Pioneer Lithium gets financial backing from Ontario government

Pioneer Lithium exploration projects extend across the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. (Stock image by ZETHA_WORK.)

Pioneer Lithium (ASX: PLN) has received a fresh shot in the arm from the Ontario government, which recently handed the company C$180,916 for its flagship Root Lake project in Canada.

The Australian explorer and developer said the funds were granted through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP). The amount received represents a rebate of up to 50% of eligible exploration costs, capped at C$200,000, incurred by the company at Root Lake between April 1, 2023 to February 15, 2024, it said in the statement. 

“The OJEP program is a vital part of financing and fostering early exploration projects and allows us to further advance our exploration activities,” chairman Robert Martin said in a statement.

The company has been expanding its footprint in Canada, where it now holds five exploration projects across the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Its most recent acquisition, the Benham Project in northwest Ontario, became an instant hit for Pioneer. Bought in November, the company’s exploration team had by mid-January discovered numerous pegmatite outcrops, including a 40-metre long mineralized prominence.

Pioneer is also advancing the early exploration Root Lake lithium project in north-west Ontario.

Lithium prices hit rock bottom last year and are struggling to make a significant recovery. This is partly because miners, refiners, and auto makers are still dealing with an excess stockpile that is causing the current oversupply of the battery metal. 

Despite some projects and mines being affected by the lithium price collapse, several major producers are determined to continue expanding, adding to the uncertainty about when prices will eventually recover.