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Pacific Canada  + Canada + Ontario + Quebec  + Industrial  | 
Mangrove Lithium is preparing to launch a new first-of-its-kind lithium processing facility.

Lithium Startup Firm Begins to Grow RE Footprint

A Vancouver-area startup lithium-processing company is beginning to expand its real estate footprint in a big way.

Delta, B.C.-based Mangrove Lithium is preparing to launch a new first-of-its-kind facility in Delta. The firm also plans to develop a larger plant in Eastern Canada in the next few years.

Saad Dara, Mangrove’s president and CEO, told Connect that the firm expects to secure a Delta site this summer and then move in early in 2025.

“We’ve identified it,” said Dara, who co-founded the company. “We’re working through legal [aspects] and we’re working through contracting for it. But we should have that secured, probably, in the next six weeks or so.”

Mangrove processes and refines raw lithium obtained from various sources, including hard rock and used batteries, into a pure form of lithium (lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate) for use in EV battery production. Mangrove is looking to capitalize on the federal government’s new EV supply chain tax credit, which Dara views as a “game changer” for Canada’s EV battery manufacturing industry.

Dara said Mangrove expects to take up 50,000 to 80,000 square feet at the new Delta location. The company currently operates a research, development and pilot-project facility in Delta, occupying about 80% of a leased building on Annacis Island.

“Our next facility will be a commercial production facility,” said Dara.

The forthcoming plant will be one of the first independent lithium-processing facilities in North America, David Novitzky, Mangrove’s director of government relations and funding, told the 2024 Globe Forum conference in Vancouver earlier this year. Mangrove deploys an electrochemical process, developed by Dara during his doctorate studies at the University of British Columbia, to produce the pure lithium needed for EV batteries.

Mangrove’s process refines the lithium from any type of feedstock in a more environmentally friendly way than the “incumbent method” currently deployed in China, where most of the world’s lithium processing occurs. The incumbent method requires extensive use of sodium sulfate which turns into large solid waste that must be disposed of. Also, the Mangrove Vancouver-area plant’s location will ensure that battery makers can access secure supply in the event of geopolitical tensions, according to Novitzky.

“After this plant comes online, we’ll be looking to build a much bigger plant,” Dara told Connect. “That plant will be closer to the mine level in Ontario and Quebec. That still needs to be developed.

“We will be looking for sites there, and that’s one of the things we’ll be doing over the next two years. I’m not quite certain [where] yet. We want to be in a location that’s close to the mine level and that’s close to, also, battery makers. So, there are a few different locations that automatically become more attractive. But that’s not set yet. We want to be close to the workforce and it needs to be industrial.”

Mangrove currently has 40 employees and expects to employ 100 people at the new Delta plant.

Pictured: Mangrove Lithium research, development and pilot-project plant in Delta, B.C.

Photo: Courtesy of Mangrove Lithium


Inside The Story

Saad DaraMangrove Lithium

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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