Recharge Metals (ASX:REC) has decided to invest in the global mining powerhouse of North America, with its maiden exploration Express Lithium Project in the James Bay Region of Quebec, Canada.
Speaking to Mining.com.au, Recharge Metals Managing Director Felicity Repacholi-Muir says the company had been assessing new opportunities in the market with the goal of making a new project acquisition, hence the decision to purchase the Express Project back in March 2023.
The Managing Director adds how it was focused specifically on projects in tier-one mining jurisdictions that also have exposure to battery metals.
In the Canadian province of Quebec, where Recharge is currently exploring its Express Lithium Project, the government has injected $100 million into Lion Electric to establish lithium-ion battery manufacturing capability and a regional end market in the province.
Further, similarly to the US, Canada is seeking to accelerate its critical minerals sector and has unlocked CAD$3.8 billion of capital in its recent ‘Critical Minerals Policy’, which has shortlisted lithium — Recharge’s key commodity for which it is exploring.
As reported by the Canadian government, the policy stated: “Of Canada’s 31 critical minerals, 6 are initially prioritised in this Strategy for their distinct potential to spur Canadian economic growth and their necessity as inputs for priority supply chains.
These 6 minerals are lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper, and rare earth elements. While these minerals represent the greatest opportunity to fuel domestic manufacturing and will be the initial focus of federal investments, many other minerals present notable prospects for the future.”
Repacholi-Muir notes there are ‘major’ financial incentives for mining entities operating in Canada, including companies raising capital through the country’s ‘flow-through’ scheme.
The company adds that this is unique to Canadian resource companies, as through tax benefits, companies are allowed to raise capital at a higher price, meaning more money for exploration and development.
So, what were the catalysts for Recharge Metals’ foray into Canada?
Repacholi-Muir says: “It was clear to us that Quebec’s James Bay was highly prospective, though remained very underexplored, which provides an exploration company with a unique opportunity.
“It was clear to us that Quebec’s James Bay was highly prospective, though remained very underexplored, which provides an exploration company with a unique opportunity”
Helping us to leverage this opportunity, Recharge enjoys a good relationship with Dahrouge, who have been instrumental in the acquisition of high-quality assets.”
The company’s geological partners, Dahrouge Geological, intend to perform boots-on-ground field mapping and surface sampling at the Express Lithium Project in the summer of 2023.
Additionally, Recharge Metals says that Quebec is a ‘highly’ rated mining and investment jurisdiction, scoring 8th of all mining regions globally in the 2022 Fraser Mining report.
As reported by this news service, Recharge joins a long list of hopefuls setting up shop in Canada — and, in particular, in the James Bay region.
Over the past decade, junior mining companies have accounted for 44% of the total exploration spend in Canada. This represents the prominence and importance of junior explorers in sustaining and growing Canada’s mining industry.
It does not come as a surprise that ASX-listed explorers such as Recharge Metals are heading North, as Mining.com.au has spoken to several mining companies which relayed how Australia and Canada share similarities across the board.
As such, Recharge Metals was able to boil down 3 key reasons as to why ASX-listed companies seem to be focusing on exploration within Canada.
Firstly, Recharge’s Managing Director says: “Canada has a great deal of high-quality ground that is relatively unexplored for lithium. Compare that to Australia, which is more advanced, and now produces around half the world’s lithium.”
Next, Repacholi-Muir notes that the Canadian government policy has been ‘highly’ supportive and will provide long-term tailwinds in terms of support for developing the region’s mineral capability, with a specific focus on lithium.
Finally, Repacholi-Muir says Australian exploration companies’ robust exploration methodologies have generated meaningful results and ‘significant’ wealth, which Recharge believes can be replicated.
The Express Lithium Project comprises 139 mineral claims over 2 contiguous claim blocks covering 74km-square. The project is located about 12km southeast of global lithium chemicals company Allkem’s (ASX:AKE) James Bay deposit in Quebec, Canada.
Recharge Metals is an exploration company focused on its Express Project in the ‘world-class’ James Bay lithium district in Canada. The company also owns the copper-focused Brandy Hill South Project in Western Australia.
Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au
Images: Recharge Metals Ltd