Orocobre enters MOU with Tenova Bateman on lithium salts technology

first_imgOrocobre has announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bateman Advanced Technologies (BAT), part of Tenova and a global supplier of advanced technologies, products and engineering services, which has developed world leading proprietary technology for the production of lithium salts including lithium hydroxide directly from brines. Orocobre has built, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation and JEMSE, the first large-scale, greenfield brine based lithium project in approximately 20 years at the Salar de Olaroz in northern Argentina with planned production of 17,500 t/y of low-cost battery grade lithium carbonate.The mining company said that the BAT process named LiSX is expected to facilitate the production of lithium hydroxide for a cost that is targeted to be in the bottom quartile of current lithium hydroxide producers. The market demand for lithium hydroxide is increasing. Aside from traditional industrial uses a number of rechargeable battery manufacturers are now utilising lithium hydroxide in their products. Sale prices for lithium hydroxide have also increased and are now in the range of $7,500 to $8,000 per tonne. Lithium carbonate prices are now over $6,000 per tonne.The MOU sets out the basis on which the parties have agreed to jointly work together in a staged process towards the development and ultimate commissioning of a large scale lithium hydroxide plant capable of producing between 15,000 t/y to 25,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide monohydrate directly from brine (concentrated or otherwise) utilising proprietary technology developed or enhanced by BAT. Under the terms of the MOU the parties are working together through the following stages:• Stage 1: Mini Pilot Plant (commencement by October 31, 2015). During this first stage the parties are jointly working together to construct a small scale pilot plant to be located at the premises of BAT in Israel with the objectiveof better refining the design parameters of a pilot plant to be located at an Orocobre site.• Stage 2: Pilot Plant (commencement by March 31, 2016). If results from the mini pilot plant are favourable the parties will jointly work together to construct a pilot plant. At this stage Orocobre has not determined the location forthe pilot plant. The pilot plant will be capable of producing up to 2 t/mth of lithium hydroxide monohydrate.• Stage 3: Feasibility Study (commencement by December 31, 2016). If the results of Stage 2 are favourable, Orocobre will decide if the parties proceed to Stage 3 to produce a definitive feasibility study (DFS) forthe construction of the commercial plant. • Stage 4: Commercial development of an industrial plant capable of producing between 15,000 t/y and 25,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide monohydrate (execution by June 30 2017). BAT will provide intellectual property, design services, licenses and specialist equipment and potential construction services on a lump sum basis.At the end of each stage Orocobre will make an assessment as to whether or not to proceed to the next stage. Commenting on the MOU Orocobre Managing Director Richard Seville said “We are very pleased to be entering into this partnership arrangement with Tenova Bateman to develop and trial a low cost production process for lithium hydroxide that is an important component of the company’s future growth strategy. The growth profile of the battery market and subsequent demand for lithium hydroxide is very robust and will complement the existing lithium carbonate operations.”last_img

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