Nemaska Lithium’s strategic off-take agreement advantage in the battery market
Nemaska Lithium supported by $12.87 M grant for lithium hydroxide pilot plant from spodumene
Nemaska Lithium Inc. (TSXV: NMX | OTCQX: NMKEF) just announced earlier this month that is has secured a $12.87 M technology commercialization grant for its Phase 1 Lithium hydroxide hydrometallurgical plant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The STDC is a Canadian agency funded by the Government of Canada and to date, this is the largest grant rewarded from this agency. The Phase 1 plant is designed to produce 500 tonnes per year of high purity lithium hydroxide. Once built, Nemaska intends to use this facility to demonstrate its proprietary lithium hydroxide technology and produce commercial samples to send to end users primarily in the lithium battery market with a goal of securing off-take agreements in advance of starting operation of its lithium mine and commercial hydromet facility.
This plant will transform spodumene concentrate into high purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate mainly for the growing lithium battery market. Lithium-ion batteries are common in consumer electronics. They are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries for portable electronics, with a high energy density, no memory effect, and only a slow loss of charge when not in use. Beyond consumer electronics, lithium-ion batteries are also growing in popularity for military, electric vehicle and aerospace applications.
The production of pure, affordable lithium from hard rock (spodumene) is becoming a central issue for the deployment of lithium ion batteries.
Nemaska Lithium has filed patents in several jurisdictions. One of it’s two Canadian filings (Patent CA 2874917), shows method for preparing lithium carbonate. For example, such methods can comprise reacting an aqueous composition comprising lithium hydroxide with CO2 by sparging the CO2 the said composition, thereby obtaining a precipitate comprising the lithium carbonate. The methods can also comprise inserting at least a portion of the precipitate into a clarifier and obtaining a supernatant comprising lithium bicarbonate and a solid comprising the lithium carbonate, separating the solid from the supernatant; and heating the supernatant at a desired temperature so as to at least partially convert the lithium bicarbonate into lithium carbonate.
The ability to use CO2 as mechanism to reduce the carbon footprint of lithium hydroxide would have been interesting to SDTC which funds technologies to promote technologies with direct environmental benefits.
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The claim statements of the patent CA 2874917 are substantive and suggest that the inventors have spent considerable amounts of time fine tuning their process by optimizing the working conditions.
The phase 1 pilot plant is to be built in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, near Montreal. In parallel 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 Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. The Whabouchi Property is composed of one block totaling 33 claims covering an area of 1,761.9 ha. Claims are 100%-owned by Nemaska Lithium Inc. The Whabouchi property is located about 300 km from Chibougamau.
Photo: The photo posted above is of Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium pictured with the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources at a press conference about the SDTC grant awarded earlier this month, which was held in Quebec City.
Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>