Lithium metal anode and lithium metal production technology maker Li-Metal said it completed a concept study which paves the way for commercial production of lithium metal in North America.
The facility would have capacity for 1,000 tonnes a year and would leverage Li-Metal’s patented carbonate-to-metal (C2M) lithium metal technology.
The company said the study showed potential for attractive plant-level economics, in line with expectations. The ability to leverage a brownfield site would enable significant cost-efficiencies with existing infrastructure.
At full capacity, capital expenditure is seen at $109 million. Operating costs are estimated at $31/kg, including facility leasing costs. This is less than the expected conversion cost for traditional chloride to lithium metal processes of $45–52/kg (excluding OPEX required to convert carbonate to chloride).
The commercial plant would need some 5,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year. Li-Metal said it is in discussions to identify partners to commercially jointly scale the C2M technology.
Srini Godavarthy, CEO of Li-Metal, said: “The results of the study corroborated the viability of our vision and, importantly, further demonstrated that in addition to reducing harmful chlorine gas by-product, a commercial-scale plant is expected to produce minimal GHG emissions.”
He added the company is in active discussions with state/provincial officials to evaluate the feasibility of constructing a commercial plant at a brownfield site in North America.
Photo: lithium metal ingot. Li-Metal