Sayona Quebec’s Board of Directors has approved the resumption of spodumene concentrate production at its Lithium North America (LAN) project in La Corne, Abitibi, for the first half of next year.
Posted at 7:00 am
This decision requires an investment of $80 million.
Spodumene, or lithium concentrate, is used to make processed products such as lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, which are used to make lithium-ion batteries, which are central to the electrification of transportation.
Sayona Québec is 25% owned by Piedmont Lithium and 75% by Australia’s Sayona Mining. With each partner raising significant funds in the first half of 2022, the investment will be funded in proportion to each partner’s holdings, as indicated in an email from Piedmont’s head of investor relations, John Koslow.
NASDAQ-listed Piedmont Lithium operates a lithium hydroxide pre-production facility in North Carolina and has signed an agreement to supply Tesla. Its own mining project in the same state is facing delays due to popular opposition, Reuters reported June 22, prompting Piedmont to turn to Quebec.
Piedmont and Sayona bought LAN from its creditors in August 2021, mainly Investissement Québec, which lost 63 million with the disappointment of LAN version 1.0.
“Long-term equipment has been ordered and detailed construction planning has begun in late 2021,” Sayona Quebec said in a statement.
“This is a fresh start for LAN. Capital upgrades will benefit both product quality and lower operating costs through better plant utilization and higher spodumene recoveries, argues Keith Phillips, President and CEO of Piedmont Lithium, in the same news release.
We are excited to take this crucial next step in providing much-needed lithium resources to North America.
Keith Phillips, President and CEO of Piedmont Lithium
Piedmont will acquire the greater value of 113,000 tonnes per year of spodumene concentrate or 50% of LAN’s production. The agreement also includes concentrate recovered from ore recovered from the Authier project at La Motte. Purchases are subject to market prices with a minimum of $500 per ton and a maximum of $900 per ton.
Guy Laliberté, CEO of Sayona in Quebec, was not immediately available to answer our questions.
Sayona and Piedmont plan to begin a series of lithium conversion engineering studies in Quebec. More information is expected in the coming months.
If Sayona and Piedmont jointly construct and operate a lithium conversion plant in Quebec, the spodumene concentrate produced by the LAN project will be delivered to that chemical plant at an early stage of operation under the terms of their agreement.