Canadian Mining Journal


LITHIUM: Nemaska idles Whabouchi mine, Shawinigan plant

QUEBEC – As the price of lithium continues its slide and with no firm financing commitment, Nemaska Lithium of Quebec City has been forced to shut down operations temporarily at its Whabouchi lithium mine 300 km northwest of Chibougamau. The hydrometallurgical plant in Shawinigan will fulfill its remaining orders before it, too, is shuttered.

As of Sept. 30, 2019, Nemaska says it had invested $392 million at the two sites. There remains $187 million to be spent at the mine and $690 million to be spent at the plant. The total budget for both was $1.3 billion. Both the mine and the plant will shut down in an orderly fashion so that operations can resume when the financing is settled.

Nemaska and its largest shareholder, the Pallinghurst Group, continue talks to complete project financing.

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Crushing, ore sorting and the concentrator at the Whabouchi mine site. (Image: Nemaska Lithium)