Lithium developer Sayona Mining has signed an $86.5m deal with Lithium Royalty (LRC) to acquire a 60% interest in the Moblan lithium project in Canada.

The deal will see Sayona acquiring LRC’s right to purchase the project stake held by Guo Ao Lithium (Guo Ao).

Guo Ao’s interest in the project includes certain mineral claims, technical data and studies. It also holds rights in the joint venture formed with SOQUEM.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Investissement Québec, SOQUEM owns the remaining 40% interest in the project.

It has waived its right of first refusal related to Sayona’s Moblan stake purchase.

Host to high‐grade spodumene mineralisation, the project is located in Eeyou‐Istchee James Bay, a proven lithium mining province of northern Québec.

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Sayona managing director Brett Lynch said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Investissement Québec, which has invested billions of dollars in lithium and other resources projects across Québec, including North American Lithium (NAL), Moblan and Nemaska Lithium.

“The recent rise in lithium prices reflects the importance of securing quality supply and there is no better place to be than Québec as we develop a lithium resource base to supply North America’s fast‐growing electric vehicle and battery industry.”

Earlier this year, Sayona teamed up with lithium producer Piedmont Lithium to purchase the NAL project.

The partners are now working to restore project operations, which were suspended in 2019.

Lynch said that Moblan is a tier‐one project with potential for further expansion. It is expected to be an important asset for Sayona’s future growth.

Lynch added: “There is a huge opportunity here for Sayona to develop a new lithium asset base in northern Québec, adding to our Abitibi lithium hub.

“This will further drive our transformation into the leading lithium producer in North America, supplying its accelerating demand for this key battery metal.”

The transaction is subject to financing and other customary conditions.