QUEBEC, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 12, 2016) -
Editors Note: There are five photos associated with this press release.
Nemaska Lithium Inc. ("Nemaska Lithium" or the "Corporation") (TSX:NMX)(OTCQX:NMKEF) is pleased to provide an update on the advancement of its Phase 1 Plant as well as the construction and site preparation of the Whabouchi Mine, both located in Quebec, Canada.
Phase 1 Plant
The Phase 1 Plant is on schedule and on budget. To date, 20 technical operators have been hired and training is underway on the operations of the Phase 1 Plant. These highly skilled technicians have educational backgrounds in mechanical, chemical and electrical disciplines as well as a range of technical work experience including chemical plant start-up.
Once in operation, Nemaska Lithium expects to run the Phase 1 Plant on a 24 hour/7 day a week schedule starting in Q1 2017 at a production rate of 435 tons per year lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). The first shipment of lithium hydroxide produced from Johnson Matthey Battery Materials (JMBM) lithium sulphate is expected Q1 2017. Commercial sized representative samples of lithium hydroxide produced from Whabouchi Mine concentrate are expected to ship to JMBM and other customers in Q2 2017 for qualification purposes.
Whabouchi Mine Site
Bulk Sample and Modular DMS Mill
Construction of the dense media separation (DMS) modular mill designed to produce a 6% Li2O DMS concentrate is on schedule. Equipment installation is being finalized and commissioning will follow. Twelve DMS plant operators have been hired and training is commencing in December. Blasting of the 60,000t mine representative bulk sample has commenced and will be processed through the modular mill. In addition, Nemaska Lithium intends to produce a 6% Li2O concentrate using flotation circuit with a contractor located in the province of Quebec. Both concentrates will be shipped to Shawinigan where Nemaska Lithium intends to process them into battery grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate for customer evaluation and qualification.
Whabouchi Mine Infrastructure Construction
Construction of the main mine building continues and is scheduled to be fully enclosed in the near future allowing for on-going construction of the facility throughout the 2016-2017 winter.
"We are advancing the project on all fronts and I am very pleased with our progress to date," commented Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. "We expect to be producing a 6% Li2O concentrate and processing it into battery grade lithium salts next year, which is approximately 18 months ahead of our planned commercial production. This will enable us to actively engage customers and demonstrate the quality of our products while we are still building our commercial facilities. As per our last Feasibility Study, we are projecting to be a low cost producer of lithium salts and we are on the cusp of demonstrating product quality and economics. I expect 2017 to be a year of meeting many milestones."
Feasibility Update and NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Estimate Update
Nemaska Lithium recently announced the results of its updated NI43-101 compliant resource estimate on the Whabouchi deposit (December 1, 2016 press release) which included the results from the recently completed drill campaign. This resource estimate saw the Measured and Indicated open pit resource increase to 36.620 Mt at an average grade of 1.48% Li2O. DRA Global/Met-Chem has been mandated to update the reserves of the Whabouchi mine in a new Feasibility Study due in January 2017.
About Nemaska Lithium
Nemaska Lithium intends to become a lithium hydroxide 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 Corporation is developing in Quebec one of the most important spodumene lithium hard rock deposit in the world, both in volume and grade. 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 the Corporation holds three granted patents and several patent applications that are pending in different countries, covering different aspects and improvements of its proprietary technology for preparing high purity lithium hydroxide and carbonate.
All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release including, but not limited to, (i) the start of Phase 1 Plant operations on a 24 hour/7 days a week schedule in Q1 2017, (ii) the shipments of lithium hydroxide samples in Q1 2017, (iii) the DMS commissioning in January 2017, (iv) the construction of the concentrator building by year end, (v) production of spodumene concentrate and its processing into battery grade lithium salts next year, (vi) the product quality demonstration in 2017 and (vii) the conversion of Mineral Resource as Proven and Probable Reserve, constitute ''forward-looking information'' or ''forward-looking statements'' within the meaning of certain securities laws, and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as of the time of this press release. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Corporation as of the time of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. These estimates and assumptions may prove to be incorrect.
Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can directly or indirectly affect, and could cause, actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management's expectations and plans relating to the future. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable law.
Further information regarding Nemaska Lithium is available in the SEDAR database (www.sedar.com) and on the Corporation's website at: www.nemaskalithium.com
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