Emerging lithium developer Sayona Mining [ASX:SYA] who works closely with Piedmont Lithium [ASX:PLL] in the NAL project has revealed a new major milestone today, with the first lithium concentrate having been produced.
The NAL project in Québec, Canada, has generated around 70 tonnes of lithium concentrate, and with commissioning proceeding as per plan, the first saleable concentrate is expected to emerge soon.
SYA shares were worth 24 cents at time of writing, having risen more than 4% in the past week alone and 88% in the past year.
PLL, however, took a 3.5% tumble earlier this morning, bringing them to 92 cents each share. Piedmont has fallen 7% in the past month, yet retains a 14% positive performance in the last year:
First lithium at NAL marks new milestone
Lithium partners Sayona and Piedmont broadcast their enthusiastic update for the North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Québec, having now produced their first lithium concentrate, another progressive step for the project’s restart.
The miners stated that 70 tonnes of lithium concentrate had come from NAL, leading to the first sale of NAL’s marketable lithium product to occur very soon and with NAL’s restart proceeding both on schedule and within budget.
The miners are now looking more confidently at the intense demand for battery metal in North America’s rapidly growing EV and battery market.
Sayona’s Managing Director, Brett Lynch, said of the company’s latest milestone:
‘This is another great achievement for the team at NAL. I extend my thanks to everyone concerned for progressing the NAL restart on time and on budget – something few others have achieved in recent times amid escalating cost and supply chain pressures.
‘These are exciting times with the first saleable lithium concentrate to be produced soon, marking the next step in Sayona’s evolution towards becoming a leading hard rock lithium producer.’
The first shipment has been scheduled for July this year, with four shipments targeted for the first half of FY2024.
The lithium developers have said they are targeting total production between 85,000 tonnes and 115,000t during this period.
This update follows Sayona’s announcement yesterday, in which the company said it plans to raise $54.9 million to fund its forays in lithium exploration.
Drilling at Jourdan’s Vallée
In additional to the exciting news for NAL lithium production, Sayona also wished to update shareholders on its extensive drilling program at the Jourdan’s Vallée Lithium Project.
NAL and Jourdan Resources have agreed to an ‘aggressive’ exploration and development program, anticipating the expansion and defining of sufficient mineral resources the NAL concentrator, which is planned to commence in May.
More than 50,000 metres of drilling is planned throughout 2023, which is potentially the largest drilling program for Québec this year, and of which 24,000 metres is planned solely for the Vallée project.
Jourdan’s CEO, Rene Bharti, commented:
‘Given that the Sayona NAL concentrator has commenced operations, Jourdan is in a very rare position to benefit from having access to what we expect will become Canada’s leading lithium producing mine and concentrator. We are truly proud and honoured at what we see as significant upside potential for both companies, in such a strong lithium environment.’
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For The Daily Reckoning Australia