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North American Lithium carbonate plant, Canada – update

Aerial view of the NAL operation

Photo by Sayona Mining

12th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
North American Lithium (NAL) carbonate plant.

Location
Quebec, Canada.

Project Owner/s
A joint venture (JV) comprising Sayona Quebec (75%), which is owned by Sayona Mining, and Piedmont (25%).

Project Description
NAL is set to become the only lithium operation with a concentrator and carbonate plant on the same site in North America.

A preliminary technical study for lithium carbonate production at NAL has proven positive, with the study confirming the benefits of progressing into downstream processing.

The plant will have a life of 16 years and produce 372 000 t of carbonate.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an estimated pretax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, for lithium carbonate production of C$2.87-billion and a standalone carbonate plant internal rate of return of 60%.

Capital Expenditure
About C$555-million, including contingency.

Planned Start/End Date
Production is targeted for as early as 2026.

Latest Developments
The detailed review of NAL has concluded that the JV partners must continue ramping up the operation to steady-state production.

The review considered several continued operations scenarios at NAL and also evaluated care-and-maintenance scenarios covering options to slow down or cease mining, process only existing stocks and suspend operations for up to 12 months.

The review concluded that more time was needed for several capital improvement projects, such as the crushed ore dome and crushed ore refeed system, to deliver their intended production increases and unit operating cost improvements.

The JV partners have committed to continue assessing capital improvement projects to enhance ramp-up of production.

Sayona Mining interim CEO James Brown has said there is a clear line of sight towards achieving steady-state production in 2024.

Brown has indicated that process plant recoveries have exceeded expectations, a significant milestone in any ramp-up, with “multiple new daily production records achieved in March”.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Sayona Mining, tel +61 7 3369 7058 or emailinfo@sayonamining.com.au.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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