The company’s shares were last trading 20% higher intra-day, at $0.12.
In 2017, the company made substantial progress advancing Authier to the definitive feasibility study (DFS) stage.
READ: Sayona Mining starts definitive feasibility study for Authier Lithium Project after positive prefeasibility
This included completing two resource and reserve upgrades, optimisation of the process flow sheet, completion of environmental field studies and an optimised pre-feasibility study (PFS).
Importantly, the PFS estimates a pre-tax net present value of circa $227 million based on a capital expenditure of circa $67 million.
The company is making significant progress on the DFS which is expected to be completed in the second quarter 2018.
Phase III drilling program to re-commence soon
The phase III drilling program at Authier will re-commence in the second week of January.
Sayona’s objective is to expand the resource and reserve for incorporation into the DFS.
The program will target extending Authier mineralisation in the east and west at shallow levels, and at Authier North.
A pilot metallurgy program will also commence in January utilising more than five tonnes of diamond drill core.
The data from the pilot program will be incorporated into the engineering and design of the process plant, and concentrate produced will be used for marketing and downstream testing purposes.
In Western Australia, the company has built a substantial portfolio of lithium prospective tenements in the spodumene-rich Pilgangoora district.
A new pegmatite field containing spodumene was discovered at Mallina and will be the primary focus of exploration activities during 2018.
Exploring multiple growth opportunities in the lithium sector
The lithium market ended 2017 strongly, with demand driving robust spot and contract pricing.
Sayona is currently examining a number of new growth opportunities in the lithium sector.
These include new projects and value-adding of existing projects including the Authier downstream project which has demonstrated robust economics.
2018 could be a transformative year for Sayona as it evolves from the exploration-stage to the development-stage at Authier.