Winsome eyes repurposing Renard mine in Quebec

Lithium explorer and developer Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1) has entered into a binding agreement to secure an exclusive option to acquire the Renard diamond mine, processing facility, and associated infrastructure or all of the issued capital in Stornoway.

Winsome sees the proposed acquisition with Stornoway Diamonds (Canada) and 11272420 Canada as an opportunity to advance the development of its 100% owned Adina Lithium Project and potentially other lithium deposits in the region, by possibility repurposing existing infrastructure at Renard into a lithium processing operation.

The Renard mine, in which more than C$900 million of capital has been invested, has the ability to materially reduce upfront capital expenditure, project risk and footprint at Adina. Winsome will pay a C$4 million option fee in cash and may exercise the option following Québec Court approval until 30 September 2024, unless extended.

Winsome will use the option period to assess the potential technical, economic, environmental, and social feasibility of repurposing Renard, as well as identify the optimal transaction structure and negotiate definitive documents.

The company, meanwhile, says the update to the Adina Mineral Resource Estimate of 59Mt at 1.12% Li2O is still on track for H1 2024. Furthermore, studies at Adina continue and remain on track for completion H2 2024 and Winsome will consider operating scenarios both with and without the development of Renard.

Managing Director Chris Evans says should the company exercise the option, the Renard project, processing plant and associated infrastructure has the potential to be transformative for Winsome’s.

“It would give us access to a fully permitted, recently operated processing facility that utilises similar steps as a spodumene concentrate dense media separation processing operation, and de-risk project development by materially reducing capital cost.

The Renard assets are in incredibly good condition, having been operating for less than a decade since processing first material in 2016. Winsome has the potential to acquire and repurpose the Renard assets at a fraction of their replacement value.”

Existing infrastructure includes an operating airport, power station, maintenance workshop and warehouse, water treatment plant, tailings storage, camp, and office buildings, all within 60km of Adina project.

Renard is a mining and processing site located in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region of Quebec. It is circa 60km south (in a straight line) of Adina and 400km north of a national railway system at Chibougamau, which is connected by road and rail to the critical mineral and EV battery supply chain hub in Bécancour.

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Images: Winsome
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Written By Adam Orlando Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.