Important minerals for clean technology

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. Donald Bubar, President and CEO of Discuss company strategy Sustainably produce the key minerals needed for clean technology using innovative new extraction technologies designed to minimize the environmental footprint.

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Avalon Advanced Materials is a mineral development company focused on metals and minerals used in clean energy and new technologies, specializing in critical metals and minerals in increasing demand for new technologies. I will. The company has five key mineral projects across Canada, providing investors with exposure to lithium, rare earths, cesium, tantalum, feldspar, tin and indium. We also appreciate the opportunity to apply new extraction techniques to recover rare earths and other metals from acidic mines. Drainage at closed mining sites throughout North America, correction of unresolved environmental responsibilities.

Avalon has been in business for over 25 years and has an experienced management team. The company recently received a top ESG risk assessment from Sustainalytics and is a leader in promoting the active participation of indigenous peoples in Canada’s mineral exploration and development.

Innovation platform Adopting the company’s president and chief executive officer, Donald Bubar, a priority to move forward and best practices for reducing environmental footprint, preventing water pollution and engaging with local communities. I talked about it.

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. Please tell us the outline and business philosophy of.

Avalon is a leading developer of new North American sources of key minerals for clean technology, such as rare earths and lithium. Avalon is a small start-up company identifying its own strategic resources and process solutions to sustainably produce critical minerals for new technologies and establish a complete supply chain in North America. It is one of the groups. Avalon learns that innovation is the key to initiating these, both in terms of innovation in new process solutions and innovation in new products that can benefit from the unique properties of many ambiguous elements. I was surprised. Avalon also has a diverse asset base and allows businesses to access a variety of non-traditional products, allowing them to quickly respond to new demand for key minerals in new technologies that are currently undersupplied or unavailable. I learned what I can do. I didn’t expect everything to be in demand at the same time, as it is today.

The Separation Rapids Lithium project is the most advanced project to date, but how does your development plan differ from traditional mining?

Avalon first acquired the Separation Rapids Lithium Project 25 years ago and is now familiar with the challenges faced by small entrepreneurs as they begin producing non-traditional products. We have learned that it is all about identifying the market for our products, meeting the specifications required by our customers, and innovating the way we produce our products efficiently in order to be cost-competitive. You can also start production on a reasonable scale to achieve initial revenue and incorporate scalability into your operations to increase production and revenue as demand increases. Unlike traditional mining and mass production of listed products, we do not operate according to the size of resources, but expand operations according to the size of the market in which we plan to provide services.

© iStock / Olivier Le Moal

Is the Separation Rapids Lithium Project unique in terms of mineralogy and supply chain benefits?

Yes, it is unique in North America and is one of the few examples in the world of lithium pegmatite hosting a large resource of the rare high-purity lithium aluminosilicate mineral pegmatite. Historically used as a specialty mineral to innovate high-strength glass-ceramic products such as Corning’s famous Corningware® cookware, it is still used to innovate new high-strength glass and ceramic products. Petalite purity is also beneficial from a cost-effective point of view in that it enables the production of high-purity lithium battery material products without the need for extensive impurity removal steps.

Separation Rapids Petalite Crystals

Lithium is an important material in the energy supply chain, but how do you keep it sustainable? How does extraction mitigate climate change concerns and protect communities?

Unlike most metal mineral deposits, hard rock lithium deposits do not contain minerals or elements that can cause unwanted environmental impacts. Most of the other minerals contained can be recovered as a by-product, and the residue is essentially crushed granite, so it can be used as an aggregate. We plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by utilizing the hydropower available in the area.

Lithium is actually beneficial to human health, especially as an antidepressant. In fact, the outbreak of separation rapids was known as the “healing rock” in the traditional knowledge of the local indigenous community. Supply chains of critical minerals such as lithium are now important for leveraging these resources in traditional lands that can be developed in remote indigenous communities in a less impactful and sustainable manner with reasonable capital requirements. Offering new economic development opportunities.

What role do innovative technologies play in terms of sustainable extraction methods? And what are the new technologies in which it is used?

Innovative extraction technology plays an important role in recovering important minerals in a way that minimizes environmental impact and reduces overall production costs. One example we plan to use is sensor-based ore sorting. This is a method of crushing rock to particle size to release the desired mineral and placing the crushed material on a conveyor belt so that the sensor can detect the mineral. Be interested before using an air jet to collect them in another container. No water or chemical reagents required.

Other examples include new membrane technologies and ion exchange and nanofiltration technologies, all of which have great potential for extracting target elements such as rare earths dissolved in acidic solutions.

You have seen historic mining waste as a new opportunity to recover important minerals while correcting the long-term environmental responsibilities of the Cargill and East Keptville projects. Are these examples examples of where new technologies can be applied?

Yes, we have already shown how to effectively use sensor-based ore sorting to concentrate the tin mineral cassiterite from the abandoned pile of East Keptville. We also believe that ongoing acidic mine drainage in the field creates an opportunity to recover other elements of interest such as indium and lithium dissolved in acidic wastewater using nanofiltration technology.

At Cargill’s closed phosphate mine site, there is an unusual situation of tailing containing phosphate minerals with high concentrations of rare earth elements and scandium. The next step is to innovate the process of dissolving phosphate minerals, using new membrane technology to recover rare earths from acidic solutions, and recovering purified phosphate products for fertilizer applications.

What are the main challenges your sector is facing? And how do you think the sector will develop over the next 5 to 10 years?

Starting a supply chain of these important minerals here in Canada says that the lack of domestic demand for these non-traditional commodities and the lack of domestic demand for these non-traditional commodities and the need for new producers to line up prepared buyers to start. Providing off-take commitments that were difficult due to lack of awareness. This will never be easy until you can create a trial quantity of your product to ensure that your customers meet the requirements of your technical specifications. It processes bulk samples early and designs appropriate extraction technology that has few service providers available and, if service providers exist, they do not have the ability to perform special bulk sample processing. Means to do.

Traditional mass sampling of products is usually done only in the advanced stages of development, and due to regulatory challenges, it is difficult to quickly obtain the necessary permits before customers lose interest. The government has established new policies that recognize important mineral supply chains as fundamentally different from traditional mining and that they are an important element of new industrial strategies for advanced manufacturing. need to do it. The government also needs to encourage further innovation in new applications of rare elements that Canada has the potential for superior resources in order to create more domestic demand.

It is possible to overcome these challenges in the next five years as public awareness that the supply chain of important minerals is related to the establishment of a clean economy has become a major public policy priority of the government. I think it is highly sexual.

Please note that this article will also be published in the 7th edition. Quarterly magazine..

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