1. Production targets are based on Ore Reserves Estimates (see Table 2 and Table 4 below) which consider the open pit constrained portion of the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources. Inferred Mineral Resources are considered as waste. In addition to the 21.7 Mt of ore, a total of 172.3 Mt of waste and 7.1 Mt of overburden must be mined, resulting in an overall LOM strip ratio of 8.3.
2. NAL Ore Reserves result from a positive pre‐tax financial analysis based on a variable 5.4% to 5.82% Li2O spodumene concentrate average selling price of US$1,352/t and an exchange rate of 0.75 US$:1.00 C$. The selected optimised pit shell is based on a revenue factor of 0.6 applied to a base case selling price of US$1,273/tonne of concentrate;
3. Excluding ramp up time of 6 months. Producing spodumene concentrate @ 5.4%;
4. Feed for Sayona carbonate plant;
5. Carbonate plant project start‐up by fourth year.
1. The Competent Person is responsible for the 2023 Mineral Resources estimate. The previous estimate is given as additional information to the reader but it has been superseded by the 2023 Mineral Resource estimate.
2. The independent Competent Person (CP) for the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), as defined by JORC, is Pierre‐Luc Richard, P.Geo., of PLR Resources Inc. The effective date of the estimate is 31 December 2022.
3. These mineral resources are not mineral reserves as they do not have demonstrated economic viability. The quantity and grade of reported Inferred resources in this MRE are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these resources as Indicated or Measured; however, it is reasonably expected that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration.
4. Resources are presented undiluted, pit constrained and within stope shapes, and are considered to have reasonable prospects for economic extraction. Although the calculated cut‐off grade is 0.15% Li2O for open pit, a cut‐off grade of 0.60% Li2O was used for the MRE due to processing limitations.
5. The pit optimisation was done using Deswik mining software. The constraining pit shell was developed using pit slopes of 46 to 53 degrees.
6. The open‐pit cut‐off grade and pit optimisation were calculated using the following parameters (amongst others): 5.40% Li2O concentrate price = US$1,273 per tonne; C$:US$ exchange rate = 1.32; Hard Rock and Overburden Mining cost = C$5.12/t mined; Mill Recovery of 73.6%; Processing cost = C$23.44/t processed; G&A = C$6.00/t processed; Transportation cost = C$118.39/t conc; Tailing Management Cost = C$2.86/t processed, and Water treatment C$0.18/t processed.
7. The cut‐off grade for underground resources was calculated at 0.62% Li2O , but rounded to 0.60% Li2O; it used identical costs and recoveries, except for mining costs being at C$100/t. Cut‐off grades will be re‐evaluated in light of future prevailing market conditions and costs.
8. The MRE was prepared using Leapfrog Edge and is based on 247 surface drillholes. The resource database was validated before proceeding to the resource estimation. Grade model resource estimation was interpolated from drillhole data using OK and ID2 interpolation methods within blocks measuring 5 m x 5 m x 5 m in size and subblocks of 1.25 m.
9. The model comprises 49 mineralised dykes (which have a minimum thickness of 2 m, with rare exceptions between 1.5 m and 2 m).
10. High‐grade capping was done on the composited assay data. Capping grades was fixed at 2.3% Li2O. A value of zero grade was applied in cases where core was not assayed.
11. Fixed density values were established on a per unit basis, corresponding to the median of the SG data of each unit ranging from 2.70 g/cm3 to 3.11 g/cm3. A fixed density of 2.00 t/m3 was assigned to the overburden.
12. The MRE presented herein is categorised as Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources. The Measured Mineral Resource is limited to 10 m below the current exposed pit. The Indicated Mineral Resource is defined for blocks that are informed by a minimum of two drillholes where drill spacing is less than 80 m. The Inferred Mineral Resource is defined where drill spacing is less than 150 m. Where needed, some materials have been either upgraded or downgraded to avoid isolated blocks and spotted‐dog effects.
13. The number of tonnes (metric) was rounded to the nearest hundred thousand and the number of contained Li2O tonnes was rounded to the nearest hundred.
1. The Competent Person is responsible for the 2023 Ore Reserves estimate. The previous estimate is given as additional information to the reader but it has been superseded by the 2023 Ore Reserves estimate.
2. Ore reserves are measured as dry tonnes at the crusher above a diluted cut‐off grade of 0.60% Li2O.
3. Probable Ore Reserves include 347kt of ore at 0.96% Li2O currently stockpiled at the crusher pad.
4. Ore Reserves result from a positive pre‐tax financial analysis based on a variable 5.4% to 5.82% Li2O spodumene concentrate average selling price of US$1,352/t and an exchange rate of 0.75 US$:1.00 C$. The selected optimised pit shell is based on a revenue factor of 0.6 applied to a base case selling price of US$1,273/tonne of concentrate.
5. Topographic surface as of 31 December 2022 and mining forecast was used to adjust for 31 March 2023.
6. The reference point of the Ore Reserves Estimate is the NAL crusher feed.
7. In‐situ mineral resources are converted to Ore Reserves based on pit optimisation, pit design, mine scheduling and the application of modifying factors, all of which support a positive LOM cash flow model. According to the JORC Code, inferred resources cannot be converted to Ore Reserves.
8. The waste and overburden to ore ratio (strip ratio) is 8.3.
9. The Ore Reserves for the Project have been estimated by Mélissa Jarry, P.Eng. OIQ #5020768, a Competent Person as defined by JORC. The effective date of the estimate is 27 March 2023.
10. Totals may not add up due to rounding of significant figures.
The NAL Ore Reserves Estimate has been classified according to the underlying classification of the Mineral Resource Estimates and the status of the modifying factors. The status of the modifying factors is generally considered sufficient to support the classification of Proved Ore Reserves when based upon Measured Mineral Resources and Probable Ore Reserves when based upon Indicated Mineral Resources. For further information on the applicable modifying factors for the NAL Ore Reserves Estimate, refer to the ASX announcement.
Upon the restart of operations, an offtake agreement with Piedmont has come into effect, whereby Piedmont is entitled to purchase the greater of 113,000 metric tonnes per year of spodumene concentrate or 50% of production from NAL.
This offtake agreement will remain in place until the commencement of operation of a lithium conversion plant in Québec. At this point, spodumene concentrate produced from NAL will be preferentially delivered to that chemical plant. Any remaining concentrate not required by the conversion plant will be delivered to Piedmont.
In June 2022, a formal agreement was announced by Sayona Québec and Piedmont to restart spodumene production at NAL. This ultimately includes the development of a spodumene conversion facility at NAL to produce lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate, as per the Company’s agreement with the Québec Government to develop a local downstream processing capability in proximity to the North American battery market.