According to Nemaska Lithium president and CEO Guy Bourassa, the funding is the last set of financing needed to place the Whabouchi mine project into commercial production.

The Canadian lithium mining firm has signed an agreement with National Bank Financial, BMO Capital Markets and Cantor Fitzgerald Canada, for the sale of 280 million of its shares, priced at C$1 each. The parties have an option to buy additional shares worth $32.5m.

Nemaska Lithium will also carry out a private placement of 80 million shares with an undisclosed institutional investor.

Bourassa said: “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.

“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”.

The Whabouchi property, located nearly 300km from Chibougamau, is made up of a single block containing 33 claims that are spread over an area of 1,761.9 hectares, and are owned 100% by Nemaska Lithium.

As per the lithium miner, the feasibility study of the mining project calls for a combined open pit and underground mine.

For the first 20 years, production at the lithium mine will be drawn from an open-pit developed to a maximum depth of 190m while the average strip ratio is to be 2.2 to 1. The mine is expected to have a lifetime of 33 years, Nemaska Lithium stated on its website.

Further, the open pit will be mined by deploying a standard fleet of off-road mining trucks and hydraulic excavators, drawing 2,740 tonnes of ore daily.

The electrochemical plant at the Whabouchi mine project will be based on a proprietary process of Nemaska Lithium of converting the spodumene concentrate from the mine into pure form of lithium hydroxide.