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Lithium Exploration Accelerates Alongside a Growing Demand for Rechargeable Batteries News Commentary

NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Lithium-ion batteries have been heavily adopted around the world due to their compact size, rechargeability, recyclability and high-density energy output. Overall, such batteries are often used in electric vehicles (EVs). "The push by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and battery manufacturers to continually reduce battery pack costs continues," says William Tokash, Senior Research Analyst with Navigant Research. "This effort, led by improving battery manufacturing processes and maturing supply chains, is anticipated to yield a market driven by battery electric vehicles (BEVs), where both large and small capacity Li-ion battery-pack-equipped vehicles have markedly improved driving ranges." Manning Ventures Inc. (CSE: MANN) (OTC: MANVF), Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE: SLI), American Lithium Corp. (NASDAQ: AMLI), Pilbara Minerals Limited (OTC: PILBF), Snow Lake Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: LITM)

Furthermore, the strong growth in lithium-ion battery production is driving the lithium market. A report by S&P Global indicated that lithium prices are likely see strong support in 2023, with supply expected to remain tight amid bullish demand arising from the accelerating adoption of electric vehicles across the globe. This is despite the slowdown in the Chinese market, which could affect prices as well. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed seaborne lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide at USD 75,000/mt CIF North Asia and USD 81,000/mt CIF North Asia Dec. 20th, up 122% and 156%, respectively, since the start of 2022. "While some normalization of current high spot prices is possible, on the contract side, we believe that the market will remain tight in 2023, with insufficient supply coming on stream," Vulcan Energy Resources CEO and Managing Director Francis Wedin said.

Manning Ventures Inc. (CSE: MANN) (OTC: MANVF) announced yesterday breaking news regarding the, "analytical results from the second- pass of exploration on its 100% owned Bounty Lithium Property (the "Property"), located in the James Bay Lithium District of northern Quebec.

The fall-2022 work program followed up on the spring-2022 work, with an additional 41 samples collected in areas that contained anomalous LCT-pegmatite.  The highest value so far on the property was collected, containing 707 ppm lithium (0.15% Li2O). Additionally, it contains the highest amount of cesium (661ppm Cs) and very elevated Rubidium (1163ppm Rb); both adding confirmation to the LCT-style pegmatite model on the northern end of the property.  The company is very encouraged by the results of the program, and plans to focus on the area of the positive results in the spring of 2023.  Satellite imagery suggests that there are outcrops nearby that have not yet been sampled.

Given the distribution of lithium content of other pegmatites in the James Bay Lithium District, the samples have been categorized into three categories, as follows:

  • Very anomalous (greater than 201 ppm lithium).  Spring-2022: Seven samples on the Property are categorized as very anomalous, with up to 425 ppm lithium. Fall-2022: One sample of up to 707 ppm lithium (0.15% Li2O) was collected.
  • Anomalous (81 to 200 ppm).  Spring-2022: Sixteensamples categorized as anomalous, Fall-2022: six samples categorized as anomalous, and
  • Not anomalous (below 80 ppm). The remaining samples are considered not anomalous.

The James Bay Pegmatite District of Quebec is known to host several large lithium pegmatite deposits including:

  • James Bay Project of Allkem.
  • Corvette Property of Patriot Battery Metals;
  • Rose Lithium-Tantalum Deposit of Critical Elements Lithium Corp; and
  • Whabouchi Lithium Deposit of Nemaska Lithium;

Spodumene bearing pegmatites are important sources of hard rock lithium. With rising EV demand lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonatite prices have risen by over 200% during 2021.  Despite the price rises the forecast lithium market imbalance will continue to increase dramatically in coming years (Allkem, CEO Presentation, 2021)."

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Standard Lithium Ltd. (NYSE: SLI) announced on December 6th, 2022 that it has completed all necessary agreements with LANXESS Corporation to secure access to the proposed commercial lithium plant site (the "Site Access Agreement") and conduct all required fieldwork to support the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) underway. Standard Lithium is also pleased to report that subsequent to signing the Site Access Agreement, the Company has commenced the site work necessary for the design of its first commercial lithium plant. Dr. Andy Robinson, President of Standard Lithium commented, "The Company is pleased to reach this important milestone. Our team has successfully negotiated and agreed to a key agreement with Lanxess, the site owner, to exclusively secure the required property for our commercial facilities and allow us to start working on the ground at the proposed location of the first commercial lithium project. The data gathered over the next few months will be vital to allow the OPD team to design the plant and locate key equipment on the large land area available to Standard Lithium at Lanxess' South Plant facility. Once the important ground conditions are determined, and the location of key equipment can be fixed, then the engineering work to allow for connection between the Standard Lithium plant and Lanxess' existing brine infrastructure present at the site can begin. We look forward to announcing more developments as the design towards the Company's first commercial lithium project unfolds."

American Lithium Corp. (NASDAQ: AMLI) announces it has filed the independent National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the updated Mineral Resource Estimate ("MRE") for the Tonopah Lithium Claims ("TLC") project located in the Esmerelda lithium district northwest of Tonopah, Nevada announced on December 1, 2022. The MRE and Technical Report were completed by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. ("Stantec"), which established a much larger lithium resource base to support the maiden preliminary economic assessment on TLC ("PEA"). The MRE has been incorporated into the Mine Plan within the PEA, which is currently being finalized by DRA Global and Stantec and will be announced imminently.

Pilbara Minerals Limited (OTC: PILBF) provided an update on December 21st, 2022 following completion of price reviews with its major offtake customers, as well as an update on its expansion activities at the Pilgangoora Project. Pilbara Minerals has achieved a significant improvement in pricing outcomes with its major offtake customers, following completion of the price reviews foreshadowed in the Company's September 2022 Quarterly Activities Report. The revised offtake pricing applies for all shipments to the Company's major offtake customers falling within December 2022 and onwards. Pilbara Minerals' Managing Director and CEO, Dale Henderson, said: "The revised pricing outcomes with our major offtake customers represent a very positive outcome for our shareholders, reflecting the strong market for lithium raw materials supply and bringing our contracted pricing in alignment with the broader market."

Snow Lake Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: LITM) announced on January 6th, that it has successfully acquired additional land claims in the historic mining district of Snow Lake Manitoba. The Company, with the assistance of Durama Enterprises Ltd., was able to stake a total of nine claims covering an area of 1,728 hectares near Dion Creek, Lost Frog Lake, and the Grass River East (Image 1.0). These claims are located in areas known for their pegmatite occurrences as mapped by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM). "We are excited that the recent and ongoing exploration efforts in these areas have ultimately contributed to the growth and development of the region as well as the expansion of the Company's total land holdings," said CEO and Chairman, Philip Gross. "We are grateful to Heli Source Ltd. of Red Deer, Alberta for their continued support in completing these claims and look forward to additional staking to further expand our resource portfolio and drive incremental value for our shareholders."

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