Nemaska Lithium Inc. ("Nemaska Lithium" or the "Corporation") is pleased to announce that it has obtained a Notice of Allowance in Canada concerning Canadian Patent Application 2,874,917 that describes its proprietary process of preparing lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate from spodumene sources using membrane electrolysis. Nemaska is also pursuing patent protection on this process in multiple global jurisdictions.
In addition, the Corporation has received very positive feedback from the international examiners in charge of examining Nemaska Lithium's international applications WO 2015/058288 and WO 2015/123762. These patent applications cover different technologies and processes for preparing lithium hydroxide. Finally the Corporation recently filed a new patent application in the United States (US 62/210,977) which is related to a new electrochemical process for making lithium hydroxide. In total, Nemaska Lithium now owns rights to 13 pending patent applications that are represented by 7 different patent families.
The electrolysis technology developed by Nemaska Lithium to convert lithium sulphate into lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate, has been successfully lab scale tested, pilot plant tested as well as tested at supplier facilities over the past three years. In the past, electrolysis based technologies have been commercially used in multiple industries and have demonstrated that they can be very efficient and very reliable. For example, over the past 50 years, chlor alkaline industry has been using industrial processes for the electrolysis of sodium chloride.
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
- virtually eliminates costly reagents such as soda ash thus eliminating sodium sulfate by-product which has no market value and is environmentally harmful
- 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.
"We have an extensive patent portfolio strategy and I am pleased with the allowance of one of our fundamental patents", commented Jean-Francois Magnan, Technical Manager at Nemaska Lithium. "We have developed, and continue to improve, very innovative methods for producing lithium compounds that give us a leading advantage over our competitors." He continued, "We have built a strong technical team at Nemaska that has both R&D and production expertise. Both are crucial as we move forward into the next phase of the company's development."