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Automobile Manufacturers Are Ramping Up Efforts to Get Battery Raw Materials

Increasing global demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is driving carmakers like Tesla and Mercedes to increase their efforts to source raw materials needed to manufacture batteries. Tesla has inked several supply deals to nickel and lithium supply, including with Australia’s BHP Group and Core Lithium and China’s Ganfeng Lithium. Tesla supplier Panasonic Holdings has also begun construction on a $4 billion new lithium battery factory in Kansas. Mercedes also just secured enough high-grade lithium hydroxide to produce 150,000 EVs through a supply agreement with Rock Tech Lithium. The partnership is part of a Mercedes push to localize and vertically integrate its EV supply chain. At the same time, the US and Canadian governments are investing billions to increase domestic supply of critical minerals for the green energy transition, creating an opportunity for lithium companies like Pan American Energy Corp. (CSE:PNRG) (OTC:PAANF), American Battery Technology Company (OTCQX:ABML), Lithium Americas (TSX:LAC) (NYSE:LAC), American Lithium Corp (TSXV:LI) (NASDAQ:AMLI), and Albemarle Company (NYSE:ALB).

Pan American Energy Corp. (CSE:PNRG) (OTC:PAANF) is a North American mining exploration company focused on expanding the lithium supply chain by buying, exploring, and developing mineral properties. The company has promising lithium assets in top mining jurisdictions (Nevada and Ontario) that are located in close proximity to some of the most exciting lithium discoveries in recent years, including American Battery Technology’s Tonopah Flats project, which is one of the largest known lithium deposits in the US with an estimated 15.8 million tons (Mt) of LCE, and Avalon Advanced Materials’ Big Whopper project in Ontario, which has pegmatite reserves of 8.4 Mt grading 1.408% lithium oxide (Li2O).

On April 25, Pan American announced that five of the eleven fully-funded drill holes have been completed and has begun preparing for the Phase Two Program.

Pan American Energy also provided an update on the fully funded Phase 1 drill program at its Horizon Lithium project in Nevada. The first five drill holes showed extensive mineralization zones with values reaching 2,040 ppm. On April 20, 2023, the Company finished the eleven hole Phase One drilling program and is prepared to begin the eleven hole Phase Two drilling program. 

Horizon Lithium, which borders American Battery Technology’s Tonopah Flats Project (15.8 million tonnes inferred lithium carbonate equivalent), has similar lithium-bearing horizons and the potential for a major lithium deposit in the Siebert Formation. 

“Our team was able to safely and successfully complete our Phase One drill program with a confirmed a claystone lithium discovery cluster at the Horizon Lithium Project” comments Jason Latkowcer, Chief Executive Officer. “These initial assay results have confirmed our geological hypotheses that the Siebert Formation, which has been proven by neighboring projects to host significant lithium grades at multiple horizons, would contain high grades and thick zones of mineralization of lithium on our property. As we wait for the remaining assay results and prepare to begin the Phase Two drill program, we are encouraged by the Company’s potential to advance towards an inferred resource report before the end of year. With continued strong results, we believe the Company has the potential to position itself amongst the likes of American Lithium and American Battery Technology, also on the Tonopah lithium belt, as a significant USA based lithium project.”

With each drill hole, Pan American is seeing increasing thicknesses of potential lithium-bearing claystone as drilling approaches the anticipated center of the basin. Not to mention, the base of the Siebert Formation hasn’t been encountered yet meaning tremendous opportunity for program expansion in future exploration. 

The Horizon Project consists of 839 claims spanning 7,015 hectares and is located just 7.5 km from Tonopah, Nevada.  The project is prospective for near-surface claystone lithium based on regional peer analysis which indicates lithium is weakly bound to the clays, unlocking conventional mining methods including open pit.

For more information about Pan American Energy Corp. (CSE:PNRG) (OTC:PAANF), click here. 

Lithium Companies Are Making Progress on Projects

In order to expand operations of its first-of-its-kind lit lithium-ion battery recycling business, American Battery Technology Company (OTCQX:ABML), an American critical battery materials company that is commercializing both its primary minerals manufacturing and secondary minerals lithium-ion battery recycling technologies, has signed contracts to purchase a move-in-ready, commercial-scale battery recycling facility in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) in Nevada. The facility will enable the company to quickly adopt its internally developed lithium-ion battery recycling technology at a much higher capacity than was originally envisioned.

After receipt of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) notice to proceed, Lithium Americas (TSX:LAC) (NYSE:LAC) announced the beginning of development at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada. Thacker Pass intends to build 80,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery-quality lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) capacity in two 40,000 tpa phases. The first phase of production is set to begin in the second half of 2026. The project is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs and 500 operational jobs.

On March 20, American Lithium Corp (TSXV:LI) (NASDAQ:AMLI) announced that it has filed an independent National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Tonopah Lithium Claims (TLC) project in the Esmerelda lithium district northwest of Tonopah, Nevada. The PEA’s highlights were originally announced on February 1, 2023. DRA Global and Stantec Consulting Services Inc. conducted the PEA and supporting Technical Report, which shows that the TLC project has the potential to become a significant, long-life producer of low-cost, high purity lithium carbonate (LCE). As part of the first PFS work, diamond core drilling with a 5.7″ diameter has started at TLC. Ten holes are planned to target 10-15 tonnes of high-quality TLC lithium claystone deposit in a high-quality TLC lithium claystone deposit.

Albemarle Company (NYSE:ALB), a global leader in delivering vital elements for mobility, energy, communication, and health, announced on March 22, 2023, that its previously announced lithium hydroxide Mega-Flex project will be located in Chester County, South Carolina. The facility’s plans call for an initial expenditure of at least $1.3 billion to assist address rising domestic and worldwide demand for electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries. Mega-Flex is the name given to the facility’s capacity to process a variety of lithium feedstock, including lithium from spent batteries. Albemarle thinks that the facility will be able to get 50,000 metric tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from different sources each year, and that number could go up to 100,000 metric tonnes. The facility’s production would support the annual production of an estimated 2.4 million electric automobiles. 

Pan American Energy has partnered with Integrity Mining and Industrial (IMI), a subsidiary of Integrity Bio-Chemicals, LLC, to collaborate on evaluating IMI’s suite of sustainable green chemistries to enhance lithium recovery from petalite bearing pegmatite, lithium bearing clays, and spodumene.

Featured Image Depositphotos @ Mining_58-Depositphotos_583167714_L_@ewastudio


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Except as required by law, Pan American Energy Corp. undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future event or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Neither does Pan American Energy Corp. nor any of its representatives make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, sufficiency or completeness of the information in this document. Neither Pan American Energy Corp. nor any of its representatives shall have any liability whatsoever, under contract, tort, trust or otherwise, to you or any person resulting from the use of the information in this document by you or any of your representatives or for omissions from the information in this document.

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