Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX:SYA) has revealed positive results of a downstream processing Concept Study for the production of lithium carbonate and/or lithium hydroxide at the Authier lithium project in Quebec, Canada.
The Concept Study demonstrates that the Authier downstream project has the potential to be competitive on both capital and operating costs compared to benchmarked projects.
The study therefore confirms the opportunity to unlock value at Authier processing concentrates into high-value products used in the lithium-ion battery industry.
Adding further interest is the potential to partly finance downstream operations by the sale of spodumene concentrate in the early years whilst the permitting and downstream feasibility study are completed.
Sayona believes Authier is one of the most advanced new hard-rock spodumene development projects in the world.
Corey Nolan, chief executive officer, commented:
"The positive results from the Concept Study signals a new phase of value creation for the Authier project.
"In the short term, the company is committed to developing a low capital expenditure concentrate sales operation and capitalising on the projected high price environment for concentrates near term.
"The cash flows could then be applied to funding the equity required to construct the downstream processing plant.
"This would unlock the inherent value in the project at a time when lithium carbonate/hydroxide prices are trading near at all time price highs based on the strong demand growth for lithium-ion batteries."
Details on the study
The study evaluated the option of converting Authier’s annual spodumene concentrate into either 13,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate or 14,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide, utilising conventional processing technology.
Sayona can then leverage off the surrounding world-class infrastructure, low energy and reagent costs.
Lithium carbonate and hydroxide are both high-value products used in the lithium-ion battery industry.
Next steps for Sayona
The next step in the project development plan is to convert Authier concentrates into lithium carbonate, complete of a Pre-Feasibility Study, permitting and site selection.
This process will run in parallel with the completion of the mining and concentrate processing Definitive Feasibility Study, and strategic partnering process.