Sayona Mining and Piedmont scoop up neighbouring lithium ground in Quebec
North American-focused lithium explorers and developers Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) and Piedmont Lithium’s (ASX: PLL) have scooped up ground adjacent to their North American Lithium (NAL) joint venture in Quebec.
Piedmont holds 25% in NAL, plus a direct almost 15% interest in Sayona, and Sayona owns the remaining 75% of NAL.
The NAL operation in Quebec comprises 19 claims covering 582 hectares of land.
Under a strategic agreement announced this morning, NAL can earn-in to the Jourdan Resources’ (TSXV: JOR) Vallee lithium project, which neighbours the joint venture’s mine tenure.
Vallee comprises 48 claims over 1,997ha, which are located within 500m of the NAL mine boundary.
The deal will allow the joint venture to acquire 20 of the Vallee claims outright, with these spanning 755.3ha and extending the NAL operating area.
According to Sayona, the claims enable future infrastructure expansion of the NAL mine and its processing facility.
NAL also can secure up to 51% of Vallee’s remaining 28 claims, which comprise 1,241.57ha.
As part of the earn in, NAL can earn 25% of these claims by spending C$4 million on exploration within 12 months. A further 25% can be secured by spending an additional C$6 million within two years.
NAL can up its interest to 51% by preparing a feasibility study and arranging construction of a mine on the Vallee claims.
If these Vallee claims are developed into a mine, NAL will treat the ore at its own adjacent operation.
NAL will also scoop up a 9.99% equity in Jourdan through a C$1.5 million private placement.
‘Substantial boost’ to future production
Sayona managing director Brett Lynch said the earn-in over the Vallee tenure will provide a “substantial boost” to NAL’s future production potential.
“Sayona continues to pursue opportunities for expansion, and this is an excellent opportunity to swiftly expand NAL’s potential resource base, paving the way for an increase in NAL’s future mine production capacity,” he explained.
Mr Lynch noted that NAL’s previously mined spodumene pegmatite dykes continue directly on the Vallee claims and the joint venture was keen to drill the new targets.
“Significantly, the additional leases acquired under this agreement will also allow for increased flexibility and optimisation of the NAL mine design, production and infrastructure.”
Mr Lynch added NAL was also pursuing co-operative alliances with its other neighbouring tenement holders with the goal of further building its lithium resource inventory.
“The potential for more tonnes, faster production and higher grades only amplifies the opportunity for NAL to move downstream, whether into lithium carbonate or hydroxide production.”