Avalon advances on Ontario lithium processing report

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Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. [TSX-AVL; OTC-AVLNF] has announced the results of an independent report for the site of its planned lithium processing facility in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“This valuation report reinforces Avalon’s conviction that our perfectly located property in Thunder Bay accelerates the timeline for the construction of Ontario’s first lithium hydroxide conversion facility, with major infrastructure already in place,” said Avalon CEO Scott Monteith.

On Monday, Avalon shares rose 7.7% or $0.005 to $0.07. The shares trade in a 52-week range of 17.5 cents and $0.06.

Avalon is a lithium-focused mineral development company engaged in advancing critical mineral projects to support the North American battery supply chain. Avalon has been focused on developing its Separation Rapids Lithium Project, near Kenora, Ont., while continuing to advance other projects, including the 100%-owned Lilypad Spodumene-Cesium-Tantalum project near Fort Hope, Ont. Avalon is also working to develop the Nechalacho rare earths and zirconium project in the Northwest Territories.

The company recently finalized the purchase of a383-acre industrial property with access to a deep water port, rail, road and other infrastructure in Thunder Bay, Ont. It said the site provides an ideal geographic location for a lithium processing facility, half way between lithium deposits in northern Ontario and EV battery plants in the south.

The move came after Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently revealed Ontario’s interest in establishing new battery materials supply chains in the province.

The proposed lithium hydroxide conversion facility remains an important part of Avalon’s growth strategy. The company said it would accept concentrates from other producers of lithium minerals from the many pegmatic deposits that occur in northern Ontario.

On Monday, the company said the order of magnitude site infrastructure valuation report was prepared by AFRY Canada. It highlights that the replacement cost of the infrastructure at the Thunder Bay site, factoring in its current condition, is estimated to be $46 million. “In addition to the land value is estimated at between $11 million and $16 million, which brings the total estimate of the site value to be between $57 million and $62 million,’’ the company said in a press release.

Avalon said the findings highlight the value proposition inherent in Avalon’s Thunder Bay site, including existing buildings, underground services, electrical services, rail spurs and deep-water port.

The site encompasses 154 acres of land and 223 acres of water and shoreline, totaling 377 acres. It includes several buildings, including an office building cover 3,545 square metres over three floors, a warehouse spanning 4,599 square metres, as well as other structures.

The company said the existing electrical infrastructure will be sufficient to service the planned processing facility. The deepwater port, which measures 214 metres long by 47 metres wide, is expected to be sufficient to receive feed stock and other material on standard commercial ships.

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