Nemaska Lithium Inc. ("Nemaska Lithium" or the "Corporation") is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Johnson Matthey Battery Materials Ltd (JMBM) of Candiac, Quebec, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Matthey Plc (LSE:JMAT) (www.matthey.com).
The MOU contemplates an up-front payment of CDN$12M by JMBM in exchange for services and products of the same value from the Nemaska Lithium Phase 1 Plant and the subsequent commercial plant to be located in Shawinigan, Quebec. The MOU also includes provisions for the signing of a long term supply agreement for lithium salts (lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate) for future expected demand for JMBM's battery material products. The lithium salts will be produced from the commercial hydromet plant which Nemaska Lithium also intends to build in Shawinigan. The collaboration is subject to final due diligence by JMBM and completion of the required final agreements.
"We are very pleased to have entered into this strategic agreement with JMBM, a leading supplier of lithium iron phosphate cathode materials for automotive and non-automotive applications," commented Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. "We are confident in our ability to deliver very pure lithium salts from the Phase 1 Plant and in our ability to subsequently become a long term supplier to JMBM. Analysts and industry experts are predicting a coming shortage of lithium compounds as the lithium battery market continues to grow and companies execute on their growth plans (multiple gigafactories are under construction)."
Bourassa continued, "The JMBM agreement is a non-dilutive approach project financing of the Phase 1 Plant and we will be ready to start building as soon as the financing is closed which we expect by February 2016. The main suppliers and long lead items have been identified and we expect to be producing from the Phase 1 Plant within 12 months of the closing of the financing."
While it is the Corporation's intention to build its Phase 1 Plant and the subsequent commercial plant, the construction and operation are subject to financing. The Phase 1 plant will be built in the recently acquired Laurentide Plant in Shawinigan (see press release of September 8, 2015). It will have a capacity to produce about 500t/y of high purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.
About Johnson Matthey
Johnson Matthey is a global speciality chemicals company underpinned by science, technology and its people. A leader in sustainable technologies, many of the group's products enhance the quality of life of millions through their beneficial impact on the environment, human health and wellbeing. The group focuses on clean air, clean energy and low carbon technologies and is an expert in the application and recycling of precious metals. Johnson Matthey has operations in over 30 countries and employs around 13,000 people. Its products and services are sold across the world to a wide range of advanced technology industries.
About Nemaska Lithium
Nemaska Lithium intends to become a lithium hydroxide supplier and lithium carbonate supplier to the emerging lithium battery market that is largely driven by electric vehicles, cell phones, tablets and other consumer products. The spodumene concentrate produced at Nemaska Lithium's Whabouchi mine will be shipped to the Corporation's lithium compounds processing plant to be built in Shawinigan, Quebec. This plant will transform spodumene concentrate into high purity lithium hydroxide and carbonate using the proprietary methods developed by the Corporation, and for which patent applications have been filed.