Mitsubishi to Form JV for Lithium Project in Canada

The Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Mitsubishi Corporation

NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — Canadian mining company Frontier Lithium Inc. said Monday that it has agreed with Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp. to form a joint venture for lithium mining and processing in Ontario, Canada.

The deal is based on an agreement reached between Japan and Canada in September last year to promote cooperation in strengthening supply chains for storage batteries used in electric vehicles.

With the importance of storage batteries increasing in line with growing decarbonization efforts, heavy dependence on China for battery supply chains has become a problem to Japan and other countries. Calls for reducing the reliance are increasing amid the growing rift between the United States and China.

While China ranks third in lithium production behind Australia and Chile, it holds more than 50% of the market for refining lithium for use in batteries.

The joint venture will operate in Frontier’s mining district of more than 260 square kilometers in Ontario, which is believed to have North America’s highest-grade lithium resource.

Mitsubishi will initially acquire a 7.5% stake in the JV for 25 million Canadian dollars, planning to raise its interest to up to 25% after a feasibility survey for the project.