Sayona Mining has reached an agreement with Lithium Royalty (LRC) to purchase 60% stake in Moblan Lithium project in the Northern Québec, Canada, for $86.5m.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sayona will acquire LRC’s right to purchase the interest in the project held by Guo Ao Lithium.

Guo Ao’s stake in the project includes certain mineral claims, technical data and studies, along with rights in the joint venture formed with mineral exploration firm SOQUEM.

SOQUEM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Investissement Québec, and owns the remaining 40% stake in the Moblan project.

According to Sayona, the acquisition of Moblan project marks a major step towards securing North America’s leading lithium asset base.

Sayona managing director Brett Lynch said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Investissement Québec, which has invested billions of dollars in lithium and other resources projects across Québec, including North American Lithium (NAL), Moblan and Nemaska Lithium.

“The recent rise in lithium prices reflects the importance of securing quality supply and there is no better place to be than Québec as we develop a lithium resource base to supply North America’s fast‐growing electric vehicle and battery industry.”

Moblan is located in Eeyou‐Istchee James Bay, nearly 130km north‐west of Chibougamau town in Canada, with high‐grade spodumene mineralisation.

The project has a mineral resource foreign estimate of 12.03 million tonnes at 1.4% lithium oxide, with an opportunity for a potential expansion of the resource.

Previous exploration work at Moblan includes 132 diamond drill holes for more than 17,559m, establishing a 1.5km strike.

Lynch added: “Moblan is a tier‐one project comparable to any of the region’s top hard rock lithium mines. It has potential for further expansion and will be an important asset for Sayona’s future growth.

“We have been monitoring opportunities for further expansion in Québec and this ticks all the right boxes. There is a huge opportunity here for Sayona to develop a new lithium asset base in Northern Québec, adding to our Abitibi lithium hub.

“This will further drive our transformation into the leading lithium producer in North America, supplying its accelerating demand for this key battery metal.”

In August this year, Sayona Québec completed the acquisition of North American Lithium (NAL). Sayona Quebec is 25% owned by Piedmont Lithium, while Sayona Mining holds the remaining stake of 75%.

The two are advancing technical studies for the future restart of NAL’s spodumene concentrate operations.