First Phosphate (CSE: PHOS) has taken a major step forward in its target of integrating with the North American lithium iron phosphate, or LFP, battery industry. The firm has entered a memorandum of understanding with Prayon SA of Belgium, the largest producer of purified phosphoric acid in Europe.
The MOU outlines that the two parties will work together towards assessing the feasibility and the potential partnership in several areas. Areas of potential partnership are said to include phosphate concentrate production and offtake, LFP grade phosphoric acid toll processing, licensing for an LFP grade phosphoric acid production facility, and the development of an LFP cathode active material manufacturing plant.
“The LFP battery already represents a leading globally accepted battery chemistry but still has limited domestic manufacturing supply in Europe and North America. Today’s announcement sows the seeds to onshore that production capacity in North America,” commented First Phosphate President Peter Kent.
In terms of an offtake agreement, Prayon is said to be in need of phosphate concentrate, and is interested in acquiring concentrate from First Phosphate’s future mining operations. The concentrate would then be processed into what is referred to as merchant grade phosphoric acid, and then later into purified phosphoric acid.
As for the production facility, First Phosphate is said to be considering the development of its own dedicated LFP battery grade phosphoric acid production facility, for which it may license Prayon’s tech. The potential facility would be based in Quebec, with the operation based on the environmentally friendly solvent-less process developed by Prayon.
And on the topic of an LFP Cathode Active Material Manufacturing Plant, Prayon has reportedly expressed interest in a collaboration to study the feasibility of such a production facility in North America. The facility, if the parties were to proceed, would also be based in Quebec, producing material for the North American market.
“We are pleased to co-operate with First Phosphate and to test implement our recognized technologies for the production and treatment of high grade phosphoric acid intended to supply the LFP battery industry in North America,” added Marc Collin, CTO for Prayon.
First Phosphate last traded at $0.51 on the CSE.
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