Skip to main content

Northern cabinet minister wants lithium hydroxide facility built in northern Ont.

Ontario Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli calls it the "sleeper story" of the province's massive auto industry transition.

Now that his quest to establish end-to-end electric vehicle production in the province has landed two battery plants, he's setting his sights on lithium hydroxide, a critical component of those batteries.

Fedeli says there are two or three "very good prospects" for bringing a lithium hydroxide facility to the province, with a particular eye on northern Ontario.

Currently, electric vehicles run on lithium ion batteries, made up of a cathode, anode, separator and a liquid electrolyte to allow lithium ions to move between the cathode and anode.

Lithium is one of the key raw materials required for lithium ion batteries, but it must be processed into the chemical compound lithium hydroxide to be used in those batteries.

The province announced last year that automaker Stellantis and South Korean battery-maker L-G Energy Solution will build a $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, which Fedeli say sparked interest in establishing feeder plants to supply materials for EV batteries.

A few months later, Umicore announced a cathode facility in eastern Ontario and this March, Volkswagen announced that it would build an electric vehicle battery plant in St. Thomas, Ontario.

Jeff Killeen, the director of policy and programs for the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, says the geological map of Ontario would suggest there are "huge swaths" of the province that have potential for lithium discoveries.

He says setting up a lithium hydroxide facility could spur more exploration.

(The Canadian Press) Top Stories


BREAKING Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony files for bankruptcy

It comes less than a week after the symphony abruptly cancelled its upcoming season and days after leadership announced they needed to secure $2 million by Friday to avoid insolvency.

Stay Connected