News - Nemaska Lithium Provides Update on the Whabouchi Project
October 15, 2019 11:00 ET | Source: Nemaska Lithium Inc
The Corporation needs to downsize by letting go of 64 employees
The Phase 1 Plant will cease operations at the end of December 2019
Activities at Whabouchi will slow down until the winterization of the site
QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nemaska ?Lithium Inc. (“Nemaska Lithium” or the “Corporation”) (TSX: NMX) (OTCQX: NMKEF) (Frankfurt: N0T) is announcing that it must adjust the implementation of its project, mainly because of delays to finalize its financing. As a result, the Corporation must downsize by letting go of 64 employees. This difficult decision comes after a rigorous review of the current situation and is aimed at both the optimization of current cash flow and the continuation of the project.
Nemaska Lithium is still confident in its ability to successfully complete the project. However, the Corporation cannot currently specify the precise date for closing the required financing, as no definitive agreement has yet been concluded with The Pallinghurst Group (“Pallinghurst”), to which the finalization of the project’s implementation timeline is directly connected. In this context, the Corporation is obliged to carry out a collective dismissal, as it expects that mine and plant production preparation activities will need to be slowed down pending the completion of financing. Depending on the site, the dates of employment termination will occur between the end of October and the end of December 2019.
“We have always asserted that we recruited the best talent to make this project a success. We are still deeply convinced of this, which makes this decision all the more difficult. As we cannot confirm the timeline for the resumption of construction, and although negotiations with Pallinghurst are progressing well, this is the responsible decision to be made,” says Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium.
The Corporation remains committed to completing the required financing in order to accelerate the deployment of its project as soon as possible. It will also pursue its efforts to rapidly obtain a favourable decision from the Superior Court of Québec following its application in connection with its arrangement proceedings and seeking the discharge of the security relating to the USD 350M Bonds, which were reimbursed as prescribed.
Activity implementation rhythm adjusted in Whabouchi and Shawinigan
Over the next few weeks, the employees working at the Whabouchi mine will finish winterizing the site and assist the construction crews in completing certain work before the beginning of the winter season. Nemaska Lithium will thereafter see to preserve its assets and ensure the regulatory compliance of its facilities.
Having fulfilled the main objectives for its construction, the Shawinigan Phase 1 Plant will continue its activities until its complete shutdown at the end of December 2019. This demonstration plant, in operation since February 2017, has been a major asset for the development of the Whabouchi project, having showcased the reliability of its patented process and the exceptional quality of its product, intended for the lithium battery market.
“Once financing is completed, we will have a better visibility on the timeline for the implementation of the project and the resumption of more sustained activity. It is now time for us to roll up our sleeves, as we know how to, and continue moving forward in order to ensure the orderly resumption of activities with minimal delay when the time comes. With our team and partners, we are going to continue working relentlessly to make Nemaska Lithium a success. We sincerely thank the employees who will be leaving us and hope to see many of them back on our team once operations resume,” concluded Mr. Bourassa.
About Nemaska Lithium
Nemaska Lithium Inc. is a developing chemical company whose activities will be vertically integrated, from spodumene mining to the commercialization of high-purity lithium hydroxide. This lithium salt is mainly destined for the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market, which is driven by the increasing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage worldwide. With its products and processes, the Corporation intends to facilitate access to green energy, for the benefit of humanity.
The Corporation will be operating the Whabouchi mine in Québec, Canada, one of the richest lithium spodumene deposits in the world, both in volume and grade. The spodumene concentrate produced at the Whabouchi mine will be processed at the Shawinigan plant using a unique membrane electrolysis process for which the Corporation holds several patents.
The Corporation is a member of the S&P/TSX SmallCap Index, S&P/TSX Global Mining Index, S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index, S&P/TSX Equal Weight Global Base Metals Index, and the MSCI Canada SmallCap Index. For more information, visit www.nemaskalithium.com.