Sigma Lithium has received payment on its first shipment of green tailings under a three-year environmental offtake agreement with Chinese firm Yahua, one of the largest lithium chemical refiners for electric vehicles in the world.

The sale marks a significant milestone for the Canadian mineral development company’s “Zero Tailings” environmental sustainability strategy, which seeks to eliminate the environmental footprint of tailings with a positive ecosystem impact.

Sigma Photo 4Under the agreement, Sigma will sell up to 300,000 tonnes of green tailings per year for up to three years to be upcycled into battery-grade lithium concentrate for use in electric vehicle battery production. Concurrently, the companies also entered into a spot sale agreement for 15,000 tonnes of green lithium.

“Achieving Zero Tailings marks a major milestone for Sigma Lithium and for the battery materials industry, demonstrating that lithium battery materials can be produced in harmony with the environment and without hazardous tailings dams,” said Ana Cabral-Gardner, Sigma Lithium CEO and co-chairperson.

“Our Zero Tailings strategy enables Sigma Lithium to lead the way in the inception of a sustainable global supply chain for the next generation of electric vehicles built in line with the ethos of the consumer to meet the accelerated global demand for lithium.”

Sigma Lithium began trucking green lithium and green tailings in April, stockpiling the materials in its two warehouses at Port of Vitoria, Brazil, in preparation for first shipment in early June. 

Sigma Lithium currently produces green lithium from its Grota do Cirilo project in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Source: Sigma Lithium