Allkem has secured the Certificate of Authorisation (CA) from environmental authorities for its James Bay lithium project in the Canadian province of Quebec.

As the final measure in the Environmental and Social Impact Review Committee (COMEX), this marks a significant milestone in the project’s development.

COMEX is an independent body that includes members appointed by the governments of Quebec and the Cree Nation, tasked with evaluating the project’s environmental and social impacts.

The detailed engineering and procurement are nearing completion and Allkem is all set to begin construction on the project.

It has finalised key construction permits and will soon submit them, for a smooth transition into the operational phase.

The development comes amid Allkem’s ongoing $10.6bn merger deal with US chemicals major Livent.

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By GlobalData

Allkem managing director and CEO Martin Perez de Solay said: “We are pleased to achieve this approval prior to year-end and are positioned to execute this tier 1 project with detailed engineering well advanced prior to the commencement of construction.

“The project leverages Allkem’s significant spodumene experience and its strategic location is expected to deliver to significant economic benefits and value to the region and the broader North American lithium supply chain.”

Once built, the James Bay lithium project is expected to produce around 311ktpa of spodumene concentrate with 5.6% of lithium oxide (Li2O). The mine is expected to have a mine life of about 19 years.

It is located 130km from James Bay and the Cree Nation of Eastmain community in northern Québec.

The pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of the project is estimated at 62.2%.

Earlier this month, the company secured an impact and benefit agreement with the Cree Nation. This agreement will govern the relationship between the company and Cree Nation through a sustainable development approach.