Establishing Ontario's First Regional Lithium Battery Materials Refinery In Thunder Bay

Creating A Supply Chain to Serve the Needs of Future Electric Vehicle and Battery Manufacturers

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. Profile


Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.


  • Aiming To Establishing Ontario's First Regional Lithium Battery Materials Refinery In Thunder Bay
    • Signed Binding Letter of Intent with Billion Dollar ESSAR Group to become Strategic Partner & Co-Developer To Establish Supply Chain
    • Potential to be Operational by 2025
  • Avalon Owns Separation Rapids Lithium Project
    • The World's Largest, Undeveloped Known Resource of The Rare Lithium Petalite
    • Initial Feedstock for Refinery
    • Also Critical for High Strength Glass Ceramic Products
  • Diverse Minerals Portfolio with 5 Critical Minerals Projects
    • 3 are in Advanced Stage of Development
  • Exposure to Lithium, Rare Earths, Tin and Indium
  • Exposure to Critical Minerals Cesium and Tantalum
  • Clean Technology Business Opportunities
    • Recover Critical Minerals Via Innovative Extraction Technology
  • Committed to Environmental and Socially Responsible Mineral Resource Development


  • Separation Rapids Lithium
  • Tin: East Kemptville Project
    • Tin in Very Short Supply & trading at Record Prices Above $43,000/T
    • Working Toward Restarting Production
  • Lily Pad Cesium, Tantalum & Lithium
  • Nechalacho: Rare Earth Elements & Zirconium

Developing Ontario's 1st Lithium Battery Materials Refinery

  • Establish a regional lithium battery materials supply chain
  • Designed to accept lithium minerals concentrates:
    • Material Derived from Avalon's Separation Rapids lithium project
    • As well as from other aspiring new, local producers
  • Agreement with ESSAR Group involves providing initial financial and development support for building a lithium refinery in Thunder Bay, Ont
    • CAPEX of 500$M Jointly Funded


Present indications on demand for lithium battery materials produced in Ontario are supporting an initial production capacity for the refinery of 20,000 tonnes per annum of lithium hydroxide and/or lithium carbonate

  • Demand for lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate continues to grow in North America as new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing capacity is established both in the United States and in Canada
    • Supported via Ontario's first-ever critical minerals strategy to develop home-grown supply chains

Next Steps:

  1. Finalizing initial commercial terms
  2. Completion of final feasibility studies for both the refinery operations and lithium mineral concentrate production at the Separation Rapids site
  3. Finalizing the exact location for the refinery in Thunder Bay
  4. Proceeding with initial site preparation work both at both sites

ESSAR Partnership:

On April 4 Avalon announced it had signed a binding LOI with the Mumbai,


India based Essar Group to collaborate on establishing the lithium batterymaterials supply chain in northwestern Ontario.


Essar will become a co-owner of Avalon Lithium Inc, a new AVL subsidiary established as the business entity that will own the lithium refinery


Essar will provide funding to support the next steps including final feasibility studies and site preparation work at both Separation Rapids and the industrial site for the refinery in Thunder Bay once it is secured


Avalon now has considerable off-take interest in the lithium hydroxide product from emerging battery manufacturers both in Ontario, the U.S. and in Europe, who may also be willing investing partners in the refinery


There is also local Indigenous business interest in investing in the refinery and potential for government funding support as part of the new national critical minerals strategy

Separation Rapids Lithium Project: 


 Separation Rapids Next Steps: Moving Toward Phase 1 Production Facility

2020-21 work: Continued process optimization work and secured permit to recover 5,000 tonne bulk sample which was collected in March, 2021

  • Determined that Thunder Bay is ideally situated to locate battery materials refinery

2022: $10-15 million program planned to begin small scale DMS processing of bulk sample to produce petalite product samples for glass-ceramicsSecure off-take agreements and arrange project financing to expand production

  • Complete Feasibility Study-level cost estimates, project engineering and pilot plant work to optimize lithium battery materials process flowsheet & costs for T-Bay refinery
  • Complete environmental assessments and project permitting
    Continue exploration to define additional petalite resources on NW part of property

2022-4: Begin small scale commercial operations with sales of petalite and
mineral by
-products while new battery materials refinery is constructed

2025: Begin battery materials production

Avalon’s Separation Rapids Lithium Project has the potential to produce high purity lithium compounds for two distinct markets: an industrial mineral product for glass-ceramics and lithium chemicals for energy storage.

The Separation Rapids deposit is one of the largest “complex-type” lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite deposits in the world, unusual in its enrichment in the rare, high purity lithium mineral petalite. Petalite is the preferred lithium mineral feedstock for certain specialty glass-ceramic products for technical reasons, notably its consistently low impurity levels.

Petalite also offers potential to produce a high purity lithium chemical product at a relatively low-cost to serve the needs of lithium ion re-chargeable battery manufacturers. Growing demand for rechargeable batteries in electric vehicles and home energy storage is expected to result in continued rapid growth in global consumption of lithium. Many industry analysts are predicting that the demand for lithium will double over the next 5-10 years, creating a supply deficit, as existing producers struggle to meet the new demand.

In August 2018, Avalon completed an updated Preliminary Economic Assessment, reflecting a simplified business model that focuses on initial production of lithium mineral concentrates, with potential for future expansion into production of the battery materials lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. 

In November 2020, Avalon entered into a Letter of Intent with Rock Tech Lithium Inc. to collaborate on the development of a lithium battery materials process facility in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This facility would be designed to accept lithium mineral concentrates from Avalon's Separation Rapids Lithium Project and Rock Tech's Georgia Lake Lithium Project, as well as potentially other emerging, new lithium mining operations in northern Ontario, to produce lithium sulphate, a precursor chemical for lithium-ion batteries.

Petalite is not the only lithium mineral of interest at the Separation Rapids project. Petalite production will be supplemented with the production of a second lithium mineral concentrate: lepidolite. It will provide an additional lithium mineral concentrate for treatment at Avalon’s planned lithium refinery in Thunder Bay.

Highly fractionated pegmatites, like the Separation Rapids deposit, contain many minerals of economic importance. The deposit has the potential for recovery of by-products including high purity silica, feldspar, rubidium, cesium and tantalum.