The studies have not identified any potential environmental issues at the Authier project or any major impact on the local communities.
The Authier project is planned to be an operation processing 1,900 tonnes of ore per day which is significantly smaller than other operations in the district.
Sayona managing director Dan O’Neill said: “The company is very pleased to scientifically demonstrate the low environmental impact of the Authier project.
“The company now has a large database of scientific data collated and will continue its monitoring programs throughout the project life.
“Finalisation of the studies represents another major step forward in the development of the Authier project and paves the way for completing the public consultation and advancing the permitting process on completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) in July 2018.”
No impact on groundwater quality
Technical studies by independent consultants have determined that the Authier project is located downstream from the Esker and that no impact is anticipated on the groundwater quality in the Esker.
Esker is a ridge of gravel and sand emplaced during glacial melt by the deposition of sediments from meltwater rivers.
Sayona’s strategy is to initially develop Authier and sell lithium concentrates whilst it completes the test work, permitting and feasibility study for a downstream processing facility producing lithium carbonate and/or hydroxide.
The strategy is analogous to other lithium developers in Quebec including Nemaska Lithium (TSE:NMX) and North American Lithium.
Mining lease application process progressing
Before a mining lease can be granted for a mine that has a production capacity of less than 2,000 metric tons per day, a public consultation initiated by the proponent must be held in the region in which the mine will be located.
The company has now facilitated five public consultation sessions and more than 40 information meetings with different stakeholders located near the project.
Sayona Canadian team meeting the local communities in La Motte
Further information sessions are planned during follow-up meetings in September 2018.
Importantly, the project is expected to generate significant benefits to the community through job creation, investment and taxes.