QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 29, 2016) - Nemaska Lithium Inc. ("Nemaska Lithium" or the "Corporation") (TSX:NMX)(OTCQX:NMKEF) is pleased to announce that it has obtained issuance of its first United States patent (US 9,382,126) that describes its proprietary process of preparing lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate using membrane electrolysis. Nemaska Lithium first announced the notice of allowance for this US patent on June 1, 2016. Nemaska Lithium is also pleased to announce that it has obtained issuance of another Canadian patent, its second Canadian patent, CA 2,905,197. This patent specifically protects improvements of 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, has been successfully lab-scale tested, demonstrated in pilot plant testing as well as at supplier facilities over the past four years. This technology has given Nemaska Lithium a clear competitive cost advantage over its peers (per the 2016 Updated Feasibility Study press released on April 4, 2016). The commercial scale technology, protected under these patents, will be utilized in the Company's Phase 1 Plant which is currently under construction and is on track to be commissioned in January 2017, with ramp up to full production (500t/yr Lithium Carbonate equivalent (LCE)) in Q1 and Q2 2017. Nemaska Lithium intends to build its larger commercial lithium Hydromet plant with a nameplate production rate of 28,000t/yr LCE in 2017 and 2018.
"We have put together an extensive patent portfolio that protects the Company's unique method of producing low-cost, high-purity, battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate," commented Jean-Francois Magnan, Technical Manager at Nemaska Lithium. "With close to 50% of our 2018 commercial lithium salts production already sold, we are very keen to start sending samples from the Phase 1 Plant beginning in early 2017."
Nemaska Lithium has developed proprietary environmentally friendly processes to produce a very high purity, low cost lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate using membrane electrolysis technologies. The main benefits of these processes include:
- low and predictable operating costs, C$2,693/t (*US$2,154/t) for lithium hydroxide monohydrate and C$3,441/t (*US$2,753/t) for lithium carbonate FOB Shawinigan per the feasibility study filed in May 2016;
- virtually no need to use costly reagents such as soda ash, thus eliminating sodium sulfate by-product which has no market value and is environmentally harmful; and
- significant reduction of green-house gas emissions (GHG).
These processes will enable Nemaska Lithium to have excellent control on cost and quality of its final lithium products, for the benefit of its customers.
*Cost Projections and Exchange Rate $1.00 CAD = $0.80 US - Per 2016 Updated Feasibility Study press released on April 4, 2016.
About Nemaska Lithium
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. The Corporation 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 Nemaska Lithium's 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 patent applications have been filed.
All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release including, but not limited to, any information as to (i) the low operating costs and the Corporation's competitive cost advantage over its peers, (ii) the commissioning of Phase 1 Plant in December 2016 and its ramping up to full production in Q1 and Q2 of 2017, and (iii) the envisaged GHG reduction, constitute ''forward-looking information'' or ''forward-looking statements'' within the meaning of certain securities laws, and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as of the time of this press release. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Corporation as of the time of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. These estimates and assumptions may prove to be incorrect.
Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can directly or indirectly affect, and could cause, actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management's expectations and plans relating to the future. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable law.
Further information regarding Nemaska Lithium is available in the SEDAR database (www.sedar.com) and on the Corporation's website at: www.nemaskalithium.com