Neometals Chris Reed on the cost advantage of making Zeolite
“In terms of zeolite and making it, which is an engineered material out of our spodumene leach residue, it can potentially be a cost advantage. We have certainly made what is called a Type A and numerous types of zeolites. They are used in industrial purposes as catalysts, absorbents, etc. We are doing the engineering studies. We have got M&W looking at the operating and capital costs for that. We hope that can reduce our costs of production of lithium hydroxide in time.” States Christopher Reed, Managing Director of Neometals Ltd. (ASX: NMT), in an interview with InvestorIntel Corp. CEO Tracy Weslosky.
Tracy Weslosky: Chris thanks so much for doing this interview with me on what zeolite is. I have Neometals. You have been following your lithium, nickel, titanium, vanadium and recently Matt Bohlsen was talking about how you will be recycling for cobalt. In particular you just put out a news release about zeolite. Why don’t you start by giving us an overview on what that news release actually means? Then you can talk to us about what zeolite is please.
Chris Reed: Sure Tracy. In terms of zeolite and making it, which is an engineered material out of our spodumene leach residue, it can potentially be a cost advantage. We have certainly made what is called a Type A and numerous types of zeolites. They are used in industrial purposes as catalysts, absorbents, etc. We are doing the engineering studies. We have got M&W looking at the operating and capital costs for that. We hope that can reduce our costs of production of lithium hydroxide in time.
Tracy Weslosky: Let me understand. This comes from lithium. Is that correct?
Chris Reed: It is actually what is left after we dissolve the lithium out of the spodumene.
Tracy Weslosky: Okay. You have managed to find an interesting byproduct of lithium. I am reading your news release it says it is going to reach a $16.28 billion market by 2022. Could you tell us a little bit more? Where did we get this number from for instance?
Chris Reed: We bought a marketing study. There are plenty of big multinationals in the zeolite market. Another term for them is molecular sieves. You can actually use these minerals as molecular sieves to remove moisture from gas, to remove impurities from gas to purify oxygen, etc.
Tracy Weslosky: Is there a reason we have so many companies everywhere splattering the playing field of our stock portfolios with the world lithium in them, but I am pretty sure none of them are using the word zeolite or perhaps I have not been looking for it. Can you tell me, are you just closer to production than many of your competitors or can you explain to me a little bit more because we as shareholders are actually quite interested in this byproduct you have?
Chris Reed: Sure. Traditionally all the lithium conversion has been done up in China. They basically take the residues and give it to cement manufacturers to make concrete out of. In Australia we are having a look at something smarter to do with the residue, examining exactly what it is and can we make a value-added product to reduce our cost because reducing our cost is pretty much the only long-term strategy that we can use in the lithium business. We have got Mt Marion where we are making concentrates. We are looking at building a lithium refinery project to make lithium hydroxide and we have got the battery recycling. All of that is to get the highest revenue per lithium unit at the lowest cost…to access the complete interview, click here
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