Lomiko Metals: Response to Canadian Government’s Plan to Support New Energy Future with $3.8 Billion Spent on Domestic Production of Critical Minerals, Including Lithium and Graphite, and Funding Available for First Nations Partnerships

Insight

Ottawa’s plan to spend C$3.8 billion (US$3.02 billion) to boost domestic production of lithium, copper and other strategic minerals is expected to help propel the country’s efforts to become a key part of the global electric vehicle supply chain and complete the additional C$8 billion. allocated to transform and decarbonize industry and invest in clean technologies and batteries.

The spending, announced during the unveiling of Canada’s federal budget on Thursday, promises grants for surveying, processing and recycling minerals, as well as tax credits for starting new mines and grants for infrastructure, although they would not reduce regulatory oversight.

Lomiko Metals has a new vision and a new strategy in new energies. Lomiko represents a company with a purpose: a people-driven company where we can manifest a world of abundant renewable energy with essential Canadian and Quebec minerals for a solution in North America. Our goal is to create a new energy future in Canada where we will develop the critical minerals workforce, become a valued partner and neighbor of the communities in which we operate, and provide a secure and responsible supply of critical minerals.

Budget 2022 proposes to create the Canada Growth Fund to attract significant private sector investment to help achieve important national economic policy objectives:

  • Reduce emissions and help meet Canada’s climate goals;

  • Diversifying our economy and boosting our exports by investing in the growth of low-carbon industries and new technologies in new and traditional sectors of Canada’s industrial base; and

  • Support the restructuring of critical supply chains in areas important to Canada’s future prosperity, including our natural resource sector.
    The Canada Growth Fund will be a new public investment vehicle that will operate independently of the federal government, but no details were provided on how companies can access this funding.

The budget plans to double the exploration tax credit to 30% for companies exploring for a range of EV metals, including nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, rare earth elements, vanadium, tellurium, gallium, scandium, titanium, magnesium, zinc, platinum group metals and uranium.

Lomiko’s Thoughts

Belinda Labatte, CEO and Director, said: “While the budget will help Canada transition to electric vehicles in the future through dedicated government support, the government must consider how to responsibly accelerate the extraction of these critical minerals and project development through all phases, including greenfield exploration, preliminary economic analysis, pre-feasibility stage and feasibility stage. Although the tax-efficient stream of expenditures in Canada operates very narrowly to support the completion of exploration programs, it is not designed to support all community engagement, environmental, metallurgical and engineering studies necessary to advance a critical minerals project to put it in production. Committed equity investments from a common vehicle and grants in the amount of $500,000 to $2 million to advance projects through these phases should be made available as soon as possible, for a c’ is what acceleration needs to do: support entrepreneurs o seek responsible business solutions to bring more electric vehicles to the road with domestically sourced minerals. Community engagement and education on new energy and mining should be included in funding opportunities.”

Additionally, she said, “Canada’s vast resource endowment of graphite, lithium, nickel, cobalt and PGMs needs to be funded and that starts with junior small-cap exploration companies, or our EV future cannot happen.” protest because the supply shortfall of these critical minerals will be beyond at least 30% by 2030, with demand increasing by 500% for these critical minerals according to the World Bank – this means we are seeing a global shortage of critical minerals while we have an abundant endowment of critical minerals in Canada that can be mined responsibly Federal and provincial governments should promote and take action to fund and collect baseline data for exploration regions containing critical minerals It is imperative that the permitting process for critical mineral projects be streamlined and shortened to 6 months instead . years once baseline data is collected and the project registration is submitted. »

Lomiko Metals has the largest inferred graphite resource in Canada at 46 million tonnes and needs capital to develop its La Loutre graphite project to its next stage, which is the completion of a pre-feasibility study. PFS”). The work required to complete a pre-feasibility study is related to increasing confidence in the mineral resources and infill drilling of the EV and Battery Zone mining areas so that it can re-evaluate its measured and indicated inferred mineral resources, perform infrastructure and geotechnical assessments and prepare the mine. and site designs which include metallurgical testing to confirm plant design and suitability of concentrates for anode production and other industrial applications. The PFS stage and subsequent stages of development also require funding to engage local communities and First Nations, and conduct environmental baseline studies and market research, with the aim of ensuring that project development benefits to all actors and rights holders involved.

In short, greater support is needed to enable Lomiko Metals to advance its natural flake graphite project with Quebec and Canadian battery manufacturers.

Currently and historically, all critical mineral exploration companies have been funded solely and exclusively with retail investment money and no institutional or governmental support – and yet it will be impossible for every vehicle sold in Canada to by 2035 be electric without critical mineral extraction and mining.

Investment criteria should include companies that have demonstrated a commitment to creating a net positive impact for all stakeholders and rights holders: C-level committed leadership with separation of board from management, First Nations at the executive or board level – development agreements, and qualified expenditures for environmental or engineering studies. As exploration work is already well funded through the flow-through program, solid funds are needed to advance these studies, and these are the hardest to raise for first-time explorers.

Lomiko is committed to developing, growing and being part of the Canadian electric vehicle supply chain as a member of Accelerate that works with private and public sector stakeholders to define and build the supply chain and Canada’s zero-emission vehicle industrial strategy. We are also a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Critical Minerals Strategy to ensure a consistent voice is presented to government on the battery metal supply chain.

First Nations engagement and the role of government and the private sector

The budget also includes C$25 million for “early engagement and capacity building of Indigenous communities to support their participation in the Critical Minerals Strategy.” Lomiko applauds and supports this initiative. Companies like Lomiko need to see the mechanics of the support being offered to understand how best to use the financing available.

Many natural resource projects are located in or near Indigenous communities, including projects to develop the critical minerals that will be needed for Canada’s economy to reach net zero by 2050. Invest in these partnerships early in the development of resource projects can ensure meaningful opportunities for Indigenous participation, as well as greater certainty for investors and will enable wealth creation for all stakeholders and rights holders, resulting in a return on capital for the investors.

Budget 2022 proposes to provide $131.3 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, as follows: $103.4 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada to develop a national benefit-sharing framework; and the expansion of both the Indigenous Partnerships Office and the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program.

Belinda Labatte said, “Lomiko estimates that at least $25 million of this funding should be dedicated to early engagement and capacity building with Indigenous communities to support their participation in the Critical Minerals Strategy. These investments will provide Indigenous communities with opportunities to benefit from all types of natural resource projects, including critical minerals. Access to funding must be demonstrated immediately through communication portals of First Nations communities and provincial associations representing critical minerals.