Canada Lithium Corp. has been selected to receive a grant of up to $6.5 million from the Government of Canada through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
The grant was awarded to Canada Lithium to construct a pilot plant to test the viability of refining lithium metal from the company’s lithium products, soon to be produced from the new mine and process plant currently being commissioned near Val d’Or, Québec.
As a component of electric-vehicle batteries, lithium is in high demand worldwide and an important tool for the cleantech sector. The technology being developed in this project has the potential to reduce total EV battery costs, thereby increasing the rate of EV up-take. This represents an exciting development for Canada’s cleantech sector and an opportunity to reach markets overseas.—Dr. Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC
The current market price for 99.9% lithium metal is quoted at more than $60,000 per tonne by Metal Prices
The company is proposing to commence construction of a 200-tonne-per-annum pilot plant on the Québec Lithium site towards the end of Q3 2013. The objective of the pilot plant is to produce battery-grade, 99.95% lithium metal for metallurgical acceptance testing in Québec and Asia.
The production of lithium metal consumes significant quantities of electrical power; therefore, the location of a new plant in Québec relies upon utilizing competitively priced electrical power from Hydro-Québec. If the pilot plant proves a success, Canada Lithium could potentially commence construction of a 2,000-tonne-per-annum lithium metal plant, perhaps as early as Q4 2014.
Canada Lithium is nearing the end of the commissioning phase of its $207-million open-pit mine and process plant. First shipment of lithium carbonate is anticipated at the end of March, 2013. The company has also completed designs for a lithium hydroxide circuit and sodium sulphate circuit at the plant.