The project is expected to create upwards of 410 good-paying jobs
Québec has released an $80 million envelope for Nemaska Lithium to relaunch the project to build a mine in Nord-du-Québec and a lithium processing plant in Bécancour, Centre-du-Québec. The plant specializes in the commercial transformation of lithium salt into the form of lithium hydroxide, a material used in the composition of batteries. The project, valued at $1.5 billion, is said to eventually generate 410 jobs for the operation of the mining site and factories.
During a press release on July 1st, the Minister of Economy and Innovation responsible for Regional Economic Development, Pierre Fitzgibbon, said, “We are now supporting an important pillar of our battery industry. The Nemaska Lithium plant will be able to process our lithium into high-purity salt for the second time and thus supply industrialists who set up in Bécancour. With this investment, we continue consolidating Québec’s position as a world leader in transportation electrification.”
The government’s participation will be used to continue studies and preparatory work for construction. Funding is scheduled for early 2023. Once the financing is complete, work should resume at mine and start at the plant to be re-commissioned for 2025.
The assets of Nemaska Lithium were acquired in 2020 in equal shares by Investissement Québec while the company was under the protection of its creditors. The Québec Strategy for the Development of the Battery Sector aims to mine and transform minerals from Québec territory to manufacture battery components, such as anodes and cathodes, to produce commercial electric vehicles, and to develop battery recycling using avant-garde Quebec technologies.
“The energy transition and the electrification of transportation are generating growing needs for lithium, and Quebec must make the most of these development opportunities. With the Québec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals 2020-2025, we are aiming for Québec to become a leader in the production, processing and recycling of these minerals. The Nemaska Lithium project will certainly allow us to achieve this objective,” said Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.
The government of Quebec has recognized a growing need in a niche market and has therefore decided to exploit this opportunity to ensure the province’s economic development.
Image Credit: Social Media of Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation.