WHITESAND FN – Diversified minerals explorer and developer Ardiden Limited (ASX:ADV) is pleased to advise that its strategy to fast-track the development of its 100%-owned Seymour Lake Lithium Project in Ontario, Canada has received a significant boost with its key strategic partner and local stakeholders expressing their strong support for the project.
At recent strategy and development meetings held with both the Whitesand First Nation and Ardiden’s Chinese strategic partner Yantai in Thunder Bay and Armstrong, all parties have reaffirmed their continued full support for the rapid development of the North Aubry lithium deposit.
Also present at the meetings were representatives from DST Engineering Consultants, who are currently conducting the Baseline Environmental Studies for the Seymour Lake Lithium Project.
The meetings provided Ardiden with the opportunity to update all parties on the progress of the project and to outline the future work programs planned to support its fast-track development strategy.
At this meeting, the Whitesand First Nation confirmed their commitment to move the project forward with Ardiden. The parties commenced preliminary discussions regarding the execution of an Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA), the next step in community consultation beyond the existing Memorandum of Understanding.
The IBA will outline any negative impacts that may occur as a result of the proposed operation, and the steps to be taken by both parties to ensure that those impacts are mitigated. Moreover, it will help to formalize how the community will share in the benefits of the project.
Whilst not legislated, the IBA is seen as a pre-requisite agreement to be completed before the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines would approve the Mining Licence for the Seymour Lake Lithium Project.
POTENTIAL POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT
During the Strategy and Development Meetings, the Whitesand First Nation announced that they had received Government funding of approximately CAD$3.5 million to facilitate the construction of an industrial park at Armstrong which will host a new biomass co-generation facility, wood pellet plant and wood merchandising yard.
Initial site works are well underway and the Whitesand First Nation expect to have most facilities operational by 2019.
The proposed construction of the new biomass co-generation facility will lead to more sustainable power generation and reduce the community’s reliance on the use of diesel-powered facilities.
Whitesand First Nation has advised that the new biomass co-generation facility is anticipated to generate up to 5MW of power, which will exceed the local community’s requirements. As result, there is a potential surplus supply of up to 1.5MW of power available for commercial use.
Ardiden will investigate options on how this additional 1.5MW of power could be supplied and utilised at the Seymour Lake Lithium Project. Should this option be viable, Ardiden will advance discussions with Whitesand First Nation about executing a Power Purchase Agreement.
NORTH AUBRY SITE VISIT
Following the Strategy and Development meeting in Armstrong, all parties undertook a site visit to the North Aubry lithium deposit, allowing them to obtain a better understanding of the North Aubry resource area, topography, logistics and the overland access to the local infrastructure network at Armstrong and Ferland.
As a result of the site visit and the development meetings, a preliminary development strategy was formulated between the Yantai and Ardiden. Subject to further detailed evaluation and consideration during the Feasibility Study, Ardiden will consider a number of development options, including the construction of the lithium processing facility on site at North Aubry and a loading facility at the Ferland train station.
Ardiden is currently investigating the feasibility of the site proposed by Yantai for the lithium processing facility. This site is on the western edge of the North Aubry lithium deposit, a location which would enable the Company to take advantage of the naturally steep topography and allow it to use a gravity feed system (refer Figure 3 in link below), resulting in a potential reduction in the project’s capital and operating cost.
All development options at the Seymour Lake Lithium project are conditional on obtaining Whitesand First Nation support, environmental impact assessments, and regulatory approvals.