Lithion completes commercial plant near Montreal

Lithion Technologies (Lithion) has finished building its first commercial critical mineral extraction plant, Lithion Saint-Bruno, located in St-Bruno-de-Montarville, near Montreal.

The company is now in the commissioning phase. Lithion Saint-Bruno currently has a team of 20 and at full capacity, the plant will employ 60 people. 

During the plant construction, Lithion signed multi-year battery feedstock agreements, and began receiving batteries. The first battery treatment steps, such as dismantling, have also started.

The feedstock agreements involve local partners as well as large Canadian, American, and international corporations, all part of the electric vehicle ecosystem.

The company plants to open a storage facility in the US, and discussions are underway between Lithion and business partners to deploy plants like Lithion Saint-Bruno there. Thanks to its expertise in transborder transportation and logistics, Lithion will supply its plants from that storage location while providing its partners a turnkey service.

Lithion has developed a two-step recycling process with an environmental impact significantly smaller than mining. The first step, performed at Lithion Saint-Bruno, is the extraction of the critical minerals concentrate, or black mass, from batteries and non-conforming products from their production. Black mass is made of lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite.

The second step is a hydrometallurgy process to separate and purify the black mass to produce strategic materials of the highest purity so they can be looped back into the production of new batteries. The company is selecting the site for this plant.

“What an exciting achievement to have completed the construction of our first commercial plant,” said Benoit Couture, president and CEO of Lithion.

“It’s a major milestone towards the realization of our dream of sustainably closing the loop of battery materials. And this is just the beginning. We will build more recycling plants, supplied by a network of battery collection and storage facilities, across Canada, the United States, and Europe to ensure the energy transition is a sustainable solution for the generations to come.”

“Today, we’re adding a new link to our integrated battery value chain. From mining to recovery, Québec stands out for producing the greenest battery in the world. The inauguration of the first commercial plant for Québec-based Lithion Technologies strengthens our industry and opens the door to a battery circular economy in Québec,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, minister of economy, innovation and energy, minister responsible for regional economic development and minister responsible for the metropolis and the Montréal region.