The company recently completed a pilot plant program which processed five tonnes of Authier drill core into over 400 kilograms of spodumene concentrate.
The program demonstrated that a 6% lithium oxide concentrate could be produced at a metallurgical recovery of 79%.
The new downstream testing program will be performed by SGS Canada at Lakefield, Ontario.
The program will be comprised of two phases including the initial production of aqueous lithium sulphate followed by purification to lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.
Data produced from the testing program will be incorporated into a downstream pre-feasibility study and samples produced will be used for potential customers.
Sayona managing director Dan O’Neill said: “The new testing program heralds an exciting new phase of value adding at the Authier project.
“In the short term, the company is committed to developing a low capital expenditure concentrate sales operation and capitalising on the projected high price environment for concentrates near term.
“The cash flows could then be applied to funding the equity required to construct the downstream processing plant.
“This would unlock the inherent value in the project at a time when lithium carbonate/hydroxide prices are trading near at all time price highs based on the strong demand growth for lithium-ion batteries”.