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Canadian govt approves James Bay lithium mine project in Quebec

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(Kitco News) - The Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced today that the James Bay lithium mine project, located about 100 kilometres east of James Bay and the Eastmain Cree Community in Quebec, may now proceed, subject to oversight throughout its lifecycle.

According to a press release, based on the Environmental Assessment Report, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, has determined that the project's environmental mitigation measures provide a sustainable path for the project to proceed.

In his Decision Statement, the Minister sets out legally-binding conditions Galaxy Lithium (Canada) Inc. (the proponent) must comply with throughout the life of the project.

These 271 conditions include measures to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds and birds at risk, wetlands, woodland caribou, bats at risk, Cree health and the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by the Crees.

The project is also subject to a provincial environmental assessment by the Environmental and Social Impact Review Committee. The provincial assessment is still ongoing.

"This is what a good project is all about. Critical minerals are one of the keys to building Canada's low-carbon economy and ensuring economic prosperity for years to come. We can only develop those resources by designing from the outset with strong mitigation measures to protect the environment and working in true partnership with Indigenous Peoples. Our future depends on sustainable projects like this one," the Minister said.

As proposed, the James Bay lithium mine project would include an open-pit mine and concentrator facility, tailings, waste rock, ore and overburden storage areas, as well as related infrastructure. It is expected to produce an average of 5,480 tonnes of ore per day over a mine life of 15 to 20 years.

According to the project’s feasibility study, its economics are robust with pre-tax net present value of USD1.42 billion at an 8% discount rate, pre-tax internal rate of return of 45.8% and a pre-tax payback period of 2.4 years.

The James Bay lithium project is owned by lithium producer Allkem (TSX: AKE) through its subsidiary Galaxy Lithium (Canada) Inc.

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