QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC–(Marketwired – Sept. 4, 2015) – Nemaska Lithium Inc. (“Nemaska Lithium” or the “Corporation”) (TSX VENTURE:NMX)(OTCQX:NMKEF) is pleased to announce that it has received the General Certificate of Authorization (CA) for the Whabouchi Project from the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and The Fight Against Climate Change (“MDDELCC”). The CA is the most significant permit for mining projects in Quebec and allows Nemaska Lithium to pursue project financing discussions to start mine construction. The Corporation was granted a positive federal decision on July 29, 2015 and therefore has now obtained all basic environmental authorizations enabling it to move forward with its Whabouchi Mine Project.
“Whabouchi is the only permitted lithium project within the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory and I would like to thank my team for their dedication and hard work over the past 3 year as they worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone,” said Guy Bourassa, President and CEO. “Quebec is an excellent jurisdiction in which to build a mine, in particular the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region. Since the beginning, our project has been supported by the various Quebec exploration funds. As we move towards a construction decision, the project benefits from the recently relaunched Plan Nord program from the Quebec Government.”
Bourassa continued, “We are very encouraged by the continuous strengthening in demand for lithium compounds in particular lithium hydroxide which has seen a double digit increase over the past 18 months. Also the selling price of lithium hydroxide has increased and currently sells for over $8,500/t. Analysts expect both demand and price appreciation trends to continue. These growth projections should also assist us in project financing discussions.”
As per Chapter II of Quebec’s Environmental Quality Act, the Environmental and Social Impact Review Committee (Committee or COMEX), an independent body composed of members appointed by the governments of Quebec and the Cree Nation, was responsible for the assessment and review of the social and environmental impacts of the Whabouchi Project. Nemaska Lithium submitted its impact assessment statement to the COMEX in 2013 and the public was given the opportunity to make submissions to the Committee. The COMEX also held public hearings in 2015 as well as other forms of consultation, enabling the Committee to consider the concerns of the people in the territory and ensure they were accounted for in the Whabouchi Project and reflected in the CA. Throughout the life of the project, Nemaska Lithium has maintained a constant dialogue with stakeholders, including the members of the Cree Nation of Nemaska, to develop a mining project that is socially and environmentally acceptable.
“The granting of the Whabouchi Mine’s CA, following comprehensive social and environmental review, reflects the community support we have had for this project and for the broader development of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region of Québec,” commented Simon Thibault, Director Environmental and Social Responsibility for Nemaska Lithium. “The Crees and Jamesians have been long-time supporters of developing a mine in the region and we are delighted to see the Provincial Government has issued the CA after careful consideration of community input. The construction of the mine will employ approximately 250 people, with about 190 people employed once in operation. Our goal for this mining project is to create maximum jobs and business opportunities for the Crees, in particular the Crees of Nemaska, as well as for the Chibougamau-Chapais region.”
About Nemaska Lithium
Nemaska Lithium intends to become a lithium hydroxide supplier and lithium carbonate supplier to the emerging lithium battery market that is largely driven by electric vehicles, cell phones, tablets and other consumer products. The Corporation is developing in Quebec one of the most important spodumene lithium hard rock deposit in the world, both in volume and grade. The spodumene concentrate produced at Nemaska Lithium’s Whabouchi mine will be shipped to the Corporation’s lithium compounds processing plant to be built in Southern Quebec. This plant will transform spodumene concentrate into high purity lithium hydroxide and carbonate using the proprietary methods developed by the Corporation, and for which patent applications have been filed.
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The statements herein that are not historical facts are forward‐looking statements. These statements address future events and conditions and so involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ from those currently projected. The Corporation does not assume the obligation to update any forward‐looking statement.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mrs. Wanda Cutler
Mr. Victor Cantore