The Australian company Winsome Resources has just revealed a first estimate of mineral resources which makes its Adina project in James Bay the fifth largest lithium project in Quebec.

The estimate puts the resource at 59 million tonnes grading 1.12% lithium oxide. This result places Adina among the five largest lithium projects in Quebec along with Sayona (in Moblan), Nemaska, Corvette and Alkem.

Winsome’s Adina and the Patriot company’s Corvette property are among the discoveries that sparked the lithium rush in Northern Quebec.

Lithium is used in the manufacture of cathodes, the positive pole of the electric vehicle battery.

“We went from a discovery of a surface index which was made by a small team which was carrying out reconnaissance on the project to defining and calculating a first estimate of resources of 59 million tonnes a year later, congratulates, in an interview, Antoine Fournier, vice-president of exploration at Winsome. It’s still quite dazzling progress. »

A geologist by training, Mr. Fournier supervises 45 people at the main mining camp, located 20 kilometers from the LG-4 power plant.

Generally, a lithium oxide content greater than 1% is considered to potentially lead to economic exploitation of the deposit, depending on the scale of the deposit and a host of other considerations, including the remoteness of the site of the deposit. civilization.

“We looked at the complete mineral inventory with the first estimate, then subsequently, we will begin to integrate economic and mining parameters to gradually move towards a preliminary economic study and then, more in-depth pre-feasibility and feasibility studies” , explains Mr. Fournier.

Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, Winsome’s stock reacted little to the estimate, ending the December 11 session at A$1.04, down slightly. The stock closed further slightly lower, at A$0.97, the following day.

Its neighbor Azimut (AZM.V, $0.91), which owns 50% of the Galinée property which adjoins Adina, for its part gained more than 6% the same day. Since then, the stock has declined.

It must be said that the price of lithium has suffered in 2023. It was selling at nearly US$80 per kilo last January. Its price has plummeted to US$13.75 these days. The long-term outlook remains very favorable for the lithium market, believes Mr. Fournier of Winsome.

“Expectations were high,” said Éric Lemieux, an independent mining analyst who was asked by La Presse to qualify the resource estimate for the Adina property. The content is correct and the tonnage is quite large. And it can get even bigger in the future. It is nevertheless half the tonnage of Corvette, which set the bar very high. »

Also located in James Bay, the Corvette property has inferred mineral resources estimated at 109.2 Mt at 1.42% Li2O in the CV5 sector, one of the 10 largest lithium pegmatite resources in the world.

On November 30, its owner Patriot Battery Metals filed the preliminary information form relating to its project with the provincial Ministry of the Environment. She will soon submit the project description to the federal government.

“It’s a step in a process that contains many before seeing the opening of a new mine. It’s interesting to see that the project is moving forward,” says Éric Lemieux.

Patriot is currently evaluating the Corvette Project as an open-pit lithium spodumene mining operation.