Aquatech awarded contract for lithium refining at Thacker Pass

March 30, 2023

Aquatech has been awarded a contract for the lithium refining and purification process plants by Lithium Americas Corp. for the Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada, the largest known lithium reserve in the United States.

Aquatech has commenced work on the project, which includes multiple process trains incorporating evaporation and crystallization systems for purification and chemical production of lithium carbonate (Li2CO3). Lithium Americas and Aquatech will work closely together to deliver the best available technology incorporating environmental stewardship for this flagship project.

In partnership with ICD Process Technologies, a division of Aquatech, Lithium Americas has achieved over 99.9 percent purity of Li2CO3 from Thacker Pass lithium-bearing clays. For over two years, Lithium Americas and Aquatech have worked jointly to conduct pilot work and demonstrate the complete process line to produce high-purity Li2CO3 at Aquatech's Applied Development and Testing Facility in Wisconsin and Lithium Americas' Technical Development Center in Nevada. The demonstration results will enable Lithium Americas to advance with Phase 1 of the Thacker Pass facility producing 40,000 tpa LCE.

"Starting construction is a momentous milestone for Thacker Pass," said Jonathan Evans, president and chief executive officer of Lithium Americas. "We are excited about the prospect of working with our partners to generate economic growth in Northern Nevada and play a major role in the domestic lithium supply chain for electric vehicles."

Aquatech specializes in delivering innovative process technology for the refining and purification of battery-grade lithium chemical products from clays, brines and hard rock. Aquatech has state-of-the-art process development, validation and testing capabilities supporting the optimization and long-term sustainability of lithium production to ensure the lowest carbon and water footprint resulting in minimal environmental impact.

"Aquatech is fully committed to our partnership with Lithium Americas and proud to be a part of the team working towards this landmark achievement at Thacker Pass," said Venkee Sharma, Aquatech's executive chair. "Delivering innovative process technology to enable critical mineral recovery from extraction to high-purity products for electric vehicle battery production and battery recycling is a top priority at Aquatech. Moving towards energy decarbonization is a critical step to adapt to a changing climate, and we are devoted to supporting industries in these efforts."

Thacker Pass is expected to be one of the largest lithium developments in the world, with the potential to produce over 80,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate per year. The project is a key part of Lithium Americas' efforts to meet manufacturers' increasing demand for battery quality lithium products for electric vehicle batteries and contribute to the global transition to clean energy.

About Aquatech
Aquatech is a global leader in end-to-end process solutions to produce technical and battery grades of lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, and lithium salts. Leveraging its experience and know-how, Aquatech offers holistic solutions to produce critical mineral-based chemicals and salts for EV batteries and from battery recycling, providing applied development and testing with demonstration-scale process units to engineering and design, project management and execution, through post-installation operations and maintenance. Aquatech has delivered over 2,000 facilities across 60 countries and helps the world's most recognized companies reduce their water, carbon, and environmental footprint, helping them achieve and sustain their sustainability goals.

Image courtesy of Lithium Americas.


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