In order to optimize NAL’s cost structure in response to the rapidly shifting conditions in the global lithium market, North American lithium producer Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) (DML:FRA) (SYAXF:OTCMKTS) is conducting an operational review of its North American Lithium (NAL) operation in partnership with its joint venture partner.
Opportunities to lower NAL’s cost base, control cash flow, and maintain the financial viability of the Quebec operation in a difficult market context are the main points of emphasis for the assessment. By the end of the first quarter of 2024, Sayona hopes to have finished the evaluation. It will then notify its stakeholders and shareholders of the results.
“This review of our Quebec operations is focusing on reducing our cost base, enhancing productivity and improving Sayona’s ability to continue to produce lithium throughout the market cycle,” said James Brown, Sayona’s interim CEO.
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Being the sole hard rock lithium mine in operation in North America, NAL is in a strong position to continue serving as a vital supply of lithium for the region’s EV and battery industries. Even if the market is difficult right now, we are optimistic that lithium will have a bright future as the energy transition picks up steam and the globe continues to become more electrified.”
Guy Belleau, the CEO of Sayona Inc., the company’s Quebec subsidiary, has left his position with effect from January 24, 2024, as part of the operational review. After joining Sayona in late 2022, Mr. Belleau assumed the role of CEO in January 2023. The Company wishes Mr. Belleau well in his future endeavors and thanks him for his work.
Sayona’s operations in Quebec will be directly managed by Mr. Sylvain Collard, the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Quebec, who will report to Mr. Brown in Australia.
Throughout his 19 years in the mining business, Mr. Collard has worked on multiple projects for IAMGOLD Corporation. He has overseen mining operations and projects for copper and gold in Quebec, Ontario, and the US. Since joining Sayona in 2022, Mr. Collard has managed the process of ramping up and restarting NAL.
He is also in charge of the Moblan Lithium Project development and exploration for the company.
Fourteen more employees have been laid off at the Quebec operations in response to the current lithium market conditions and managerial changes. Sayona expresses gratitude to every employee for their contributions toward making NAL’s 2023 production launch a success.
“These staff changes are unfortunate, but they are aimed at making sure Sayona has the proper combination of experience and knowledge to meet important goals for shareholders. In order to assure our continued expansion as a major player in North America’s electrification, we are convinced that we now have the necessary team in place in Quebec to maintain and expand output while enabling enhanced productivity,” Mr. Brown concluded.