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Quebec court grants Nemaska Lithium creditor protection

The Superior Court of Quebec granted Nemaska Lithium Inc. bankruptcy protection, allowing the company sufficient time to settle its refinancing efforts in order to complete the construction and start operations at its Whabouchi lithium project in Quebec.

The company said Dec. 23 that it has been unable to complete restructuring due to higher-than-expected construction costs, depressed capital markets, and failure to identify a solution from its strategic review process.

The court order will allow Nemaska to continue its ongoing strategic review, and the company may also ask approval from the court to kick off a formal investor solicitation process to secure additional financing, sell assets or enter a joint venture.

The court appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers monitor to oversee the company's operations and report to the court during the restructuring.

Earlier in December, the court ordered Nemaska to distribute proceeds from its canceled US$350 million senior secured bonds offering.

Nemaska is dismissing 64 employees at Whabouchi to keep the project running while ensuring optimization of current cash flow.