Work is currently underway for the recommencement of spodumene (lithium) concentrate production by the first quarter of 2023.
In September 2022, Sayona awarded a four-year, approximately C$200 million contract to Québec company L. Fournier & Fils for mining operations at NAL.
One of the largest such contracts signed in Québec’s mining history, the agreement will deliver significant economic benefits to the region of Abitibi‐Témiscamingue. This includes the creation of 120 new jobs, mostly recruited from the region and from the First Nations communities of Pikogan and Lac Simon.
Under the agreement, Fournier will be responsible for the supervision of all stripping and drilling, blasting, loading and transportation of ore and waste rock, the maintenance of mining roads, and all other services related to operations. Drilling and blasting work will be conducted by another local
Québec company, Dynamitage Castonguay.
Operations were scheduled to commence in October 2022, with work to be carried out continuously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
As at October 2022, nearly all permitting and procurement required for the restart had been completed. During the same month, Sayona selected Québec company, Solurail Logistique Inc, to transport lithium from the NAL operation in La Corne to the Port of Trois‐Rivières for delivery to customers.
The C$43 million contract includes the rental of 110 rolling stock (railway vehicles), with the equipment to be made available for the restart of production at NAL in the first quarter of 2023.
Sayona also announced in October 2022 plans for a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on the production of lithium carbonate at NAL. Sayona is examining the options for lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide production in Québec, as per its commitment to the Québec Government for downstream processing in the province.
The potential move downstream is a significant potential value-adding boost in enhancing the long-term value and profitability of the NAL operation.
Major engineering firm Hatch will undertake the lithium carbonate PFS, targeting completion by March 2023, in line with the recommencement of spodumene concentrate production at NAL.
Significantly, the NAL complex already includes about 50% of the facilities required to produce lithium carbonate, having been partially constructed by NAL’s previous owners.
Sayona will continue providing monthly updates on NAL’s restart, prior to the recommencement of production in the first quarter of 2023.