Nemaska Lithium Provides Update on Whabouchi Project
9:28 AM ET 11/15/19 | GlobeNewswire
Nemaska Lithium Provides Update on Whabouchi Project
-- Efforts to complete an optimized project financing structure continue
-- Project investment at both sites totals $392 million as at September 30,
-- Temporary shutdown of activities will be completed shortly at the
-- Phase 1 plant to fulfill last orders before beginning of the shutdown
QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nemaska Lithium (Nemaska Lithium Inc. ("Nemaska Lithium" or the "Corporation") (TSX: NMX) (OTCQX: NMKEF) (Frankfurt: N0T) today provides an update on its Whabouchi Project and the status of its ongoing efforts to complete the project financing. This update follows the filing, on November 14, of the financial statements and Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the first quarter, ended September 30, 2019, of its financial year. Nemaska Lithium also takes this opportunity to provide details on the activities at the mine site and the Phase 1 plant.
"We continue working with Pallinghurst and our other strategic partners on completing an optimized project financing structure to be submitted to the shareholders' approval as soon as possible," said Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. "Over the past month, our teams have worked diligently to prepare the sites for temporary shutdown, in anticipation of an orderly resumption of activities that will minimize delays once financing has been secured and the construction schedule is confirmed."
Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
As a result of the ongoing discussions with The Pallinghurst Group ("Pallinghurst"), Nemaska Lithium has requested and obtained approval from the capital markets authorities to hold its shareholders Annual General Meeting ("AGM") in early 2020. If appropriate, the Corporation may elect to combine the AGM with the Special Meeting regarding Pallinghurst's potential investment under a court approved plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act ("CBCA"). Details about the AGM and/or Special Meeting will be communicated to shareholders when available.
Discharge of the security which secured the Bonds
As regards the Corporation's application filed on September 16, 2019 with the Superior Court of Québec, in connection with its arrangement proceedings under the CBCA, which seeks the discharge of the security which secured the $350 million US senior secured bonds (the "Bonds"), the hearing of such application is set for January 2020, in Montréal. It is the Corporation's view that the Bonds were discharged. The Trustee considers that the Bonds were not discharged, and that the Corporation owes penalties to the holders of the Bonds. Readers may refer to the press releases of Nemaska Lithium dated September 17 and 25, 2019 for further information.
On November 14, 2019, Nemaska Lithium filed its first quarter financial statements as well as Management discussion and analysis (MD&A) on SEDAR. As at September 30, 2019, the Corporation had on hand approximately $77 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents to finance its current activities, plus cash and cash equivalents of $40 million that Nemaska Lithium has agreed, for the moment, to maintain in a cost overrun account, even if the Bonds were discharged. As at September 30, 2019, cumulative incurred capital investment totalled $392 million on a total Whabouchi Project budget of $1.269 billion, including contingency. Moving forward the Corporation has taken a number of additional proactive steps to preserve cash while it completes its project financing.
Construction Report Selected Information on Expenditures
All amounts are in Canadian dollars
(in millions, including contingency)
as at September
30, 2019, per NI
43--101 Technical Incurred as at Remaining as at
Report estimate, September 30, September 30,
July 2019 Total 2019 2019
Whabouchi: 448 261 187
Plant: 821 131 690
-------- ----------------- -----------------
Total: 1,269(1) 392 877
(1) The Total CAPEX includes amounts for corporate owners' costs, which are .APPROX.$42 million for Whabouchi and .APPROX.$29 million for the Plant.
Project Standby Readiness
Equipment deliveries to the Whabouchi site have been completed. In the coming weeks, the Whabouchi site winterization and orderly demobilization will be completed. A small crew will conduct care and maintenance activities as well as ensuring site security. Detailed engineering will be pursued, at an adapted pace, to continue the development of project until financing is secured for both the Whabouchi mine and the Shawinigan plant.
The shutdown of the Phase 1 plant will begin in a few weeks, with a view to ceasing operations by December 31, 2019. The team is also working to fulfill the last orders as well as preparing samples of lithium hydroxide to continue product qualification trials with potential end users. In operation since February 2017, this demonstration plant enabled the Corporation to showcase the reliability of its patented process and the exceptional quality of its product intended for the lithium battery market.
Nemaska Lithium has taken the necessary steps to ensure the preservation of its assets and to comply with regulatory, safety and environmental obligations at both sites for the duration of the project standby phase.
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.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release including, but not limited to, those relating to (A) the additional capital required to enable the Corporation to complete the Project's construction, (B) the eventual conclusion of a definitive agreement with Pallinghurst and other strategic partners and closing of the investment, (C) the expected resumption of construction and commissioning, and (D) the outcome of the application filed by Nemaska Lithium on September 16, 2019 with the Superior Court of Québec, in connection with its arrangement proceedings under the Canada Business Corporations Act, seeking the discharge of the security which secured the Bonds, constitute "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of certain securities laws and are based on expectations and projections as of the date of this press release. Certain important assumptions by the Corporation in making forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, reaching a definitive agreement with Pallinghurst and other strategic partners in a timely manner and satisfying all closing conditions, and the obtaining of the additional capital required to fulfill the conditions precedent to receive the remaining proceeds from the Project financing, being the second tranche payment under the Orion Streaming facility.
Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, those related to (i) the Corporation completing an optimized project financing structure to be submitted to the shareholders' approval as soon as possible, (ii) the eventual definitive agreements to implement Pallinghurst's investment proposal and closing of the investment under a court approved plan of arrangement, (iii) the orderly resumption of activities that will minimize delays once financing will have been secured, (iv) holding the annual shareholders' meeting in 2020 and combining same with the shareholders' special meeting re Pallinghurst's potential investment under a CBCA arrangement, (v) the CAPEX estimates, (vi) the Corporation reaching an agreement with Pallinghurst that will satisfy all parties, including its own shareholders, (vii) the Corporation taking the necessary steps to ensure asset preservation, (viii) the Whabouchi site winterization and orderly demobilization to be completed shortly, and the Phase 1 plant shut down to commence shortly, (ix) the continuance of detailed engineering to continue the development of the project until financing is secured, (x) the Corporation to eventually be in position to restart construction work quickly when financing is completed, (xi) the outcome of the application filed by Nemaska Lithium on September 16, 2019 with the Superior Court of Québec, in connection with its arrangement proceedings under the Canada Business Corporations Act, seeking the discharge of the security which secured the Bonds, and (xiii) generally, the above "About Nemaska Lithium" paragraph which essentially describes the Corporation's outlook. Forward-looking statements are based on expectations, estimates and projections as of the time of this press release. Forward-looking statements are
(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires
November 15, 2019 09:28 ET (14:28 GMT)
Good or bad, we report it. Sooner or later, this one will come to fruition.