The Chinese are signaling their faith in Nemaska Exploration’s (NMX-T) hard rock, Whabouchi lithium deposit.
The company announced that an un-named China-based company has subscribed for an initial private placement of 7.4 million common shares at a price of 50¢ per share and 4.96 million warrants with a strike price of 61¢
The investment gives Nemaska $3.7 million which it will use to advance the project on the Lac des Montagnes green belt polymetallic formation in the James Bay region of Quebec.
Nemaska currently has 49 million shares outstanding meaning the private placement would give the Chinese firm a 13% stake in Nemaska before not counting the exercising of any warrants.
The investment does still require regulatory approvals in China but Nemaska says it expects those approvals to come and the subscription to close within the next 60 days.
While the Chinese company has not been named Nemaska’s president and chief executive Guy Bourassa did say the firm was involved in the production of lithium and products and that it “has deep expertise in lithium products”.
“This is an important milestone in the evolution of Nemaska and a great validation of the strong potential of our lithium assets,” Bourassa said in a statement. “Our new investor views their investment in Nemaska as part of a broad strategy to not only diversify their supply for raw materials but also to have an ownership position in a high-quality resource capable of producing battery-grade lithium carbonate.”
The Chinese market is a major consumer and producer of lithium products including vehicle batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Whabouchi has measured and indicated resources of 9.7 million tonnes grading 1.63% lithium carbonate for 59,900 tonnes of lithium metal, and another 15.4 million tonnes grading 1.57% lithium carbonate for 112,100 tonnes of lithium metal in the inferred category.
Unlike the salt flat deposits of South America, which currently supply the vast majority of lithium carbonate to the battery industry, Whabouchi and its cousin deposits in Quebec are hard rock pegmatite deposits containing lithium bearing spodumene.