The PEA contemplates an open pit mining scenario that would annually produce 202,000 tonnes per year of 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate on site.
The spodumene concentrate can be shipped to Asian and European markets from the deep sea port of Saguenay on the Saguenay River, approximately 7 hours drive from the Whabouchi deposit. It is also possible to deliver product to North American markets by railway, approximately 3 hours drive from the deposit.
The PEA was prepared by independent consultants Equapolar Consultants Limited in conjunction with BBA Inc. and Genivar Inc. The complete PEA will be filed on SEDAR within the next 45 days.
Gary Pearse, principal of Equapolar commented, "Based on our preliminary assessment of the Whabouchi deposit we believe the project is economically viable and justifies that the company proceed with a pilot plant and a full feasibility study. This PEA confirms that spodumene concentrate can be economically produced and shipped to end users."
An important use of spodumene concentrate is as a raw material in the production of different lithium products, including battery grade lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide and lithium metal. Currently, most of the spodumene concentrate transformers are located in China and the majority of the spodumene concentrate supply comes from Australia.
"As demand evolves it becomes more important for end users to secure a geographically diversified supply of spodumene concentrate from producers," commented Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Exploration. "Obviously the province of Quebec represents a highly prospective and prolific location for spodumene. Our goal is to be one of the first to market, producing a high quality spodumene concentrate and we are targeting to complete our feasibility study by year end. The PEA illustrates that our project can be competitive with other producers globally. In addition, we are also studying the possibility of building our own lithium production facility in Quebec and transforming the spodumene concentrate into lithium products including lithium carbonate."
Mr. Bourassa will attend this year’s Vancouver Resource Investment Conference. He will be available to update current and prospective shareholders on the Company’s latest achievements. Nemaska will be exhibiting at booth 1030 at the Vancouver Convention Centre – West Exhibit Halls B & C on January 23-24, 2011.
The technical sections of this press release have been prepared by Gary Pearse, P. Eng., Geo. qualified persons as defined in National Instrument 43-101.
Nemaska Exploration Inc. is a mineral exploration company involved in the James Bay region of Quebec. Its main assets are the Whabouchi (about 1,716 hectares), Lac Levac (about 9,200 hectares), Lac Arques (about 39,470 hectares) and Lac des Montagnes (about 12,740 hectares) properties, all 100 % owned. These properties are contiguous and cover about 85 km of the Lac des Montagnes green belt polymetallic formation. They are easily accessible year round by either the Route du Nord from Chibougamau (280 km) or the Route de la Baie James from Matagami (380 km) and are located near the Cree community of Nemaska and the Nemiscau airport.