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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: North America: January 31st 2002


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:: New Lithium Metal Pilot Production Plant

Raymor Industries has announced that the Corporation de developpement industriel et commercial de Val d'Or is providing $1.75 million (CAN) financing, in the form of a loan, for the first phase of a 7 M$ pilot plant that will produce lithium metal for the lithium metal-polymer battery market and the lithium metal-aluminium alloy sector.

The $7 million (CAN) financing covers the financial requirements for the implementation and operation of the lithium metal pilot production plant for 3 years. With a production capacity of under 50 tons/year, this first plant will be used to produce very high purity lithium metal as well as representative samples required to negotiate commercial agreements with targeted customers, and to complete the engineering of a second, industrial-scale, lithium metal plant whose initial capacity is expected to reach 500 tons/year, with the potential to gradually increase to 2,000 tons/year.

The pilot production plant will also serve as a high-tech laboratory for the development of several applications that have already been identified in the metal purification process. This metal purification process, applied to lithium metal production, is more cost-efficient than the current electrolysis process and much less vulnerable to variations in raw materials sources. It has the further advantage of having no adverse environmental impacts. The process can also be used to purify high value added metals and to recycle lithium contained in lithium metal-aluminium alloys. Several patents are pending for this process developed by McGill University and for which Raymor holds the exclusive worldwide license.

In November 2001, confident in the commitment of the Corporation de developpement industriel et commercial de Val d'Or and in the participation of the federal and provincial governments, Raymor Industries acquired part of the infrastructures of the former Dorval mine located 14 km from Val d'Or. These infrastructures, include an 800 ton/day concentrator, buildings and service areas located on a 9.5 million sq. ft. property. It is on this property that the pilot plant and industrial-scale production plant (over 500 tons/year lithium metal) will be built. Also, the former Dorval mine's concentrator could be restored and modified at little cost to process lithium ore from the La Motte property located in the area.

A feasibility study carried out in 2000 showed that the La Motte property, wholly owned by Raymor Industries Inc., has enough reserves to feed the lithium metal production plant for more than 15 years.




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