Operations at Nemaska Lithium’s Whabouchi project (above) have been suspended since October 2019. (Photo: Nemaska Lithium)

Canada’s Nemaska Lithium Inc. has reduced its workforce even further in relation to its Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and formalizing a plan of arrangement that will be acceptable to its creditors and the court. Twenty-nine employees will be affected.

The company filed for creditor protection in December. The company said the layoff was a result of a review of the essential activities it must carry out to ensure the development of the Whabouchi project, while preserving its cash. It is currently looking at available alternatives, including any refinancing, to resume the project. Once the downsizing is completed, a little more than 30 employees will remain at the company.

“It is with great sadness that we must let go our colleagues,” President and CEO Guy Bourassa said. “Their hard work over the years, sometimes under challenging circumstances, allowed us to advance the Whabouchi project to the maximum while awaiting the required financing to complete it.”

He added that this decision was “inevitable.”

The company suspended operations in October and laid off 64 employees.

The Whabouchi mine in Québec, Canada, is one of the richest lithium spodumene deposits in the world, both in volume and grade, according to Nemaska Lithium. The spodumene concentrate produced there will be processed at the Shawinigan plant using a unique membrane electrolysis process for which the corporation holds several patents, the company said.