Nemaska Lithium Inc. («Nemaska Lithium» or the «Corporation») announces that it has purchased a new self-contained dense media separation (DMS) portable mill to be located at the Whabouchi mine site. The portable and modular mill, with a processing capacity of 10 t/hour, will be used to process a mine-representative bulk sample of about 29,000 t from the Whabouchi lithium mine during the summer and fall of 2016.
The plant will be used to produce a 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate that will feed the Phase 1 lithium hydroxide plant which the Company intends to build in Shawinigan, Quebec. The mill is a self-contained unit which includes its own generators, lab, work station and change rooms. In addition to producing a concentrate for the Phase 1 Plant, the mill will also serve as a training facility for the local Cree workforce wishing to gain experience and training to become mill operators; a skill set which will be needed once the mine is built and in full commercial production.
Nemaska Lithium purchased the mill for a cash consideration of $750,000 and 3M shares, of which 1.5 M are subject to a 4-month hold period, 750,000 are subject to an 8-month hold period and the balance of 750,000 shares are subject to a 12-month hold period. Once the bulk sample is completed, Nemaska Lithium will have the ability to sell the unit or process ore from other properties in the area for metallurgical testing on a toll-milling type arrangement.
The portable mill will be located on the Whabouchi Property in an area that is already permitted by both the provincial and federal authorities for commercial production. Additional authorizations will be obtained over the next months to fully comply with provincial regulations before completing the aforementioned bulk sampling and associated ore processing.
"In order to prequalify our lithium compounds with potential customers with products from the Phase 1 Plant in Shawinigan, we must feed it with representative spodumene concentrate from our mine site," commented Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. "We had originally contemplated processing the ore elsewhere, but with the purchase of a new and readily available mill, we are building in-house expertise in ore processing as well as making relevant training available to our local workforce. It is a win-win proposition. The mill will retain its value and we can determine how best to use it once the bulk sample is completed."