Management of Critical Elements has spent significant time working with potential buyers of battery grade lithium globally, especially in Asia, and today’s news of impressive recovery rates and the ability to produce the high purity, battery grade lithium carbonate should be music to the ears of potential buyers who desperately require a long term source to meet the growing demand.
Since Tesla’s announcement of the upcoming construction of its Gigafactory, along with the recent acquisition of Rockwood by Albemarle, lithium has been in the limelight as the key to the future growth of hybrid and electric car production. Battery manufacturers have been aggressively securing sources of supply for lithium, as there appears to be a shortfall in global supply as early as 2015.
A key piece of news came today from Critical Elements, proving to potential buyers that the Company can safely produce lithium carbonate with an overall recovery of rate of up to 96% and can achieve purity of 99.98%, surpassing the requirements needed to produce battery grade lithium carbonate that the battery manufacturers are looking for. The results were achieved by utilizing the sodium carbonate alkaline process considered to be more environmentally friendly then other avenues of production.
Other current testing includes proving the possibility of producing lithium hydroxide from lithium carbonate to see if an integrated production system can be achieved for the two lithium products. This would allow Critical Elements to capitalize on other market opportunities if it so chooses.
Another component of this test is to identify the recovery of by-products such as alumina (as alumina tri-hydrate – ATH); considered to be in great demand as a fire retardant. Each extra by-product that can be recovered improves the bottom line in production.
Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, President and CEO was quoted as saying, “The optimization phase is a crucial step before the final feasibility plant design and we will be continuously testing to ensure Management controls, to the best of our abilities, the different potential obstacles that can occur ramping up the plant into production.”
To view the news release, please click here.
- Jeff Walker