2023 was a year of significant accomplishments for the Company towards its goal of developing a lithium mine in southeastern Manitoba. Most notable were the completion of an initial mineral resource estimate at our Donner Lake Project and the lease of the True North Mill in Bissett. We now can point to a meaningful resource ( which we will look to expand in future ) and a place to process the ore. So a good start for the project with two of the key pieces now in place.
Despite the fall in lithium prices in 2023 we believe that there are outsize returns that will accrue to a Company that can execute on bringing North American based hard rock lithium into production in the next several years. This is because lithium demand from electric vehicles and energy storage will continue to increase at growth rates that will require new sources of supply. The current downturn in prices will delay new capital investment and provide for price upswings in future. We think that all in all the market is underestimating the time it takes to permit new projects in North America. Supply won’t always be available when it is most required.
A projects’ location matters as well. Under the Inflation Reduction Act automakers in the U.S. are eligible for consumer incentives in coming years based in part on where the raw materials are sourced from. These incentives amount to thousands of dollars per vehicle for manufacturers. So Manitoba apart from being a very positive mining jurisdiction is well situated to supply the U.S. market.
Manitoba recently announced its critical metals strategy reinforcing its commitment to the sector. The power source in Manitoba consists of renewable energy ( 97% hydroelectric ) and there is an established mining workforce . That our project is located in southern Manitoba means that all in all labour costs and infrastructure costs could be much lower compared to remote locations. We want to take advantage of the many opportunities in southeastern Manitoba and become the leading lithium player there.
On the exploration front we are very excited about our Falcon West lithium and rare metals property. Falcon West is located in similar geological setting to the world class Tanco pegmatite which hosts the Tanco Mine. We have a strong land position covering much of the prospective area including some high grade showings of lithium and rate metals ( notably cesium ). It’s a high potential opportunity for the Company to build its resource base in southeastern Manitoba.
Its people that move the needle for companies like Grid. We have an excellent group of dedicated professionals working on our development projects. These include our employees and consultants, our shareholders and board members. We are also cultivating our relationships with government and First Nations in Manitoba and also at the Federal level where there are significant funding programs in place to support critical metals development that we are looking to access.
Many thanks to all those who helped us move forward in 2023. We our eye on the future we look forward to the year ahead.
President and CEO
January 22, 2024