Companies behind Sayona Quebec see a bright future for lithium, four years after original owner shuttered mine
Anyone looking for evidence of the green economy in Canada would do well to drive about six hours north of Montreal to the town of La Corne in the Abitibi region of Quebec, where the first — and for now the only — large-scale lithium mine in North America has begun operating.
Last week, Sayona Quebec, a joint venture between Australia’s Sayona Mining Ltd. and North Carolina’s Piedmont Lithium Inc., restarted North American Lithium’s mine, which shuttered four years ago when lithium prices crashed.
But the world has changed dramatically in those four years. Most big countries have set out plans to neutralize carbon emissions over the next few decades and the United States and its democratic allies are moving aggressively to orient supply chains away from China.
The new owners of the La Corne mine estimate the mine will produce 120,000 tonnes of hard rock lithium spodumene this year, and 226,000 tonnes per year once it is in full swing. Tesla Inc. and South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. have already lined up as buyers.
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