Described as "the largest hard-rock lithium project" in the Americas, Sigma plans to produce a battery-grade sustainable lithium concentrate at the Grota do Cirilo project.
The environmental operating license (LO), which allows for the start of commercial operations at its phase one mine and Greentech plant, is a critical step toward Sigma's goal of producing green lithium.
Additionally, the commissioning of the phase one dense medium separation circuit at the Greentech plant is on schedule, with initial production slated for later this month.
The company is also working on a phase two and three expansion of the Greentech plant. Once complete, Sigma estimates production will grow from 270,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 766,000 tpa
"Sigma Lithium has appointed DRA Global Limited to work alongside Promon Engenharia on the design and construction of the phase two & three expansion of the Greentech Plant, which is expected to be fully funded internally through cash flow generation," the statement read.
On the business side, Sigma has established a microcredit program in Brazil aimed at enrolling 10,000 female entrepreneurs in the Jequitinhonha Valley region.
"Through this program, the company will encourage sustainable development by providing microcredit loans of R$2,000 (approximately US$400) per person along with mentorship programs to support the entrepreneurs on their journey to financial self-sustainability," Sigma wrote.
The company expects the program's total cost to be R$25,000,000 (US$5 million).
730 women have enrolled in the program to date, and 500 have received the microcredit loan.
Other community-focused initiatives include Sigma's commitment to supply 3,000 water tanks to increase water security for communities in the Jequitinhonha Valley. Sigma will maintain the water supply in the tanks year-round using water trucks.