Sigma Lithium signs $30 mln pre-payment with Mitsui & Co
Published: Friday, 05 April 2019
Canada-based miner Sigma Lithium Resources has signed a deal with Mitsui & Co. to raise a significant amount of the capital expenditures it needs to construct the concentration plant at its spodumene operations in Brazil, the company said on Friday April 5.
The company will receive a pre-payment of $30 million for up
to 55,000 tonnes of lithium concentrates over six years, with
rights to a supplementary 25,000 tonnes, the note read. This
contract is extendable for an additional five years and the
first tranche of $3 million has already been paid.
As per the agreement, Mitsui will support Sigma in the
construction with a $7 million advance deposit, according to
the mining company. This is subject to the Japanese
company’s approval. The deal also includes
technical, logistics and marketing collaboration between the
The installation permit needed to begin construction should be
issued in June, with works at the plant to begin at the end of
July, chief executive officer Calvyn Gardner told Fastmarkets.
Commission of the plant is to take place nine months later,
Sigma will explore an ore deposit with more than 50 million
tonnes of resources in Vale do Jequitinhonha, a region in
Brazil’s southern state of Minas Gerais. Sigma is
currently running a feasibility study to advance with the
The company expects to start commercial production at 220,000
tonnes per year of battery-grade spodumene, with plans to
increase output to 440,000 tpy after a further study.
The lithium oxide content is to reach 6-7%, with an aim to
achieve the price premiums representative of those grades, the
Fastmarkets last assessed
spodumene with a minimum 5-6% lithium oxide content at $600-750
per tonne cif China on March 27. Prices have been stable
since December 26, 2018.
"We have a world-class deposit and believe premiums over the
benchmark prices could be around $15-20 per tonne for each
additional 0.1% grade of the product," Gardner said.
Sigma is emerging as an alternative to Australian lithium
miners , the CEO added. This would provide a "critically
important diversification strategy" for the clients, Gardner
"We will be able to supply potential converters coming to the
United States and Europe," rather than them being mostly based
in Australia and China, Gardner commented.