After signing a memorandumof understanding with a unit of Johnson Matthey in November 2015, said May 11that it has signed final agreements to provide services and products from NemaskaLithium's phase-one plant for upfront cash payment of C$12 million.
The company also agreed to its first long-term commercial offtakeof lithium salts — lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate — with Johnson Matthey.
With the finalization of agreements Nemaska Lithium has completedthe financing of the phase-one plant, which will need C$38 million to build andoperate for two years. Of this total, a C$13 million grant was secured from SustainableDevelopment Technologies Canada, a C$3 million grant from Technoclimat program andfinally a C$10 million equity investment by Ressources Quebec Inc.
The phase-one plant will be built at the company's plant in Shawinigan, Quebec,which will also include the commercial Hydromet plant that will convert the spodumeneconcentrate produced at Whabouchilithium mine into high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.
Nemaska's President and CEO Guy Bourassa said the company hasordered some of the long-lead items including the core electrolysis stacks and rectifiersfor the phase-one plant and expects to complete construction by 2016-end. The company is looking to engage with potentialclients with commercial samples of lithium hydroxide as early as the second quarterof 2017.
"We are currently in discussions with other potential customers,"Bourassa added.