October 17, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Lithium The suspense continues around North America

Lithium The suspense continues around North America

Lithium has been under the protection of creditors arrangement law of North American companies since May 2019. (Photo: courtesy)

A crucial action is due this Friday in Quebec Superior Court In the saga of the acquisition of Lithium America North (LAN) by Australian Sayona Quebec, But will be Monday, June 28th instead.

This morning, Judge Martin Costongway adjourned the case to June 28 because he had no information from Trustee Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton to confirm the LAN sale to Sayona Quebec.

Within 10 days, the judge will also hear the petitions of two Quebec companies that led Investment Quebec to select the Australian Siona Quebec to undertake mine operations in ABTB-Temiscomming.

Central America’s Nickel and SRG Mining are headquartered in Montreal. They submitted bids to get the LAN, but they were not successful.

The first specializes in the treatment and refining of energy metals such as nickel, cobalt and copper, and the second includes mining projects in graphite and base metals in West Africa.

On June 28, Judge Costongway approved the LAN sale to Sayona Quebec.

However, he may suspend the process to verify the claims of both companies. Judge Sayona ordered Quebec’s bid to be set aside and the call for a tender process to be reopened.

Central America Nickel is one of two companies still running at the end of the tender process.

LAN is under protection Companies Lenders Arrangement Act From May 2019. It is controlled by Chinese battery maker CATL and Investment Quebec (Quebec Government Finance Division), with two shareholders in debt.

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Lithium is looking for a North American investor to secure a place in Chinese Gene International Investment (a third shareholder, secured without debt), which bought Quebec Lithium with IQ in 2018.

On May 27, Investment Quebec announced an agreement – under which Sayona Quebec – 75% owned by Australian Sayona Mining and 25% American Piedmont Lithium – was selected to acquire LAN.

The deal comes as part of a lengthy legal process overseen by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (Monitor).

“Serious Manipulations”

However, on the same day, Central America Nickel and SRG Mining asked the government to repeat its homework, criticizing the process for being damaged by “serious manipulations”.

In a letter to Prime Minister Franois Legalt on May 27 Contracts Received a copy, pointing out that the two miners were specifically the firm representing Sayona Quebec, a law firm appointed by Investment Quebec (McCarthy Tetralt).

In the eyes of the two minors, this situation “keeps the interest at least”, as we can read in this letter signed by your Jacques Bouchard, a lawyer representing Gattuso Bourget Mazzon, the company representing the two minors.

This week, Central America Nickel and ABF Mines, the Wall-D’R firm (and LAN’s general creditor), filed a motion for a LAN case in Quebec Superior Court – both companies are represented by Gattuso Borget Mazzon.

The petition contains several new allegations based on a report by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

  • According to co-applicants, Sayona submitted two offers (with two different prices) to buy for Quebec LAN, while other interested companies submitted only one.
  • According to co-applicants, Sayona Quebec did not honor the April 6 deadline to submit at least one offer.
  • According to co-applicants, Investment did not communicate with Quebec Controller Raymond ChabotUmption ha agreement Sayona ended up with Quebec. Despite everything, the monitor recommended that Crown Corporation sell the LAN to Sayona Quebec.
  • According to co-applicants, the accepted bid from Sayona Quebec had a deposit of $ 4 million ($ M), but this deposit should be $ 9.8 million, as this is the second highest bid. Sayona Quebec was selected.
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In the motion, co-applicants will ask the Quebec Superior Court for three things: to replace Controller Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, to inform Investment Quebec of its agreement with Sayona Quebec and to initiate a new process.

Quebec and Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton declined our interview request to comment on these allegations.

Central America Nickel says it has the best deal

In an interview at Contracts, Central America owner Nickel, Pierre Gautier, Investment Quebec Sayona still does not understand the reason why he likes Quebec’s takeover offer – though he denies being a “throat loser”.

“We are repaying LAN’s creditors, we are repaying the investment Quebec, we are processing secondary lithium in Quebec, keeping Quebec well in power conversion for electric vehicle batteries,” he said, “he has never seen in himself so much of a tender process”.

Sayona has not given interviews to Quebec media since the submissions were made in April.

According to our information, Sayona Quebec is committed to secondary lithium processing in Quebec, but only within 5 years.

The mining company already has two projects on ABTB-Temiscomming‌: the Authir Lithium Project (extraction and concentration of lithium-containing ore) and the Tansim project, which the company owns mining titles for.

To achieve a secondary conversion of lithium, Sayona Quebec has entered into an agreement with American Piedmont Lithium (which holds 25% of its capital) in North Carolina, to sell half of the production of its Athiar and Tansim projects in the future. In the United States.