New NAL Milestone with Successful Process Plant Start Up
Brisbane, Feb 27, 2023 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Emerging lithium producer Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) (DML:FRA) (SYAXF:OTCMKTS) has achieved another milestone in the recommencement of spodumene (lithium) production at its flagship North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Quebec, Canada, with the successful start-up of process operations.
The processing start-up comprised the circulation of ore through the entire system, from crushing through sorting, grinding and separation, which followed the completion of commissioning activities.
The restart continues tracking on time and on budget, with production of the first saleable lithium concentrate scheduled for late March 2023. This would mark a major milestone both for Sayona and Quebec as the leading hard rock lithium producer in North America. This announcement continues Sayona's regular, twice monthly updates as the Company advances towards production.
Sayona expects the first shipment of spodumene (lithium) concentrate from NAL will occur in July 2023, with four shipments targeted for the first half of fiscal 2024. The Company is targeting total production between 85,000 tonnes and 115,000t during this period (refer ASX release 17 February 2023).
Sayona's Managing Director, Brett Lynch commented: "Congratulations to the entire Sayona team for the continued progress towards NAL's restart, which has been an incredible achievement.
"With the production of saleable lithium concentrate only days away, this is an exciting time both for Sayona and Quebec as we work to build the leading integrated lithium production centre in North America."
Authier project submitted for BAPE review
Meanwhile, Sayona has voluntarily submitted its Authier Lithium Project for environmental impact assessment and review under the Quebec Government's 'BAPE' (Bureau d'audiences publiques en environnement) process, demonstrating the Company's commitment to transparency and stakeholder engagement. The Company's request has been accepted by Quebec's Ministry of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks.
The move follows Sayona's 2021 acquisition of the nearby North American Lithium (NAL) operation, which is on track to recommence spodumene (lithium) production in March 2023. NAL's acquisition has allowed for a change in strategy regarding the Authier project, which will become a source of spodumene ore for the NAL concentrator.
As a result, Authier no longer requires its own concentrator or tailings storage, and with planned daily output below the 2,000 tonnes threshold has resulted in a considerably reduced environmental impact compared to the original regulatory submission.
"The Government has agreed today to our request for the voluntary submission of the Authier project to the environmental impact assessment and review process. We are committed to our host communities and are continuing our discussions, with the goal of developing a collaborative project and making it a source of pride for our communities," said Guy Belleau, CEO of Sayona in Quebec.
"Always with the objective of ensuring harmonious cohabitation between our projects and their localities, we continue to meet with the host communities to remain attentive to the expectations and concerns of citizens. In addition, a continuous improvement committee has been created to work jointly on the development of the project to implement best practice, thus enhancing the value of local lithium in a responsible manner," said Cindy Valence, Sayona Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer.
The BAPE's mission is to inform government decision-making by communicating to the environment minister findings and opinions that reflect the concerns of the population and that are based on the principles of the Sustainable Development Act.
In carrying out its mission, BAPE provides the right conditions for citizens to be informed and express themselves. To this end, it ensures that all available and relevant information is made public. The findings and opinions of its commissions of inquiry are the result of rigorous analysis integrating ecological, social and economic issues.
"Our commitment to sustainability reflects the critical role lithium plays in accelerating the world's decarbonisation drive," added Mr Lynch.
"We look forward to progressing the BAPE progress for Authier in a transparent manner that ensures the best possible environmental and community outcomes."
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