Nemaska Lithium has produced 1.5 t of battery grade lithium hydroxide, made from Whabouchi spodumene concentrate. Independent laboratory analyses confirm that the lithium hydroxide produced from its Phase 1 Plant in Shawinigan meets the specifications of cathode manufacturers globally. The lithium hydroxide is ready for delivery and is scheduled to be shipped today to a cathode manufacturer in Québec. Production of lithium hydroxide from Whabouchi mine concentrate is ongoing at the Phase 1 Plant and additional deliveries of lithium hydroxide will occur on a regular basis over the next months.
The lithium hydroxide was derived from a 6.3% Li2O spodumene concentrate that was produced from a bulk sample taken from the Whabouchi mine during 2017. Some 1,100 t of concentrate were produced. This concentrate will be converted during the coming months into lithium hydroxide samples for customers globally to begin qualifying Nemaska Lithium’s products.
“This is the first time a new entrant to the market has produced battery grade lithium hydroxide from ore to final product,” commented Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. “We are very pleased with the purity level of the lithium hydroxide produced to date, and have verified that our product is at least of the same quality as lithium hydroxide currently sold to cathode manufacturers around the world. This is a major step forward for Nemaska Lithium as it confirms the quality of its product as well as the robustness of its electrochemical process.”
Nemaska Lithium intends to become a lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate supplier to the emerging lithium battery market that is largely driven by electric vehicles, cell phones, tablets and other consumer products. It is developing in Quebec one of the most important spodumene lithium hard rock deposit in the world, both in volume and grade. The spodumene concentrate produced at Whabouchi mine will be shipped to the corporation’s lithium compounds processing plant to be built in Shawinigan, Quebec. This plant will transform spodumene concentrate into high purity lithium hydroxide and carbonate using the proprietary methods developed by the corporation, and for which the corporation holds nine issued patents and several patent applications that are pending in different countries, covering different aspects and improvements of its proprietary technology for preparing high purity lithium hydroxide and carbonate.