An outcrop at the Whabouchi mine site. (Image: Nemaska Lithium)
QUEBEC – Nemaska Lithium of Quebec City has completed the 2018 feasibility study covering the Whabouchi mine and concentrator located in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay area and the hydrometallurgical plant in Shawinigan. The mine life has been extended to 33 years and hydromet production increased by 20%.
The study indicates a pre-tax net present value (8% discount) of C$3.3 billion and an pre-tax internal rate of return of 34.4%. An average sales price of US$14,000/tonne for lithium hydroxide throughout the life of mine, and an average selling price for lithium carbonate of US$9,500/tonne for the first five years and US$12,000/tonne thereafter over the remaining life of mine were used..
Nemaska says the pre-production capex is C$801 million plus the C$74 million already invested. The remaining money will be used to expand production of lithium carbonate to 16,000 t/y from 3,250 t/y. That will allow the capacity of the hydromet plant to rise 20% to 27,400 t/y lithium carbonate equivalent. An ore sorting circuit will also be added.
The details of the feasibility study can be found at www.NemaskaLithium.com.