Posted in | News | Lithium | Mining Business

Western Lithium Completes Safety Inspections, Receives Business License to Start Fernley Hectatone Plant

Western Lithium USA Corporation is pleased to announce that it has recently completed all safety inspections at its Fernley, Nevada, Hectatone™ organo-clay plant and received its Business License on December 2nd, 2014, to enable the start of operations.

The plant is expected to have a gradual ramp up in December and the Company expects to make its first commercial product by the end of the year. The Company has obtained a commitment for the sale of its initial Hectatone product run, as well as strong expressions of interest for the purchase of Hectatone™ products from potential customers with a view to satisfying full capacity production. The Company believes that once steady state production is achieved in the coming months, Hectatone Inc. will become recognized as a reliable new supplier of multiple drilling additive products, attracting more customer orders for its line of drilling additive solutions.

The Company expects that the directional drilling industry will focus on efficiencies over the next several years to compete in a lower energy price environment. The Company is targeting its line of Hectatone™ products to provide solutions for the drilling industry to improve drilling performance and competitiveness through a variety of metrics including improved rate of penetration and the drilling of longer laterals. The Hectatone business is focused on meeting these industry challenges with cost effective Hectatone™ products to drill faster, farther and deeper.

"With safety inspections complete and the receipt of our Business License, we can now focus on a smooth operational ramp up for the Fernley plant," said Hectatone President, Frank B. Wright Jr. "We are monitoring the current downturn in the energy market and its impact on traditional organo-clay demand. Our target products are being presented as cost effective alternatives to products currently available in the market which should be well received in a sector concentrating on improving efficiency."

The Company's lithium demonstration plant in Germany has been commissioned and start-up operations have been underway since mid-October to confirm equipment performance at design conditions. In September the calcination section of the plant successfully produced enough feed for the extraction plant to operate until mid-December. A second calcination is scheduled for the first half of January 2015 (see Company press release September 8, 2014). The lithium extraction plant is currently processing the calcine produced in September and initial indications confirm design recoveries. The crystallizer to concentrate lithium and obtain glaserite salt is also operational. The Company is taking steps to have its first lithium carbonate batch by the end of the year, 2014 or in January, 2015.


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