Nemaska Lithium Inc (CVE:NMX, OTCQX:NMKEF) is making good progress and its proprietary producing process is performing at or above expectations.
The latest achievement is that it has produced a first shipment of lithium hydroxide solution, which is ready to go to a client for evaluation.
Nemaska is now producing lithium hydroxide continuously using lithium sulphate provided by a client via the commissioning of the purification and membrane electrolysis systems of its Phase 1 plant.
Completed has been the pressure testing and electrical systems start-up, the membrane electrolysis start-up, the Hydromet start-up.
"The lithium hydroxide produced to date is exceeding purification expectations of Nemaska Lithium's technical team for this stage of plant commissioning. This is a critical achievement for Nemaska Lithium," it said in a regulatory announcement.
In Quebec, the firm is developing a spodumene lithium hard rock deposit
The concentrate produced at its Whabouchi mine will be shipped to its lithium compounds processing plant to be built in Shawinigan, Quebec
The burgeoning lithium battery market is largely driven by electric vehicles and cell phones, among other consumer goods.
Broker Eight Capital rates Nemaska shares a 'buy' with a C$2.30 a share price target.
"Fairly important news today, preparation of the first shipment of lithium hydroxide (LiOH) solution, suggests that two of the five main Shawinigan Demo
Plant circuits are working,"said analyst David Talbot.
"These are the purification and electrolysis circuits (circuits 2 and 3). While the other three steps can't be discounted, these are the most important two circuits to get right in our opinion."
This is a major de-risking event as NMX moves closer to project financing for construction of a full commercial LiOH and LCE plant.
Nemaska shares shed 1.54% to $1.28.