It hopes to finalize the financing and obtain all the necessary approvals in 2022, with a start of construction and targeted production in 2024 with 25,500 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent.
Lake Resources NL (ASX: LKE) (OTCMKTS: LLKKF) (FRA: LK1) demonstrated a clean technology pathway for the production of high purity lithium after a successful pilot demonstration plant, with plans for a definitive feasibility study (DFS) and environmental and social impact study (ESIA) targeted this year on its flagship project Kachi in Argentina.
Its clean lithium is being tested in the latest batteries, with the company also targeting samples to be taken in 2021.
The company hopes to finalize the financing and get all the necessary approvals in 2022, with construction starting and targeted production in 2024 with 25,500 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).
The flagship Lake Kachi Lithium Brine project is fully funded until the construction phase in 2022, enabling the company to accelerate the development of sustainable, high purity lithium.
High purity lithium carbonate
The company was able to produce lithium carbonate with a purity of 99.97% from the brines of the Kachi project after processing in the direct extraction pilot module of technology partner Lilac Solutions.
The quality of the battery is considered to be 99.5%.
Kachi samples have very low impurities – 60 times less than 99.5% battery quality.
The ion exchange process provides long-lasting performance with high lithium recovery of 80-98% and it tolerates impurities.
It is also inexpensive and scalable, with modules for quick installation, no brine heating, and requires low capital and operating costs.
Lake Resources’ high purity ‘clean’ lithium carbonate produced from Kachi brines was sent to Novonix Ltd (ASX: NVX) (OTCQX: NVNXF) Novonix Battery Technology Solutions in Nova Scotia, Canada, to produce a test. lithium-ion battery based on NMC622 cells.
Novonix is testing this lithium carbonate with preliminary lithiation of the cathodic precursor followed by a full pilot scale evaluation.
The program will run over four months and the first results are expected in February.
Lake’s first 99.97% high purity lithium carbonate samples, produced from brines from the Kachi Lake Project in Argentina, were shipped by Hazen Research Inc.
Hazen continues to produce high purity carbonate samples of 5 to 6 kilograms using a simple process scheme from lithium chloride produced in the Lilac Solutions pilot plant module from Kachi brines.
Novonix Ltd provides high precision battery test equipment to Tier 1 battery manufacturers including Panasonic, CATL, Samsung, SK Innovation, LG Chem, Bosch, Honda and Dyson.
Using the Novonix pilot cell line, Lake’s high purity and responsible source lithium carbonate samples will be used with commercial battery cathode precursor materials to form an NMC622 cathode which will then be made into lithium batteries. -ion NMC622 for testing.
This will allow Lake and its partners and potential customers to make direct and meaningful comparisons of the performance of Lake’s lithium product in familiar battery chemistries.
One of the biggest areas of growth
Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most important growth areas of the 21st century, producing 18 times the lithium production by 2030.
Although there are 181 battery factories targeted until 2030, no growth in lithium supply is observed.
There is underinvestment in new supplies and the price of lithium is rising, with the spot price of lithium in China rising 40% in January 2021.
Five of the world’s largest lithium producers all operate in Argentina’s lithium triangle.
They include Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM), Livent Corp (NYSE: LTHM) and Tianqi Lithium, the Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd / Lithium Americas joint venture.
Lake Resources has one large project in Kachi and three other brine projects covering over 220,000 hectares.
The lake solution
Lake offers high purity, responsibly sourced, traceable, and sustainably manufactured battery materials with a reduced environmental footprint.
It also offers a low cost structure that is cost competitive to provide affordable EV batteries.