By Meg Flippin, Benzinga
The lithium-ion battery market seems to be heating up, thrusting phosphate into the spotlight as companies turn to LFPs to power the cars and homes of the future. One company that could potentially benefit from the trend is Arianne Phosphate Inc. (OTCMKTS: DRRSF), the Quebec owner of the worlds largest greenfield phosphate rock project.
Arianne reports that it had a very strong year. The company shares that it has hit multiple milestones in 2023 that position it to handle what is expected to be an influx of demand driven by electric vehicles and battery storage systems.
EV Battery Production Shifts Focus
For years, North American EV makers relied on lithium-ion batteries made of lithium, cobalt and nickel to power a greener tomorrow. But cobalt and nickel are scarce and expensive. Companies looking for an alternative have turned to LFPs. These batteries are highly stable, longer lasting and more resistant to heat degradation. They also require less lithium.
The demand coming with LFPs is really going to be a big game changer, particularly for purified phosphoric acid, said Brian Ostroff, President of Arianne in a recent interview. This isn't 2%, 6% or 8% growth over the next few years, it is 100% growth. New supply is going to have to be built out.
Ariannes Projects Ready For Influx Of Demand
Thats good news for Arianne Phosphate since its Lac Paul project in Quebec consists of several mineralized zones that will produce high-quality phosphate concentrate with little or no contaminants. To accelerate the development of the project, the company sold royalties covering 25 claims in the James Bay area to Lithium Royalty Corp. for $2.35 million.
Ariannes decision to shore up capital in a non-dilutive fashion during 2023 seems like a strategic move to position it better for the future. In March, after going through the arduous and costly process to qualify its material for use in LFPs, it received the detailed report on tests confirming the use of the companys high-purity phosphate concentrate in the production of lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. With that seal of approval, it will be able to sell its mine to companies and inventors. The industry is starting to recognize the importance of sourcing all critical minerals required in the production of batteries, not just lithium, Ostroff said at the time. I believe it is just a matter of time before we see a rush into phosphate similar to what we have seen in other critical materials.
Ostroff thinks the company is in a good position because its Lac Paul project is fully permitted, shovel-ready and in a jurisdiction that stands to benefit greatly from various government initiatives to secure critical materials from a safe, secure region. The world will certainly require more phosphate, Arianne is first-up to be able to provide for this growth, he said.
Preparing For Growth
To prepare, Arianne Phosphate has been streamlining the business and building name recognition. Early in 2023, Arianne announced the appointment of veteran mining players to its board and executive team including Marco Gagnon as Chairman. Gagnon is a professional geologist with 30 years of management experience within the Canadian mining industry in a wide range of commodities from project exploration to mine production. Arianne also named Dr. Raef Sully to the board. Sully most recently served as Executive Vice President of Nutrien Ltd. and was CEO of their Phosphate and Nitrogen divisions.
The company has also been selling its story to investors, companies and politicians, taking part in several forums, trade events and investor conferences including the Canadian Critical Minerals Opportunities Forum in New York, The Trade Mission and a Lytham Partners hosted battery materials panel at their recent investor conference.
And it's not just the EV market thats poised for growth. The companys high-purity phosphate concentrate is expected to see demand from companies producing fertilizer that is greener, as well. This past fall Arianne and its joint research project with the CEGEP of Riviere-de-Loups Environmental and Biotechnology Group received a three-year grant of $727, 500 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada new breed of fertilizers. Today, most fertilizers (MAP & DAP) are produced by taking mined phosphate concentrate and combining it with sulphuric acid and other ingredients. The work being done by GREB would alter the traditional process of making fertilizer, removing the requirement of acid, and allow for the use of organic wastes that otherwise often wind up in landfills.
From EVs to fertilizer, demand for phosphate is on the cusp of booming. During the past year, Arianne Phosphate has made moves its betting will position it for strong growth in the New Year.
ARIANNE PHOSPHATE INC. (www.arianne-inc.com) owns the Lac Paul phosphate deposit in Quebec, Canada. Fully permitted and shovel ready, the asset is among the worlds largest greenfield deposits, capable of producing an environmentally friendly phosphate concentrate. Due to the nature of its high-purity, low-contaminant product, Ariannes phosphate can be used to produce fertilizer as well as meeting the technical requirements of specialty applications such as the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery. The Lac Paul deposit is rare due to its geographic location and geological structure. Arianne Phosphate is listed on both the TSX-V: DAN and the OTCQX: DRRSF.
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This information contains forward looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralisation and reserves, exploration results and future plans and objectives of Arianne Phosphate Inc, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Arianne Phosphate Incs (Arianne Phosphate or the Company) expectations are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Arianne Phosphate Incs documents filed from time-to-time with the TSX Venture and other regulatory authorities.
Brian Ostroff, President
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