NAL Restart Advances Towards Target
Brisbane, Dec 20, 2022 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Emerging lithium producer Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) (DML:FRA) (SYAXF:OTCMKTS) is on target for the recommencement of production at its flagship North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Q1 2023, with procurement, permitting and construction activities continuing to advance.
Procurement was 99% completed as at the end of November, with nearly all major procurement items received at site. Contracts have been awarded for all critical installation items, including the Belt Filter, while the installation of key items such as the Apron Feeder and Derrick screens has been completed.
Significantly, all environmental approvals have now been received following the recent award of the final permit (refer ASX release 12 December 2022), significantly de-risking NAL's restart.
Commitments to end November totalled C$47.3 million versus planned commitments of C$48.4 million, with potential cost savings being investigated. Only one lost-time incident has been reported to date, a slippage due to snow, with Sayona re-emphasising its Zero-Tolerance policy regarding safety.
Mining contractors, Quebec-based L. Fournier & Fils commenced operations in October, with work progressing. Currently there are approximately 100 workers on-site, with Sayona having recruited a number of senior personnel recently (refer ASX release 24 November 2022), including appointing Guy Belleau as the new CEO of Sayona's Quebec subsidiary. Sayona's approach to hiring is based on diversity and inclusion, with 31% female workers on-site.
Mining operations are also ramping up. Contractor mobilisation has reached 90%, with four excavators, 10 mining trucks and three drill rigs in operation together with other support and service equipment, using 32 operators per shift.
Since the beginning of mining operations, starting with the first blast on 22 November 2022, a total of six production blasts have been undertaken for production of 77,020 tonnes of ore and total blasted material of 378,458t. From the previous Rom pad and In-Pit inventory, total ore inventory on the Rom pad is now 157,907t grading 0.87% Li2O.
Earthwork at the ROM pad was reorganised to allow better classification of ore piles, depending on grade and mining dilution percentage. Other earthworks completed included a production roads upgrade and safety berms improvements. Overburden stripping is ongoing in the phase 2 pit expansion area. Water management ditches were completed on the north side.
Sayona is now optimising the short-term mining sequence from the Pre-Feasibility Study mine plan to facilitate a smooth start for commercial production.
Sayona has also undertaken community engagement activities, including partnering in a "Business Exchange Day" combined with the Interregional Economic Circle of Indigenous Peoples (14-16 November) and participating in the first in-person Quebec Mines Convention since 2019 (held from 21-23 November).
Sayona's Managing Director, Brett Lynch commented: "Time is of the essence to get into production at NAL and I'm pleased with the progress made to date, with the operation on track for production of the first saleable spodumene (lithium) concentrate in Q1 2023.
"Our planned expansion at NAL, together with the growth of our northern lithium hub centred on the Moblan Lithium Project, have positioned Sayona well for 2023 as we work to cement Quebec's position as North America's key supplier of essential battery minerals for the clean energy revolution."
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About Sayona Mining Limited
Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) (OTCMKTS:SYAXF) is an Australian, ASX-listed (SYA) company focused on sourcing and developing the raw materials required to construct lithium-ion batteries for use in the rapidly growing new and green technology sectors. The Company has lithium projects in Quebec, Canada and in Western Australia.
Please visit us as at www.sayonamining.com.au
Sayona Mining Limited