Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX:SYA) (OTCMKTS:DMNXF) (FRA:DML) has announced plans for a C$2 million (A$2.03 million) drilling program at its flagship Authier Lithium Project and emerging Tansim Lithium Project, amid rapid growth in demand for the key battery metal.
The winter drilling program consists of around 8,700 metres of drilling, which represents an around 30% increase on previous drilling in the province.
The company is aiming to expand its lithium resources to support a planned Abitibi regional hub.
“Increasing resources to meet demand”
Sayona managing director Brett Lynch said the new drilling campaign demonstrates the company’s commitment to increasing its lithium resources in Québec.
He said: “This is a significant investment in our Tansim project and a substantial potential boost to Authier’s profitability as we work to deliver a world‐scale lithium hub at Abitibi, supported by multiple projects.
“Lithium demand is soaring in Canada and the United States, as seen by the multi‐billion dollar investments by automakers in EV production in Ontario, Tesla’s increasing offtake demand and the Biden administration’s clean energy drive, such as its ‘Buy American’ EV campaign.
“North America needs domestic supplies of battery metals to fuel this accelerating industry.”
The company’s lithium projects are well-placed to deliver, benefitting from Québec’s unique economic, strategic and sustainable advantages, including its renewable, clean and green hydropower.
At the Authier project, the company has planned 31 drill holes for a total of 4,500 metres of diamond drilling.
The goal is to expand current ore resources and improving the strip ratio to enhance its profitability, as outlined in the project’s revised definitive feasibility study released in November 2020.
Another 26 drill holes for around 4,200 metres are planned at the emerging Tansim project, comprising its Viau‐Dallaire prospect (3,400 metres) and Viau prospect (about 800 metres).
The new drilling aims to expand the lithium mineralisation at Viau‐Dallaire following the initial Phase 1 diamond core drilling conducted in February 2019 and to complete an initial JORC‐compliant resource estimate.
An initial drilling program at the Viau prospect (6 kilometres east‐southeast of Viau‐Dallaire), will focus on proposed drill holes based on historical geological data together with Sayona’s reconnaissance survey undertaken in July 2018, which included four grab rock samples of up to 4.49% lithium.
Emerging Tansim project
In December 2020, Sayona completed its acquisition of the Tansim project, which is around 82 kilometres south‐west of the Authier project, and comprises 191 mineral claims spanning 11,042 hectares of prospective lithium acreage.
The main prospects are Viau‐Dallaire, Viau and Vezina, with previous exploration activity at Viau‐Dallaire intercepting two main pegmatite albite‐spodumene dykes, with an east‐west strike dipping 45 to 55 degrees to the north.
All the dykes showed variable percentages of mostly very coarse to coarse spodumene, with minor fine grain spodumene as well as internal zones of low grade to barren pegmatite.
There is potential for both strike extensions and deeper extensions testing potential coalescence of pegmatite dykes as well as new and not‐outcropping pegmatite dykes.
Viau‐Dallaire total exploration target (looking south‐east)
Increased access to US market
Last week, the company entered a strategic partnership with leading US‐based lithium corporation, Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (NASDAQ:PLL) (OTCMKTS:PDDTF) to accelerate the development of its projects.
Piedmont will acquire an initial 9.9% equity interest in Sayona through a share placement, and two unsecured convertible notes, which upon conversion would result in Piedmont being issued a further 10% of Sayona’s issued capital for a total consideration of around US$7 million.
Piedmont will also invest around US$5 million in cash for a 25% stake in Sayona Québec (project investment).
Notably, the company has also progressed its proposed bid for North American Lithium’s (NAL) assets to further enhance its access to the U.S. market and investors.
Lynch said: “As we advance Sayona’s bid for NAL and our new partnership with Piedmont Lithium, we look forward to expanding our lithium projects to ensure we can supply both the domestic and U.S. markets, including mining and downstream processing.”
The drilling at the Authier and Tansim Projects is set to commence in Québec’s late winter.