Nemaska closes $280M to develop Whabouchi lithium mine

Quebec-based Nemaska Lithium (TSX:NMX) announced on Tuesday it had raised Can$280M to help bring its lithium mine to production.

Nemaska sold off on the news, declining 15% today to 98 cents a share. The 52-week high for Nemaska was $2.44 a share.

"Today marks a big day in the life of Nemaska Lithium, as we are announcing the last piece of financing required to start the commercial development of the Whabouchi lithium mine project," said Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium, in a news release.

The Whabouchi property is located about 300 km from Chibougamau. The company's feasibility study outlines a combined open pit and underground mine. During the first 20 years, production will be derived from an open-pit developed to a maximum depth of 190 meters and with an average strip ratio of 2.2 to 1. The open pit will be mined using a standard fleet of off-road mining trucks and hydraulic excavators at a rate of 2,740 tonnes of ore per day. Mine life is 33 years.

"This project financing package, which covers capital expenditures of both the Whabouchi mine and Shawinigan electrochemical plant, project contingencies, working capital requirements and financing costs will ensure the future of Nemaska Lithium," says Bourassa.

"This will also allow the Corporation to stay on target to initiate the commissioning of the Whabouchi mine by second half of calendar year 2019 and start commissioning the Shawinigan electrochemical plant during the first half of calendar year 2020”.

Co-lead underwriters of the financing were National Bank Financial, BMO Capital Markets and Cantor Fitzgerald Canada.

Written with material from Nemaska Lithium website.