Albemarle opens La Negra
Albemarle has officially inaugurated La Negra III/IV, its third chemical conversion plant, 27 km from the city of Antofagasta in Chile. The firm claims that this is the most modern plant of its kind in Latin America and that it will help to double lithium production and reduce freshwater consumption by up to 30% per tonne of production.
La Negra III/ represents an investment of more than $500 million and has R&D laboratories and facilities for the complex chemical processes needed to remove impurities and transform lithium concentrate into high value-added products. It includes a $100 million thermal evaporator designed to recover the water from the mother liquor and recycle it in the production process of technical- and battery-grade lithium carbonate.