Piedmont Lithium and Sayona Mining have received approval from the Superior Court of Quebec for their joint bid to acquire North American Lithium (NAL) for C$196.2m ($158.3m).

The acquisition will be made by Sayona Quebec, in which Piedmont owns a 25% stake, while the remaining 75% is owned by Sayona Mining.

The total cash consideration for the acquisition will be C$94m ($75.8m), with approximately C$23.5m of it will be funded by Piedmont.

NAL owns a fully permitted, previously-producing lithium asset project located nearly 20 miles (32km) from Sayona’s core Authier project, which is close to the mining centre of Val-d’Or in the Abitibi region of Quebec.

The NAL project saw more than $400m investment in mining, concentrate and refining capacity, before it was placed on care and maintenance in 2018, due to weak lithium markets and a sub-optimal capital structure.

Following the completion of the transaction, Sayona Quebec will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of NAL and substantially all of its assets.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year, subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

Piedmont and Sayona are advancing with technical studies for the integration of Sayona Quebec’s Authier and Tansim projects with the facilities at NAL.

Sayona Québec is also expected to refurbish NAL’s facilities, including technical improvements and the upgrading of certain equipment.

Sayona’s managing director Brett Lynch said: “This is a pivotal point for not only ourselves and our bid partner Piedmont Lithium, but also Québec and its future as a leading player in the clean energy industry of the 21st century.

“We look forward to executing our turnaround plan in integrating NAL with our flagship Authier Lithium Project to transform the operation and create a world‐scale Abitbi lithium hub, advancing our plans for downstream processing in Québec.”

Sayona and Piedmont have also made a commitment to conduct secondary processing of lithium in Quebec within the next six years.