Canadian Mining Journal


LITHIUM: Nemaska receives US and Canadian patents

QUEBEC CITY – Nemaska Lithium has received its first US patent (No. 9,382,126) that describes its proprietary process of preparing lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate using membrane electrolysis.

The company has also been granted its second Canadian patent (2,905,197) that protects improvements to the electrolysis membrane process for preparing lithium hydroxide.

The electrolysis technology developed by Nemaska Lithium to convert lithium sulphate into lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate is an environmentally friendly means of producing a very high purity, low cost lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. The main benefits of these processes include:

  • Low and predictable operating costs;
  • Virtually no need to use costly reagents such as soda ash, thus eliminating sodium sulfate by-product; and
  • Significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

The commercial scale technology protected under these patents will be used in Nemaska’s 500-t/y, phase 1 plant which is on track to be commissioned in January 2017. The company intends to build its larger commercial lithium hydrometalurgical plant with a nameplate capacity of 28,000 t/y lithium chloride equivalent in 2017 and 2018.

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