Clean lithium developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (FRA:LK1) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) announced it has appointed the respected Novonix Battery Technology Solutions, a Nova Scotia-based independent testing and development laboratory used by recognised battery makers, to produce NMC622-based lithium-ion battery test cells using Lake’s battery quality lithium carbonate.
Under the agreement with Novonix Limited (ASX:NVX), lithium carbonate samples provided by Lake will be used together with commercial battery cathode precursor materials to form an NMC622 cathode and battery.
Novonix is currently developing ‘million mile’ battery technologies with revolutionary anode and cathode materials and has designed and manufactured, and sells high precision battery testing equipment to Tier 1 battery makers and OEMs in 15 countries including Panasonic, CATL, Samsung, SK Innovation, Apple, Bosch, Honda and Dyson.
Using Novonix’s pilot cell line and proprietary advanced diagnostic tools, the performance of Lake’s high purity, responsibly sourced lithium product will be evaluated for conformity with lithium-ion battery standards.
Significantly, this data will allow potential users and off-takers of Lake’s product to make direct and relevant comparisons of its performance to familiar cell chemistries.
Lake recently appointed Colorado-based Hazen Research to produce lithium carbonate samples from the lithium chloride produced by Lake’s technology partner, Lilac Solutions, at its pilot plant in California (refer ASX release 6 August 2020). Lilac has previously produced 99.9% pure lithium carbonate from this lithium chloride using the conventional lithium carbonate process.
The first battery quality lithium carbonate samples are expected to be produced by Hazen within weeks. Lake is confident that high purity lithium carbonate will be confirmed because the results obtained from the pilot plant are similar to prior benchtop testing.
The first batch of lithium carbonate will then be processed into NMC622 lithium-ion batteries by Novonix, which will take a minimum of four months, with the first results expected two months after the cathode material is produced.
Lake’s Managing Director, Steve Promnitz said: “Novonix is a highly-respected and groundbreaking battery testing company spun out of Dr Jeff Dahn’s lab at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. The team are known as world leaders in new battery technologies, as shown by the quality of their global client base.
“With EV makers accelerating their production plans, high-purity and responsibly sourced lithium is in increasingly short supply globally. We look forward to expediting the results from Novonix and providing samples to potential off-take partners as soon as possible.”
About Lake Resources NL:
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) is a lithium exploration and development company focused on developing its three lithium brine projects and hard rock project in Argentina, all owned 100%. The leases are in a prime location among the lithium sector’s largest players within the Lithium Triangle, where half of the world’s lithium is produced. Lake holds one of the largest lithium tenement packages in Argentina (~200,000Ha) secured in 2016 prior to a significant ‘rush’ by major companies. The large holdings provide the potential to provide consistent security of supply demanded by battery makers and electric vehicle manufacturers.
The Kachi project covers 69,000 ha over a salt lake south of FMC’s lithium operation and near Albemarle’s Antofalla project in Catamarca Province. Drilling at Kachi has confirmed a large lithium brine bearing basin over 20km long, 15km wide and 400m to 800m deep. Drilling over Kachi (currently 16 drill holes, 3100m) has produced a maiden indicated and inferred resource of 4.4 Mt LCE (Indicated 1.0Mt and Inferred 3.4Mt) within a 8-17 Mt LCE exploration target (refer ASX announcement 27 November 2018).
A direct extraction technique is being tested in partnership with Lilac Solutions, which has shown 80-90% recoveries and lithium brine concentrations in excess of 30,000 mg/L lithium and is planned to be trialled on site in tandem with conventional methods as part of a PFS to follow the resource statement. Scope exists to unlock considerable value through partnerships and corporate deals in the near term.
Steve Promnitz Managing Director Lake Resources N.L. T: +61-2-9188-7864 E: firstname.lastname@example.org