in Montreal, itself a major port.
- Favorable Geology: Geologic tests indicate that La Loutre's sedimentary sequence consists of a thick paragneiss unit.
- Focused on Sustainability: The asset's estimated plant throughput is 4,200 tpd with a waste:ore ratio of 4 to1. Next steps include determining efficient water site management, co-disposal of waste rock and tailings and pit sequencing to maximize returns. This will involve a mine-truck & shovel operation along with stockpiles for a blending and flotation plant.
- Exploration Updates: Lomiko has completed its infill and extension exploration drilling program featuring 79 holes totaling 13,113 meters drilled; 53 of these, totaling 9,037 meters, were drilled in the electric vehicles zone and 26 holes totaling 4,076 meters were drilled in the battery zone. The company also received the fifth round of analytical results from the infill and extension exploration drill program indicating the best intersection was up to 7.60 percent Cg over 119.8 m from 81.2 to 201 m in hole LL-22-044 including 10.06 percent Cg over 40.5 m from 81.2 m to 121.7 m and 10.31 percent Cg over 19.5 m from 166.7 to 186.2 m
- Highlights of preliminary economic assessment (all figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated):
- Long-term weighted-average Graphite price US$916/t Cg conc. (graphitic carbon concentrate)
- Exchange rate: C$1.00 = US$0.75
- Pre-tax NPV (8 percent) of C$313.6M
- After-tax NPV (8 percent) of C$185.6M
- Pre-tax IRR of 28.3 percent
- After-tax IRR of 21.5 percent
- Pre-tax payback period of 3.3 years
- After-tax payback period 4.2 years
- Initial capital of C$236.1 million including mine pre-production, processing, infrastructure (roads, power line construction, co-disposal tailings facility, ancillary buildings, and water management)
- Life of mine processing period (LOM) of 14.7 years
- Average LOM strip ratio (Waste: Mineralization) of 4.04:1
- LOM plant production of 21,874 Kilotons (kt=1,000 metric tonnes) of mill feed yielding 1,436 kt of graphite concentrate grading 95 percent Cg.
- Average annual graphite concentrate production of 108 kt for the first eight years; LOM average annual production of 97.4 kt.
- Average graphite mill head grade of 7.44 percent Cg for the first eight years; LOM average graphite mill head grade of 6.67 percent Cg.
- Average LOM recovery of 93.5 percent Cg.
- Measured + Indicated resource at the base case cut-off grade of 1.5 percent Cg of 23,165 kt at a 4.51 percent Cg grade for 1.04 Mt of graphite.
- The inferred resource at the base case cut-off grade of 1.5 percent Cg of 46,821 kt at a 4.01 percent Cg grade for 1.9 Mt of graphite.
- Cash Cost of US$386 per tonne of graphite concentrate
- All-in Sustaining Cost of US$406 per tonne of graphite concentrate
The Bourier Project
Located near Nemaska, Quebec, the Bourier Project is owned by Critical Elements Lithium with an earn-in option representing up to 70 percent of ownership. Still in early-stage exploration, it covers 10,252 hectares situated on the Nemiscau greenstone belt southeast of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory in Quebec.
- Rich Deposits: Preliminary AI testing by GoldSpot indicates considerable lithium potential.
- Option Grants: Lomiko Metals has the option to acquire an initial 49 percent interest in the project and a 70 percent controlling interest in the project via either cash payments, issuing an aggregate of common shares, or funding exploration efforts.
- Planned Exploration: Critical Elements and Lomiko Metals have currently identified 15 potential exploration targets and are intensifying prospection over anomalous zones. More than 1,000 soil samples and 400 rock samples have been collected to date.
Belinda Labatte - Chief Executive Officer and Director
Belinda Labatte has more than 15 years of senior management experience in mining and the extractive industry and 20 years of capital markets experience, including a decade of strategic development, capital markets investment banking experience, stakeholder engagement and asset acquisition and disposition processes. Her most recent position was Chief Development Officer of Mandalay Resources Corp. Prior to that, Labatte was the founder and President of her own Company, The Capital Lab Inc., a leading Toronto-based consulting firm. Labatte is fluent in French, Spanish and German and graduated from the Rotman School of Management with an MBA. She holds the ICD.D designation and is CFA charterholder. Labatte serves as independent director of GCM Mining Corp and Star Royalties Ltd.
Gordana Slepcev - Chief Operating Officer
Gordana Slepcev is a Professional Mining Engineer with more than 25 years of global mining experience in developing, building and leading safe mining operations. Slepcev’s extensive experience spans multiple commodities, including gold, base metals, coal and industrial minerals. She brings considerable experience in mineral exploration, permitting, corporate and regulatory/First Nations/ Indigenous relations and project financing to Lomiko. Before joining the Company, Slepcev held the position of COO for BMSI, a privately held company, where she was responsible for restarting the barite reprocessing facility, mitigating historical environmental impacts and overseeing EPCM contractors. She also formerly held the role of COO of Anaconda Mining, where she was responsible for the company’s operations and development of the Goldboro project. Slepcev graduated from the University of Belgrade with an M.Sc. and is currently the chair of the Toronto chapter of CIM.
Vince Osbourne - Chief Financial Officer
Vince Osbourne is a senior finance and valuation professional with over 19 years of experience in all areas of financial management and business partnering within the retail industry. In his former position, he held the role of Real Estate finance business partner for Sobeys, contributing to significant value creation through the Real Estate portfolio and strategic partnerships. Osbourne graduated from York University with a BA in Economics.
Mike Petrina - Project Manager
Mike Petrina is a Mining Engineer with over 30 years of expertise in operations, engineering and project development. He is skilled at advancing open pit and underground projects whilst working responsibly with local stakeholders, First Nations communities and investors to maximize project value and is experienced in managing large workforces or small technical teams. Petrina has held executive roles for years with Adanac Molybdenum, Hawthorne Gold, MAG Silver and Probe Minerals and his extensive experience with advanced-stage projects in the Pre-economic Assessment (PEA) stage will be extremely helpful as Lomiko proceeds with the La Loutre Project.
Anne Chabot - Strategic Advisor
Anne Chabot possesses over 25 years of experience working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments, agencies and community groups, including a number of prominent political organizations like the Assembly of First Nations and the Chiefs of Ontario. Importantly, she works directly with a number of First Nations communities advocating for their rights on land and resource development. She has developed a reputation for being trustworthy and reliable and for her ability to bring solutions to diverse perspectives. She is guided by the vision of her father, John Clarence Chabot, to bring prosperity and self-reliance to First Nations, based on principles of mutual respect, trust, kindness and truth.