Western Lithium USA Corporation ("Western Lithium", the "Company") is pleased to announce it has received all major permits and approvals necessary to initiate construction of the planned Hectatone™ organoclay manufacturing plant in Fernley, Nevada.
Specifically, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) issued the Nevada Air Quality Operating Permit that includes the site's organoclay processing components, mill burner, and its thermal oxidizer burner. The City of Fernley has issued both the Design Review Permit and the Building Permit. Finally, the North Lyon County Fire Protection District has approved of all building plans for conformance with fire and safety requirements.
Refurbishment of the Fernley plant site has been initiated and major lead-time equipment is currently arriving at the facility. Western Lithium has circulated plant construction bid documents to several construction contractors, and a bid award is anticipated in December. The Company continues to advance its product development efforts and several products will be tested on commercial scale equipment in North Carolina and Missouri during December 2013. Western Lithium expects to bring up to six Hectatone™ organoclay products to the market in 2014. A summary of the Hectatone™ product lines can be found at www.hectatone.com. The Company is targeting the spring or second quarter, 2014, to commence commercial production of its Hectatone™ specialty drilling mud products.
"We are now focused on commencing construction of the Hectatone™ organoclay plant and finalizing our budget and schedule with the successful contractor" said Western Lithium's CEO, Jay Chmelauskas. "We are targeting the spring, or first half of the year, to get the commercial plant operating. In addition, we have been actively engaged with potential customers in the US Gulf Coast, the Rocky Mountains, and in Canada, and will seek to secure sales agreements in the new year."
Western Lithium is pursuing the opportunity to be a supplier of specialty drilling additive, Hectatone™ and potentially other organoclays for the oil and gas industry, and in particular, to support the growth of high pressure high temperature, deep directional drilling applications. The Company is also developing its Kings Valley, Nevada lithium deposit into a strategic, scalable and reliable source of high quality lithium carbonate. The Company is positioning itself as a major U.S.-based supplier to support the rising global demand for lithium carbonate that is expected from the increased use of hybrid/electric vehicles.