First Phosphate Corp: Quebec’s recognition of apatite as a strategic mineral is vital

Powerful quarry bulldozer and gigat dump truck operating in the apatite mine in the Murmansk region. Mineral mining in the highlands.

First Phosphate Corp. has warmly received the Quebec government’s decision to add apatite (phosphate) to its critical and strategic minerals list. This significant development was announced by the Quebec Minister of Natural Resources and Forests, Mme Maïté Blanchette Vézina, during the unveiling of the 2023-2025 Action Plan, a part of the broader Quebec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals 2020-2025 (PQVMCS).

With this update, Quebec aligns itself with Ontario, the European Union, and South Korea, recognizing phosphate’s pivotal role in the modern economy. This recognition comes at a crucial time as North American phosphate production, primarily directed towards food and fertilizer, is projected to decline sharply by 61% by 2037, according to Argus Phosphate Rock Analytics (Q2 2023). Concurrently, an anticipated surge in demand for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery production, which requires substantial quantities of high-purity purified phosphoric acid (PPA), is on the horizon.

First Phosphate, actively engaged in the development of Quebec’s igneous phosphate resources, views this recognition as a testament to the significant potential these local resources hold for North America’s electrification needs. The company has identified Quebec’s igneous anorthosite phosphate rock as an untapped high-purity phosphate source, ideal for large-scale PPA production, pivotal for LFP battery manufacturing.

The company works to establish an LFP battery valley in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region in order to meet North America’s burgeoning demand for LFP battery cathode active materials (CAM). Committed to sustainable and responsible mining practices, the company envisions a vertically integrated operation, extending from mining to direct supply into major North American LFP battery producers’ supply chains.

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