Business Strategy ` Albemarle’s New Chemical Conversion Plant to Double Lithium Production

Source: Press release

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Albemarle has inaugurated its new plant La Negra III/IV in Antofagasta, Chile which is expected to double its lithium production and reduce the firm’s water consumption by 30 % per metric ton. With an investment of 500 plus million dollars, the facility will include R&D laboratories and facilities for the complex chemical processes.

The new plant includes a 100-million- dollar thermal evaporator that is designed to considerably reduce the amount of fresh water per metric ton used during the process at La Negra.
The new plant includes a 100-million- dollar thermal evaporator that is designed to considerably reduce the amount of fresh water per metric ton used during the process at La Negra.
(Source: ZETHA_WORK - stock.adobe.com )

Antofagasta/Chile – Albemarle Corporation recently inaugurated its third chemical conversion plant, La Negra III/IV, in Antofagasta, Chile as one of the most modern chemical conversion plants in Latin America. With new technology, the plant is expected to double lithium production and further reduce the company’s low-freshwater consumption in this process, marking a clear commitment to sustainable production.

Albemarle President and CEO Kent Masters stated, “This new plant marks a milestone in Albemarle's commitment to lead our industry, responding to increasing global demand for lithium through innovation and dedication to sustainability. Lithium is key to an energy transition that must be implemented with meticulous attention to dialogue, sustainability, and social value. This inauguration also demonstrates the importance of Chile for Albemarle, and our commitment to continue collaborating with the country in this industry."

The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Mining, Marcela Hernando, as well as various government authorities, representatives of indigenous communities, academics, diplomats, international delegations, and people from the mining industry, who highlighted the contribution of this new plant to the development of the lithium industry in Chile.

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Located 27 kilometers from the city of Antofagasta, Albemarle’s La Negra III/IV plant represents an investment of more than 500 million dollars and has R&D laboratories and facilities for the complex chemical processes that are intended to remove impurities and transform the lithium concentrate from the Salar de Atacama into high value-added products.

The new plant includes a 100-million- dollar thermal evaporator that is designed to considerably reduce the amount of fresh water per metric ton used during the process at La Negra. It recovers the water from what is commonly called the ‘mother liquor’ and then recycles it in the production process of technical grade and battery grade lithium carbonate. The technology is intended to reduce water consumption by up to 30 % per metric ton.

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