North American lithium producer Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) and Piedmont Lithium Inc. (ASX:PLL) have successfully restarted commercial spodumene concentrate production at the jointly-owned North American Lithium (NAL) project in Quebec.
The $US80M restart of NAL was completed on time and on budget and is the only major source of new spodumene production expected in North America in the next two years. Sayona is targeting 226,000 metric tons per year of annual production with first commercial shipments expected in Q3 2023.
“Since announcing our restart intentions in 2021, our project team has maintained a forward-looking focus to improve lithium capture, achieve more consistent runtimes, and streamline operating costs from the past-producing operation,” Sayona’s Managing Director, Brett Lynch, said.
“Improvements were made as planned in our timeline and budget, and we are eager to see the impact the upgrades bring to both product quality and operational efficiency as we prepare for our first commercial shipments of spodumene concentrate expected in July of this year.”
NAL is one of three projects of Sayona Quebec, a joint venture between Sayona (75%) and Piedmont (25%). Sayona is targeting four shipments from NAL totaling up to 120,000 metric tons by the end of 2023, which are expected to supply key battery and electric vehicle manufacturers, including LG Chem and Tesla.
Powered by renewable hydroelectricity, NAL is ideally located in the Abitibi region of Quebec with convenient access to rail, highway, and port infrastructure to bring lithium concentrate to the market.
Production at NAL is expected to be supported by the mineral resources of Sayona Quebec’s Abitibi Hub projects. Sayona Quebec is expected to provide an updated Definitive Feasibility Study for both NAL and its Authier Lithium Project. Additionally, a new, large-scale, extensive drill programme is planned for 2023 by NAL and Jourdan Resources Inc. related to both NAL and the adjacent Vallée Lithium Project. The intent of the program is to define a mineral resource base capable of supplying more tons and enhanced material quality to the NAL concentrator.
A prefeasibility study (PFS) is currently underway to evaluate downstream production at NAL through the completion of the project’s lithium carbonate plant, which was partially constructed by prior owners of the operation. Results of the PFS are expected in H1 2023. Further evaluation of downstream production of lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide in Quebec may follow the PFS study.
For further information please visit: https://sayonamining.com.au/