Thor Explorations Ltd, a Canadian mineral exploration company says it has confirmed the availability of lithium deposit in Oyo State.
In an initial drilling result on its search for lithium, it said Africa’s largest economy has found “significant” intersections of mineralised pegmatites which could enable it tap into the global lithium market valued at over $37 billion.
“We are extremely encouraged by the first set of results from our initial drilling campaign, which was designed to confirm the development of lithium-bearing minerals within pegmatite bodies that occur within our permit areas,” Segun Lawson, president and CEO, said.
“An initial drilling programme was being undertaken on one of the company’s prospects located in the West Oyo Project Area to confirm and delineate lithium-bearing mineralisation, such as spodumene and lepidolite, at depth.
“This is the first area of our portfolio we have drilled and we are looking forward to both continuing the drill program on this prospect and extending the drilling over the other lithium-bearing pegmatites within our portfolio in Oyo State,” said Lawson.
The company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties located in Nigeria, Senegal and Burkina Faso. It holds a 100 percent interest in the Segilola Gold Project located in Osun State.
It has secured over 600 square kilometres (km2) of granted tenure in Nigeria that form Oyo State, Kwara State and Ekiti State Lithium Project Areas. The Oyo State Project Area encompasses what Thor considers to be Nigeria’s most significant lithium pegmatite occurrence, which is currently being exploited by small-scale artisanal mining of lithium-bearing minerals.
The Oyo State Lithium Project comprises approximately 38km2 of exploration tenure that is located towards the westernmost border of Nigeria and within 200 kilometres of the commercial capital of Lagos.
According to research, the global lithium market was valued at $37.8 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach a valuation of $22.2 billion in 2023. The market is expected to reach $89.9 billion by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate of 22.1 percent during the forecast period.
This growth is forecast to be driven by an increasing number of advancements in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, laptops, mobile phones, electric vehicles, and digital cameras.
“The surge in battery demand is due to the development of environmentally sustainable solutions and is set to drive market growth,” said analysts at BusinessFortune Insights, a global market research firm.
Based on end-user, the market is segmented into automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, energy storage, and others. The automobile industry is dominating as lithium-ion battery technology is being used as an alternative source of energy.
Demand for lithium-based power will rise rapidly with the growth of the electric-vehicle (EV) market. Forecasts by Tesla suggest the company will need approximately 1,000 kilotons of lithium carbonate equivalent per year by 2030, or 16 times its 2022 needs and 30 percent more than the world currently produces.
Overall, the global passenger EV market, which relies on lithium-based batteries, is expected to grow annually by 26 percent through 2030 and this will create an opportunity for countries like Nigeria with lithium deposits.
Forecast lithium market deficit is expected to grow out to 2040, driven by significant demand and tight supply.