St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp. (CSE:SX) (OTC:SXOOF) (FSE:85G1) achieved a significant step in preparation for its planned production plant for lithium hydroxide, a key component in battery metals.
On Thursday, WSP Engineering, a consultant St-Georges hired in 2021, completed metallurgical modelling and mass balances for the lithium process on St. Georges behalf.
The metallurgical modelling report comprehensively analyzes the various interactions between gases and elements in liquids that need to be processed. It also evaluates the conversion of elements into final products. The study includes a detailed examination of all endothermic and exothermic reactions, enabling the design of optimal equipment and plant.
Additionally, the report includes an independent review of St. George’s efforts to ensure wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and proper spare parts planning. The company plans to evaluate complete sensor integration to enhance automation efficiency in the plant.
“The next phases of work will be based on business decisions for each location’s size and operating costs. This is intended to finalize the optimal balance of site and strategy for current and future operations with respect to resources and battery recycling,” said Enrico Di Cesare, CEO of St-Georges Metallurgy.
The upcoming phase of the project will started once St-Georges finalizes production and operational agreements with strategic suppliers in various technological areas of the process.
This phase will involve determining the operational and capital expenses of various scenarios being considered, such as lithium-ion battery recycling and spodumene hard rock. The company intends to utilize resources from Quebec and Ontario in Canada for this purpose. However, the company’s contracted laboratories are currently reviewing and pilot testing other materials from overseas.
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Facility anticipated to be situated in Quebec or Southern Ontario
The goal of the facility is to produce lithium hydroxide. Lithium hydroxide is commonly used in the production of rechargeable batteries, particularly in lithium-ion batteries that power electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. It is also used as a component in lubricating greases, as a heat transfer medium, as a catalyst in some chemical reactions, and in the production of ceramics and glass.
While the specific location has not yet been determined, it is anticipated to be situated in Quebec or Southern Ontario, and potentially in the Thorold area.
St-Georges has progressed with its research and development activities, now at a larger scale, which has confirmed the achievements made thus far. The company intends to use this information to make a reliable capital expenses estimate for the large pilot plant. Additionally, the Company intends to apply for grants to support the development of this facility.
The company is also currently engaged in discussions with other battery recyclers and major car and battery manufacturers, to procure additional battery tonnage. It is also sourcing black mass from battery aggregators overseas, with the expectation of receiving the first maritime containers of materials by the second half of 2023.
The first automated circuit for preparing batteries will be on its way to Thorold, Ontario in May and is expected to arrive on-site in Q3. The circuit, consisting of 26 modular units, is being transported in 12 standard and specialized containers. Its installation will enable the company to process lithium and nickel-based batteries, including nickel-cadmium domestic batteries, at a rate of 7,800 tons per year.
Currently, the company’s capacity for alkaline battery recycling is just under 5,000 tons. However, due to the high demand for additional capacity from third-party solicitation, St. Georges is looking to increase its capacity to over 20,000 tons. The automated circuit is already installed and ready for use, pending environmental permitting. The Company is working diligently to optimize and upgrade its capabilities to facilitate industrial production.
The company is committed to enhancing its production capabilities and is accelerating its efforts to meet the rising demand for battery recycling services. The addition of the automated circuit will allow the Company to process a broader range of batteries and expand its capacity, ultimately contributing to its goal of promoting sustainable practices in the battery industry.
St-Georges Eco Mining shares climbed 6.3 per cent and are trading at $0.17 on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
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