Why are Sayona Mining shares jumping 12% today?

This lithium miner won't be suspending its operations because of weak prices.

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Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX: SYA) shares are racing higher on Thursday afternoon.

At the time of writing, the lithium miner's shares are up 12% to 4.25 cents.

This compares very favourably to the performance of the ASX 200 index, which is up 0.5% at the time of writing.

Why are Sayona Mining shares jumping?

Investors have been buying the company's shares this afternoon following the release of an announcement after lunch.

That announcement was in relation to its operational review of the North American Lithium (NAL) operation.

According to the release, following a detailed review of the NAL operation and a range of operating scenarios, the joint venture partners have agreed to continue its ramp-up towards steady state production with regular reviews of operating costs and market conditions.

NAL is jointly owned by Sayona Mining, which has a 75% interest, and Piedmont Lithium Inc (ASX: PLL), which holds the remaining 25% interest.

Judging by the way Sayona Mining shares are surging today, investors appear to have been fearing the worst. Especially after Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) suspended its mining operations.

And while the joint venture partners did evaluate various care and maintenance scenarios covering options to either slow down or cease mining, process existing stocks only, and suspend operations for up to 12 months, it ultimately decided that the ramp-up towards steady state production was the right path to take.

'Positioning Sayona for long-term success'

Sayona Mining's interim CEO, James Brown, was pleased with the review. He commented:

The NAL operational review was a critical exercise to ensure we are optimising our resources and positioning Sayona for long-term success. Importantly, there is clear line of sight towards achieving steady state production in 2024, while NAL will further benefit from capital improvements such as the Crushed Ore Dome. Process plant recoveries have exceeded expectations, a significant milestone in any ramp-up, with multiple new daily production records achieved in March.

Throughout this process, a key consideration was the direct impact on our dedicated workforce and host communities. This review has also validated our approach to continue to assess capital improvement initiatives that will increase production or lower unit operating costs.

Brown advised that he believes this approach will maximise value for shareholders when the lithium market recovered. He adds:

Looking forward, we will regularly evaluate NAL operations in the ordinary course of business based on prevailing market conditions and the ability to achieve our operating cost targets. We are confident that this approach to considering alternatives and maintaining optionality will enable Sayona to maximise value for shareholders ahead of an anticipated recovery in the lithium market.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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