Canadian Manufacturing

Quebec lithium miner Nemaska signs supply deal with U.S. chemical company

With production expected to begin next year, firm now has multi-year offtake agreements to account for nearly half its planned production


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Nemaska's Shawinigan site. The company said it will have the right to occupy the building Oct. 1. PHOTO: Nemaska

Nemaska’s Shawinigan site. The company has largely completed the first phase of its plant and plans to quickly expand after proving the quality of its product. PHOTO: Nemaska

QUEBEC CITY—Upstart Canadian lithium mining firm Nemaska Lithium Inc. has signed a lithium carbonate supply agreement with major U.S. specialty chemical company FMC Corp.

The latest offtake deal, announced Oct. 31, follows a $12 million supply agreement with Johnson Matthey Battery Materials finalized this May and secures buyers for nearly 50 per cent of Nemaska’s planned production starting in mid-2018.

The company did not release the financial details of the new agreement.

“FMC is looking to diversify its supply sources of high quality lithium products and our proprietary process enables Nemaska Lithium to produce low cost lithium carbonate that meets FMC’s quality specifications,” Guy Bourassa, the company’s president and CEO, said.

FMC, which operates across a range of industries, including energy storage, currently sources lithium from a region in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia known as the “lithium triangle.”

Under the deal, the Quebec lithium miner will ship 8,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year to FMC beginning in mid-2018.

Nemaska is currently entering the final few months of construction on its demonstration-scale Shawinigan, Que. lithium processing plant and its Chibougamau, Que. mine. It plans to begin sending customers samples of its product in the first two quarters of next year.

After demonstrating its technology it plans to quickly scale up and expand its processing plant in Shawinigan to 28,000-tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year.

Construction and startup costs at the new plant will total approximately $38 million.


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