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North will benefit from Kingston cathode plant, Fedeli says


News about a $1.5 billion electric battery component facility to be built in Kingston is also good news for northern Ontario, says the province's Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

Vic Fedeli said the north will reap benefits from the Kingston plant, a partnership between the provincial and federal government and Belgium-based Umicore N.V.

The facility will be home to a plant producing cathodes and precursor materials, the province said, noting that cathodes make up about half of the value of an electric vehicle battery.

They contain minerals such as nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium – minerals that are mined in the north.

"Every bit of the cathode and precursor plant that they have there needs minerals and that's what we have here in the north," Fedeli told CTV's Brendan Connor.

"We want a full supply chain. From critical minerals, this missing piece -- the precursor and the cathode -- then the battery plant, which we won, then the five manufacturers, which are here and shored up. All of the parts, all of the tools dyes and molds, all of the connected and autonomous vehicle tech components, that piece of cathode and precursor was missing and they need our minerals."

Fedeli said demand for nickel could eventually change the view of the Ring of Fire as a source of nickel, rather than chromite.

"I think they're literally going to push the chromite aside and go deeper for the nickel," he said.

"There's so much demand. Nickel is being found north of Timmins, Canada Nickel south of Timmins as well. Lots of development. We need lithium, which is all in northwestern Ontario, so we're going to push really hard for lithium mine to go into production and to have processing of the lithium there."

Longer term, Fedeli said such plants could be built in the north, closer to where the metals are located.

"The batteries themselves are going to be built in Windsor because they're literally adjacent to the assembly plant," he said.

"I think there's lots of room for the precursor to be processed here in northern Ontario and shipped worldwide, for that matter. I think we have enough to do it. And that's our ultimate goal. " Top Stories

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