THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) informed the market that a revised Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the company’s Authier lithium project in Québec, Canada is on track for release next month.
Sayona Mining said the DFS is currently being reviewed by an engineering consultancy and is based on a planned sustainable development approach of 2,600 tonnes per day production, a figure that it has determined will allow for an approximate mine life of 14 years and estimated annual average spodumene concentrate production of around 115,000 tonnes (6 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O)).
The company’s previous DFS released in 2018 showed the potential for a sustainable and profitable project.
In parallel with the DFS, Sayona has been progressing a revised Environmental Impact Study (EIS), as per the BAPE (bureau d’audiences publiques en environnement) process stipulated by the Québec Government.
The BAPE regulatory process entailsfurther community engagement, including the establishment of a project monitoring committee comprised of key stakeholders, including local municipalities, business groups, environmental organisations, First Nations representatives, community groups and other citizens.
Following a public consultation process (as per the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, or MELCC), Sayona has modified the EIS to reflect community feedback.
The company anticipates the revised EIS now likely will be submitted to the MELCC by year‐end, after which it will be submitted to the Public Hearings Office for further public hearings and review, ultimately leading to expected project approval under the BAPE in 2020.
Sayona has identified a bright future for the province’s lithium industry, given its proximity to U.S. battery markets and its advantages including access to low‐cost hydroelectric power, world‐class infrastructure including rail and road and skilled labour.
In the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Sayona Mining managing director Brett Lynch said Sayona’s investment in Québec and its plans to participate in the bidding process for the North American Lithium Inc (NAL) operation in the province the company announced in September, reflect its confidence in the province’s potential to be at the forefront of the lithium‐ion battery revolution.
“We are extremely positive concerning the outlook and will continue working closely with all stakeholders to ensure maximum community benefits from this key metal of the 21st century,” Lynch said.