Nemaska Lithium Confirms 99.99% Lithium Hydroxide from 1,000 Hour Test and Confirms Operating and Capital Expenditures for Feasibility Study
April 10, 2014 (Source: Marketwired) — Nemaska Lithium Inc. (“Nemaska” or the “Corporation”) (TSX VENTURE: NMX) (OTCQX:NMKEF) is pleased to provide an update on the 1,000 hour test of its patent pending electrolysis process. The test was successfully completed on one configuration of electrolysis cells. This electrolysis configuration has been commercially used in the sodium chloride industry for decades. Chemically speaking, lithium behaves very similar to sodium in an electrolysis environment. The test ran as expected and provided feasibility study level information on lifecycle of the electrolysis cell membranes and its optimal operating current density and current efficiency.
During the course of the 1,000 hour test, Nemaska Lithium produced a high purity 99.99% lithium hydroxide using material (lithium sulphate) sourced from its 100% owned Whabouchi lithium deposit. In addition, the Company produced 99.99% lithium hydroxide from material (lithium sulphate) taken from other sources. This purity far exceeds the specification of most manufacturers of lithium cathode materials for lithium ion batteries.
Lithium hydroxide is emerging as the preferred chemical for new lithium ion batteries rather than traditional lithium carbonate. This is due to its longer life cycle, better power density and enhanced safety features. Currently, manufactures of lithium carbonate supply the battery market with product that has 99.95% purity or less. Battery cathode manufacturers design around the impurities found in lithium carbonate produced through traditional methods. Nemaska believes its ability to supply a superior product (lithium hydroxide at 99.99% purity) presents a significant opportunity to change battery specifications and ultimately take market share from existing suppliers.
Mr. Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium commented, “Our technology produces a very high quality lithium hydroxide product because we remove other metals and impurities before entering the electrolysis system.” He continued, “We have produced the highest quality lithium hydroxide with a vision of being a low cost producer. This will be further addressed in the upcoming feasibility study which we are targeting to release at the end of this month. The lithium market remains strong and recent announcements by automotive manufacturers such as Tesla suggest the demand for lithium will continue to grow well into the future. ”
Nemaska intends to become a lithium hydroxide/carbonate producer based in Québec, Canada and has filed patent applications for its proprietary production methods. In tandem, Nemaska is developing one of the richest spodumene lithium hard rock deposit in the world, both in volume and grade. Spodumene concentrate produced at Nemaska’s Whabouchi mine and from other global sources will be shipped to the Corporation’s lithium hydroxide/carbonate processing plant to be built in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Québec, Canada. This plant will transform spodumene concentrate into high purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate mainly for the growing lithium battery market. The Nemaska’s Whabouchi deposit, located in the James Bay Region in the Province of Québec, Canada, near the Cree community of Nemaska, should have an initial mine life of 18 years.
Forward-looking statements contained in this press release involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance and achievements of Nemaska to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the said forward-looking statements.
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