Lithium miner inks staff air transport deal

9th February 2024

Lithium miner inks staff air transport deal

PILOT PROJECT The remote location of the Nemaska Whabouchi mine makes it necessary for the company to fly its staff in to the area

Canadian critical minerals miner Nemaska Lithium, in November 2023, reported its partnership with regional airline Air Creebec to provide reliable, safe and comfortable air transportation for its employees and subcontractors, to its Whabouchi mine site.

Located in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory, in Northern Quebec, the Whabouchi mine is one of the largest high-purity lithium deposits in North America and Europe.

Nemaska Lithium’s partnership with Air Creebec is motivated in particular by its firm commitment to establishing lasting alliances with the native Cree Nation and its affiliated businesses, while also seeking the most advantageous commercial option.

The company adds that the selection of Air Creebec is the result of a rigorous supplier selection process.

As part of its commitment to its host communities and stakeholders, Nemaska Lithium has adopted a local purchasing policy that includes, to the greatest extent possible, a commitment to give priority to local businesses.

The three-year Air Creebec agreement is fully in line with this localisation policy, and offers greater efficiency, flexibility and predictability for the transportation of the Nemaska Lithium team to the Whabouchi mine.

Depending on availability and requirements, the agreement mainly calls for the use of Dash 8-100 and Dash 8-300 aircraft.

Flight routes will be determined according to Nemaska Lithium’s needs, and will evolve as construction progresses and operations start, and as the number of passengers and their origins increase.

“This partnership is a fine example of the importance we place on buying local, and of our firm intention to implement our policy in this direction,” says Nemaska Lithium finance VP Steve Gartner.

“The Air Creebec team is very enthusiastic about this partnership with Nemaska Lithium,” says Air Creebec CEO and president Tanya Pash.

She concludes that the two organisations share the same values and intend to meet the requirements of this partnership, while also demonstrating the strength of its position as official carrier of the James Bay Coast.