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Piedmont, Sayona complete Canadian lithium miner buy

North American Lithium’s spodumene concentrator. (Image courtesy of Business Wire.)

Australia’s Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) and its 19%-owned Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) have completed the acquisition of Canada’s North American Lithium (NAL), as part of their plan to create a potential lithium production hub in the Abitibi region of Quebec. 

The companies said they will merge NAL, which halted production at its mine in 2019, and Sayona’s Authier and Tansim projects in Quebec. They noted that technical studies for the future restart of NAL’s spodumene concentrate operations were underway. 

The partners have also kicked off studies for the manufacturing of lithium chemicals in Quebec

The partners have also kicked off studies for the manufacturing of lithium chemicals in Quebec, which could position the province as a key lithium hydroxide production centre given its pro-electrification stance and proximity to major US and European electric vehicle (EV) markets. 

Currently, 80% of the world’s EV batteries are produced in Japan, South Korea, and China. 

The move follows a $45 million placement and $20 million share purchase plan, both of which were heavily oversubscribed. 

Canadian hub?

The acquisition also comes on the heels of a report suggesting that Canada has a “once-in-generation” opportunity to establish itself as a major player in the global battery sector. 

“The timing is perfect, and we look forward to realizing this opportunity, working closely with our partner, Piedmont and all other key stakeholders, including Investissement Québec, as we help drive Québec’s clean energy future,” Sayona Mining managing director, Brett Lynch, said in the statement. 

Piedmont is simultaneously developing its eponymous lithium project in North Carolina, set to become one of the largest sources of EV batteries’ raw material.

Earlier this month, however, the company had to slow down as the state issued a 60-day moratorium on new approvals for mining and quarrying activities