On 18 February, Lepidico announced that it had entered into a worldwide exclusivity arrangement over a new proprietary process (LOH-MaxTM) to produce lithium hydroxide from lithium sulphate. The technology uses established equipment and is expected to incur lower capital and operating costs than the conventional alternative. It seeks to capitalise on the growing preference among battery manufacturers for lithium hydroxide over lithium carbonate as a feedstock, which has resulted in the former now commanding a price premium over the latter. It also dispenses with the requirement for a sodium sulphate circuit in the plant, thereby further reducing capital costs as well as the commercial risks associated with producing this product.
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