Sayona and Piedmont Formally Approve NAL Restart
The Sayona Quebec Inc. (SYQ) board has formally authorised the restart of spodumene concentrate production at the NAL operation in Quebec, requiring significant plant and infrastructure upgrades, aimed at improving product quality, recovery, and plant availability. SYQ is owned 75% by Sayona Mining and 25% by Piedmont.
The proposed upgrade and restart budget is approximately C$98 million (approx A$110 million). Sayona has made significant steps to expedite the production restart, having recruited key personnel, secured critical long lead equipment items, progressed detailed engineering design work and obtained nearly all required regulatory approvals. The NAL concentrator commissioning is on track, with first production due in Q1 2023.
Sayona's Managing Director, Brett Lynch commented: "We are delighted to put the seal on our plan to launch North America's first local spodumeme concentrate production, amid growing demand from both Canada and the United States for local and sustainable sources of this key battery metal.
"Our team in Quebec has hit the ground running since our official takeover of the operation in August 2021.
Progress to date has been excellent, including the recruitment of experienced operating personnel and the move to secure major items of equipment early, before recent cost hikes.
"Importantly, we continue to work closely with both the Quebec Government and Piedmont to take the next step of downstream processing. This will maximise local value-add, delivering increased returns to shareholders, enhancing local employment and investment and minimising the carbon footprint in supplying North America's battery industry compared to current imports.
"All the key players in the North American auto and battery sector are moving to invest in local production in Quebec, benefitting from its world-class infrastructure, skilled labour, proximity to key battery markets and low cost, sustainable hydroelectric power.
"Combined with our emerging northern lithium hub, NAL will ensure Quebec is at the centre of lithium carbonate and/or hydroxide production in North America, becoming the axis on which a successful battery ecosystem can be built."
The NAL restart project has been funded through cash contributions by both Sayona and Piedmont, each company having successfully completed significant capital raises in the first half of 2022.
Following the restart of NAL operations, the offtake agreement with Piedmont entitles it to purchase the greater of 113,000 metric tons per year of spodumene concentrate, or 50% of production from NAL.
Prior to the NAL restart, the agreement provided for offtake of 60,000 tonnes or 50% of concentrate produced from ore mined at SYQ's nearby Authier Lithium Project.
This offtake agreement will remain in place until the commencement of operation of a lithium conversion plant in Quebec. At this point, spodumene concentrate produced from NAL will be preferentially delivered to that chemical plant upon the start of production. Any remaining concentrate not required by the conversion plant will be delivered to Piedmont.
As per the Company's agreement with the Quebec Government, Sayona is committed to the development of a downstream processing capability in Quebec, comprising lithium carbonate and/or lithium hydroxide production.
About Sayona Mining Limited
Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) (OTCMKTS:SYAXF) is an Australian, ASX-listed (SYA) company focused on sourcing and developing the raw materials required to construct lithium-ion batteries for use in the rapidly growing new and green technology sectors. The Company has lithium projects in Quebec, Canada and in Western Australia.
Please visit us as at www.sayonamining.com.au
Sayona Mining Limited