Australian lithium miner Sayona Mining has announced plans to participate in the bidding process for the North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Québec, Canada, following a Court ruling commencing an asset sale process.

NAL has a lithium mine and concentrator located in Abitibi near the mining district of Val d’Or, Québec.

NAL halted spodumene production this February. Subsequently, creditor protection was obtained in May and the Quebec Superior Court invited bids for the assets.

Sayona intends to restart mining and milling of the lithium mine, provided it is selected as the bidder in the NAL operation.

Sayona managing director Brett Lynch said: “NAL’s operation has unrealised potential and Sayona would welcome the opportunity to bring the world-class experience of our company and our partners towards revitalising the mine.

“This could facilitate the development of a hub for lithium extraction and downstream processing in Abitibi, which is ideally positioned to participate in the growth of the North American battery sector.’’

In addition, Saynona’s nearby Authier lithium project is currently in the process of securing the necessary regulatory approvals. There are chances that the project could be integrated, thereby enhancing operational improvements.

Lynch added: “Québec needs a successful operation at NAL and we are keen to lead a turnaround plan, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, including NAL employees, subcontractors, local and provincial government, First Nations and other local community members.”

In May 2016, Sayona Mining signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the Authier lithium deposit from Glen Eagle Resources.