Nemaska Lithium Inc. (NMX:TSX; NMKEF:OTCQX) provided a progress report on its Whabouchi lithium mineral project in Quebec on Dec. 12, as well as an update on its Shawinigan Phase 1 Plant. Guy Bourassa, president and CEO of Nemaska Lithium, said, "We are advancing the project on all fronts and I am very pleased with our progress to date. We expect to be producing a 6% Li2O concentrate and processing it into battery grade lithium salts next year, which is approximately 18 months ahead of our planned commercial production. This will enable us to actively engage customers and demonstrate the quality of our products while we are still building our commercial facilities."
Eric Zaunschwerb, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, wrote in a company update on Dec. 12 that "Management expects the Phase 1 Plant to be up and running 24 hours/day and 7 days/week in Q1 2017. Progress is being made on budget and on schedule, with technical operators currently being trained, which should lead to the production of 435 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), also in Q1 2017." He added that "as part of the recent resource update, an updated feasibility study is in the works, with results expected to be published in January 2017."
David Talbot, an analyst with Dundee Capital Partners, in a Dec. 12 comment, named Nemaska as Dundee's top lithium pick. He called Nemaska's progress report "great news but this shouldn't come as a surprise with management doing an excellent job at keeping investors abreast of the situation. Success bodes well for technical and financial de-risking." He noted that Whabouchi mine site progress is "on track," and this includes "bulk sampling; completion of dense media separation (DMS) modular mill; and advanced site preparations."
Talbot noted that "our confidence that management is on top of everything grows. Budgets and schedules are one thing, but execution another and Q1/17 events will be of utmost importance. We do believe those milestones should help accelerate financial de-risking."
Nemaska announced on Dec. 6 that it has been included in the Solactive Global Lithium Index, which is tracked by the Global X Lithium ETF. According to the company, "the Solactive Global Lithium Index tracks the performance of the largest and most liquid listed companies active in exploration and/or mining of lithium or the production of lithium batteries. The index is calculated as a total return index in USD and is readjusted once a year."
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