Sayona advances planning for Quebec lithium carbonate plant – by Silvia Pikal (CIM Magazine – August 21, 2023)

NAL is set to become the only lithium operation with a concentrator and carbonate plant all on the same site in North America

Australian miner Sayona Mining Limited announced it is moving forward with the restart of a lithium carbonate production plant at its North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Quebec, bringing it closer to becoming a downstream producer of lithium chemicals.

In late June, the company released the results of a preliminary study for the standalone lithium carbonate project, outlining the production of 372,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate from 2.9 million tonnes of spodumene concentrate from the NAL mine over a project life of 16 years. All-in sustaining costs per tonne of lithium carbonate are estimated to be $15,996.

Results from the study showed the project could generate a pre-tax net present value of $2.9 billion at an eight per cent discount rate and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 60 per cent. The study anticipates capital costs of $555 million and assumes an average selling price of $34,113 per tonne of lithium carbonate.

Brett Lynch, Sayona Mining’s managing director, said in a June 21 press release that taking advantage of existing infrastructure and assets will help accelerate NAL’s pathway to lithium carbonate production.

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