Emerging Australian lithium miner Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) is closer to the restart of production at its North American Lithium (NAL) project in La Corne, Quebec, as it awarded a four-year, $200 million ($147m) contract to Quebec company L. Fournier et Fils for mining operations.
This is one of the largest such contracts ever signed in Quebec, and it is expected to create 120 new jobs to be filled from the region of Abitibi-Temiscamingue, including the Pikogan and Lac Simon First Nations communities.
Fournier will be responsible for the supervision of all stripping and drilling, blasting, loading, and transportation of ore and waste rock. The contractor will also maintain the site roads and all other services. Drilling and blasting will be conducted by another Quebec company, Dynamitage Castonguay.
Work is to begin this month with a fleet that includes 10 trucks of 100-tonne capacity and two excavators.
First lithium production from NAL is to begin in the first quarter of 2023. The project will produce an estimated 115,000 tonnes of 6% lithium oxide in a spodumene concentrate annually for 27 years.