The Pikhuutaau Agreement marks a key milestone for Critical Elements Lithium
In some cases, a name change is a negative and in others, it’s a positive thing that reflects a new direction or a new company focus. For Critical Elements Lithium Corporation (TSXV: CRE | OTCQX: CRECF) the later is the case. The Company has now added “Lithium” to its name to give greater emphasis their wholly owned Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project in James Bay, northern Québec, Canada.
The Pikhuutaau Agreement, with the Cree Nation of Eastmain
The company had a big news in July. Critical Elements has now signed an impact and benefit agreement, now to be referred to as the Pikhuutaau Agreement, with the Cree Nation of Eastmain, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government. The agreement is in relation to the operation of the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project in James Bay. In what is a binding agreement, it will govern the long term working relationship between all the parties while giving respect to Cree traditional activities. This will ensure the promotion of Cree economic and social development based on mutual trust and respect during all phases of the Project through a sustainable development approach. The Pikhuutaau Agreement also ensures financial benefits for the Cree parties on a long term basis, consistent with the Cree Nation Mining Policy.
Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, CEO of Critical Elements states: “We are very proud of this agreement, which is the first impact and benefit agreement signed with the Cree Nation of Eastmain regarding a mining project, and we are grateful to all members of the Cree Nation of Eastmain and the Cree Nation as a whole for their support towards the further development of the Rose-Lithium-Tantalum Project.”
This is a vibrant example of how the Crees can strike a balance between the protection of their traditional way of life, the environment, and the growing need to participate in a modern economy. The Pihkuutaau Agreement will mark the beginning of a key partnership that is an important step forward ensuring the Cree Nation of Eastmain will have an active voice in the decision-making process. In a symbiotic relationship, the Agreement provides for training, employment and business opportunities for the Crees, particularly the Crees of Eastmain at the Project.
Chief Kenneth Cheezo of the Cree Nation of Eastmain said: “Future generations will continue to benefit from this Agreement as well as from the employment and business opportunities it will bring.”
Critical Elements Lithium Corporation has always put the collaboration with local communities as a high priority and the Pikhuutaau Agreement is providing a platform for all parties to make this project a mutually beneficial success.
A quick recap on the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project
The Rose property comprises 473 claims spread over a 24,654.81 ha area. The 17 year life of mine feasibility is based on a conventional truck and shovel open pit operation and a conventional milling process to produce technical and chemical grade spodumene and a tantalite concentrate. This will give an average annual production of 186,327 tonnes of chemical grade lithium concentrate, 50,205 tonnes of technical grade lithium concentrate and 429 tonnes of tantalum concentrate. The Company’s market strategy is to enter the lithium market with a low-risk approach.
The 2017 PFS gave an after-tax NPV8% of $726 million, after-tax IRR of 34.9% using a price assumption of US$1,500 per tonne technical grade lithium concentrate, US$750 per tonne chemical grade lithium concentrate, US$130 per kg tantalum pentoxide, for the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project. Initial CapEx is estimated at C$341.2 million.
Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project development timeline
Critical Elements Lithium Corporation is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and has a market cap of C$ 60 million.