Nemaska Lithium Inc. is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement in principle with the City of Shawinigan for the acquisition of part of the land and part of existing manufacturing facilities (Produits forestiers Résolu's former Laurentide plant) in Shawinigan, Quebec. The agreement in principle provides that Nemaska will become owner as of January 1, 2016.
However, Nemaska will have the right to occupy and use the buildings required for the Phase 1 plant, as of October 1, 2015. The facility (link to the picture of the site) will house Nemaska Lithium's Phase 1 plant and the future commercial Hydromet plant that will convert into high purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate the spodumene concentrate produced at the Whabouchi Mine (link to Whabouchi mine). The Whabouchi mine is located in Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory, 300 km North of Chibougamau, Quebec. (link to the Quebec map). On September 4, Nemaska Lithium received the General Certificate of Authorization (CA) for the Whabouchi Project from the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and The Fight Against Climate Change ("MDDELCC"). Nemaska Lithium also received a positive federal environmental assessment decision for the Whabouchi Project from the Minister of Environment of Canada, as reported in the July 30, 2015 press release from the Company. Nemaska Lithium now has both Federal and Provincial support to go ahead with the construction of the Whabouchi mine and concentrator.
Nemaska Lithium had originally planned to build its Phase 1 Plant and Hydromet Plant in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec. However the decision to build these plants in Shawinigan was made based on several key factors including:
- reduced construction time for both the Phase 1 Plant and Hydromet Plant because of the high quality and state of the existing buildings, significantly reducing capital costs;
- existing and ready to use infrastructure required for the operation, including natural gas, electric power station and railway; and finally
- the fact that Shawinigan is closer to the Whabouchi mine site, thereby reducing concentrate transportation costs.
"I would like to thank the Mayor's Office of the City of Shawinigan for its excellent collaboration and the entire Economic Development team for their efforts, in bringing this deal to fruition", commented Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. "The decision to locate our Hydromet plant facilities in Shawinigan was easy given the quality of the buildings available and possible synergies with local stakeholders, including The National Center for Electrochemistry and Environmental Technologies (CNETE) with whom we are already working. The City of Shawinigan has a long history of industrial development, whether it be forestry, aluminum, chemical and hydroelectric industries, making it a city populated with highly skilled labour. We intend to provide skilled jobs here in Shawinigan and do our part to contribute to the economic prosperity of the region. We will be building lithium mining expertise in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region and its conversion into high purity lithium compounds in Shawinigan. This, coupled with the activities of other companies, is quickly making Quebec a centre of excellence for the lithium battery industry and we are very proud to be part of that growth in the burgeoning high tech sector."