Canadian Mining Journal

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LITHIUM: Whabouchi feasibility study has NPV of $924M

QUEBEC – Nemaska Lithium of Quebec City is sharing the results of the positive feasibility study on the Whabouchi mine and concentrator in the lower James Bay region (300 km northwest of Chibougamau) and the hydrometallurgical plant (at...



QUEBEC – Nemaska Lithium of Quebec City is sharing the results of the positive feasibility study on the Whabouchi mine and concentrator in the lower James Bay region (300 km northwest of Chibougamau) and the hydrometallurgical plant (at Salaberry-de-Valleyfield near Montreal).

Using an expected 26-year mine life, the feasibility study suggests that the project will generate $6.9 billion over that time. The pre-tax net cash flow will be $3.4 billion, and pre-tax net present value at an 8% discount will be $924 million. That gives the project a pre-tax internal rate of return of 25.2%.

At full production the project will have an average annual production rate of 213,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrates that will be converted into 28,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide and 3,250 tonnes of lithium carbonate.

The study covers a combined open pit and underground mine. Pre-production capital expenditures will be $448 million plus a $52-million contingency, but the project will pay back the investment in 3.7 years. That will be followed by working capital requirements of $21 million.

The Whabouchi orebody has proven and probable pit reserves of 20.0 million tonnes grading 1.53% Li2O. The underground proven and probable reserves total 7.3 million tonnes at 1.28% Li2O.

Details of the feasibility study are contained in the May 13, 2014, news release posted at NemaskaLithium.com in the Investors section.