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IW Business Bulletin – December 23, 2022

Prairie Lithium. Photo by Greg Huszar - Ministry of Energy and Resources
Prairie Lithium. Photo by Greg Huszar - Ministry of Energy and Resources

Prairie Lithium is acquired by Arizona Lithium Ltd.

Emerald Park-based Prairie Lithium announced this week that the privately-held firm has been acquired by Arizona Lithium Ltd. (AZL) for $70.6 million CAD ($40.0 million in cash and 500.0 million common shares of AZL at a deemed price of C$0.0612 per share based on the 10-day VWAP of AZL’s shares).

“The acquisition of Prairie Lithium is transformational for AZL as we continue to advance the Company as a leader in lithium development and processing in North America. Prairie’s Board and management team have significant experience in lithium processing and technology, which will further bolster AZL’s team and expedite the sustainable development of the Big Sandy Lithium Project in Arizona, through the application of Prairie’s DLE processing technology expertise,” said Paul Lloyd, managing director at AZL. “The acquisition strongly complements AZL’s strategy of developing a world class Lithium Research Centre in Tempe Arizona, which will function as a technology incubator focused on the extraction of lithium from a variety of ores and brines. The expectation is for Big Sandy ore, Prairie Lithium brine and other ore bodies to be tested and refined in the Lithium Research Centre. We look forward to welcoming Zach Maurer onto the AZL board and working with the Prairie team to further advance the Company as a leader in North American lithium development and processing.”

AZL is based in West Perth, Australia, with projects and resources in Arizona, New Mexico, and now Saskatchewan.

“Along with the Prairie Lithium team, I am delighted to be joining Arizona Lithium to progress both our
resource and DLE technology, as well as the existing Arizona Lithium projects – Big Sandy and
Lordsburg. It is an exciting opportunity to combine our two company’s resources and create a large,
diversified lithium resource portfolio in North America,” said Maurer with the announcement. “We have already delivered multiple successful drilling programs on our brine project in Saskatchewan and are currently conducting DLE pilot testing. With support from the Arizona Lithium team, we look forward to delivering the appropriate feasibility studies, undertaking additional testing at the Lithium Research Centre in Phoenix, and commercializing DLE. We believe the next 12 months could be an inflection point for our project as we continue to execute our plan and work towards field deployment of DLE technology on our resource.”

Nutrien Wonderhub names new CEO

Nutrien Wonderhub has announced Leah Brodie will join the organization as its new chief executive officer.

“Our board of directors is thrilled to welcome Leah as Nutrien Wonderhub’s new CEO,” said board chair, Sheryl Fox. “Leah is a dynamic and accomplished leader with the qualifications and expertise to grow the museum and inspire positive change.”

Brodie has worked in leadership and fundraising roles at Royal University Hospital Foundation, the University of Saskatchewan College of Arts and Science, and the MacKenzie Art Gallery.

“I admire the way Nutrien Wonderhub has quickly established itself as a beloved destination and resource within our community. As a children’s museum, Wonderhub’s exceptional spaces and programming create endless opportunities for exploration, discovery, and playful learning. I could not be more honoured and excited to join the organization as CEO,” said Brodie.

Brodie will take over the position from Dr. Anne Neufeld, who has served as the museum’s interim CEO since June 2022.

New postal community hub at Fort Qu’Appelle

Canada Post has expanded services at Fort Qu’Appelle, transforming the post office into a new community hub. According to Canada Post, the new model “is intended to provide rural, Indigenous or northern communities with access to important products and services, so they can better connect with residents and businesses across Canada and around the world.”

The new hub at Fort Qu’Appelle offers customers free Wi-Fi, new post office boxes, money order and other financial services, parcel lockers, parcel packaging areas, interactive business directory, rentable meeting rooms, an automated teller machine and will have electric vehicle charging stations in the spring.

Foran names vice president, legal and general counsel

Foran Mining announced on Dec. 19 that Terri Uhrich has been appointed vice president, legal and general counsel, effective immediately.

Uhrich was general counsel and chief compliance officer at K+S Potash Canada GP from 2011 to 2018 and most recently was director, governance & board services at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board.

Delivery partners for startups and their intellectual property

The federal government announced the delivery partners for ElevateIP, a $90 million investment over four years to help accelerators and incubators provide startups with access to professional intellectual property (IP) supports.

Five partners have been chosen for the program:

  • Springboard Atlantic – for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
  • Mouvement des accélérateurs d’innovation du Québec – for Quebec
  • Communitech Corporation – for Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
  • The University of Calgary, with Innovate Calgary and Economic Development Lethbridge – for Alberta
  • New Ventures BC – for British Columbia, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories

“Canadian startups are some of the most innovative and inventive in the world. That’s why our government is committed to supporting them so they can better protect and manage their IP. Through this investment, we are enabling startups to better develop IP strategies for long-term growth. We will continue to do everything we can to see Canadian businesses succeed both at home and around the world,” said Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Happy Holidays from Industry West. The Business Bulletin returns January 6, 2023.

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