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American Battery Technology Company Successfully Produces Lithium Hydroxide at Nevada Claystone Facility


American Battery Technology Company, an integrated critical battery materials company focused on commercializing technologies

American Battery Technology Company, an integrated critical battery materials company focused on commercializing technologies for primary battery minerals manufacturing and lithium-ion battery recycling, announced the successful production of demonstration-scale quantities of lithium hydroxide at its integrated facility. This material was specifically produced using its own lithium-bearing claystone from the Tonopah Flats Lithium Project (TFLP) near Tonopah, Nevada.

“There are currently multiple corporations constructing multi-billion-dollar facilities for the manufacturing of high energy density cathode active material within North America, and these facilities require large amounts of lithium specifically in the form of battery grade lithium hydroxide as their feed material,” stated ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert.  “However, there are currently no commercial facilities within the U.S. to manufacture battery grade lithium hydroxide from U.S.-based resources.  We are excited to have developed our own technologies for how to manufacture lithium hydroxide from our own U.S.-based unconventional claystone resource, to have constructed this integrated demonstration scale facility with support from the US Department of Energy through a competitive grant where we can process hundreds of tonnes of material, and to now be manufacturing large quantities of lithium hydroxide material to deliver to strategic customers for their qualification and long-term offtake agreement processes.”

The signing of long-term purchase offtake agreements for battery grade lithium hydroxide is critical to the success of the corporations currently constructing facilities for the manufacturing of high energy density cathode active material.  With the type of demonstration-scale facility that ABTC has constructed and is currently operating, large quantities of representative lithium hydroxide can be produced and delivered to these automotive OEM, battery cell manufacturing, and cathode manufacturing corporations for qualification and evaluation in the process of negotiating and signing these long-term offtake agreements.

ABTC is working to further evolve this technology by constructing a commercial-scale 30,000 tonnes lithium hydroxide per year refinery utilizing this system design directly at its TFLP property, which has been identified as one of the largest lithium resources in the U.S.  In October 2022, ABTC was selected for an additional competitively awarded $57.5 million grant from the U.S. DOE for a $115M project to support the construction of this commercial refinery. ABTC has engaged one of the premier global construction firms, Black & Veatch, for the engineering, procurement, and construction of this commercial-scale lithium hydroxide refinery.

Lithium products are generally manufactured from conventional feedstock resources, which include hard rock spodumene materials primarily from western Australia and lithium-rich brines primarily from South America, however the U.S. does not have large quantities of these developed conventional resources. As a result, in order to significantly increase U.S. production of battery grade lithium products, ABTC has developed a set of processing technologies specifically for use with the unconventional resource of lithium-bearing claystone that is found in Nevada. ABTC has now explored and developed its own lithium-bearing claystone resource at its more than 10,000 acre Tonopah Flats Lithium Project, which has been assessed to be one of the largest identified lithium resources in the U.S.

Concurrently, the company is also commercializing its first-of-kind technologies for its battery recycling operations and has successfully manufactured a large inventory of recycled battery metal products at its commercial-scale recycling facility in Storey County, Nevada.  ABTC’s internally-developed recycling processes utilize an upfront strategic de-manufacturing process followed by a targeted chemical extraction train in order to recover battery materials with high yields, low cost, and with a low environmental footprint. These ABTC recycling technologies have won several competitive corporate awards and government grants and are fundamentally different than conventional methods of battery recycling, which generally utilize either high temperature smelting operations or non-strategic shredding systems.

Bringing first-of-kind technologies to market, ABTC’s battery recycling and primary battery metals commercialization efforts support the buildout of a domestically-sourced battery metals circular supply chain.

SOURCE: American Battery Technology Company

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