- Critical minerals, including graphite, gaining more attention as the global energy transition disrupts the resource sector.
- Belinda Labatte, CEO of Lomiko Metals, shares her views on Canada’s potential role in the mining industry.
- Lomiko Metals, advancing its La Loutre high-grade large flake graphite deposit in Northern Quebec, sees a promising future for critical minerals.
Energy Transition and the Rising Importance of Critical Minerals
In a recent interview with Kitco Mining during the CIM convention and expo on May 1, 2023, Belinda Labatte, president and CEO of Lomiko Metals, highlighted the importance of critical minerals in the ongoing global energy transition. As efforts to decarbonize and electrify the global economy intensify, Labatte foresees an increasing demand for critical minerals like graphite.
She commented on Canada’s potential as a leader in this space, stating, “Everybody’s trying to establish what does energy transition look like from a geopolitical perspective? It means that domestic minerals here in North America are going to be valued more than that same mineral overseas.”
Canada’s Unique Position
With Canada being the only country in the Western hemisphere possessing all 30 critical minerals, it is positioned to outshine others in resource development. Labatte elaborated, “Gold you can find everywhere; not the case with these critical minerals. To develop these resources to move them from resource to reserve and into production is a massive change in what’s needed in terms of social acceptability access to capital here in Canada. Canada is going to shine in the world in terms of our ability to bring these minerals to production.”
Lomiko Metals and the La Loutre Project
Lomiko Metals is actively developing its La Loutre project, a high-grade large flake graphite deposit located in Northern Quebec. Labatte expressed optimism about the future of critical minerals, particularly graphite, despite the ongoing global recession risks impacting industrial metals.
The Growing Demand for Graphite
Labatte emphasized the continuous and growing demand for graphite, citing the Canadian goal of having all new vehicles be electric by 2035. With the current penetration rate for electric vehicles (EVs) at about 10%, the demand for graphite appears reliable and ever-increasing.
Despite its essential role in battery heat regulation, graphite has remained somewhat under the radar compared to lithium. Labatte concluded, “For some reason, [graphite] just has not received as much attention and what we’re seeing now is that the automakers are saying vocally, we want Canadian graphite.”