Imerys has reached a new milestone in the implementation of its lithium production project for batteries
The future locations of the EMILI project's conversion plant and loading station have been confirmed:
- Conversion plant: La Loue, city of Saint-Victor (03) in the Montluçon conurbation
- Loading station: La Fontchambert, city of Saint-Bonnet-de-Rochefort (03).
Imerys, the world leader in specialty minerals for industry, is continuing to gradually define its project for the extraction and integrated production of lithium for batteries. The Group today confirmed the La Loue site, in the city of Saint-Victor near Montluçon in the Allier department, as the target site for its future conversion plant.
The La Loue site, which is already located on an industrial estate, is ideally suited for the conversion of mica concentrate from Beauvoir Kaolins in Echassières into lithium hydroxide.
The La Loue conversion plant would be designed to produce around 34,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide each year, enabling French and European battery manufacturing plants to equip the equivalent of 700,000 electric vehicles a year.
The project's logistical plan has also been specified: the lithiniferous mica concentrate from Echassières, transported by pipeline for over 15 km, will be loaded by train at La Fontchambert, situated between the cities of Saint-Bonnet-de-Rochefort and Naves, and will transit via the Gannat - Montluçon railway line to the La Loue conversion plant. Imerys is delighted to be able to use existing infrastructure to implement logistics that limit the use of lorries, in line with its commitment to favor the most environmentally and socially responsible solutions.
Imerys is expected to create over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs locally, thereby contributing to the economic dynamism of the Allier and neighboring departments.
The EMILI project, which will be the subject of a public debate starting in March, is part of Imerys' ambition to participate in the energy transition and secure lithium supplies for the European electric vehicle battery production industry.
Imerys has chosen to structure an industrial sector in which all the stages - from extraction to the production of lithium for batteries - are as close together as possible. In addition to ultimately creating a local center of excellence in lithium and battery expertise, this demonstrates the Group's determination to produce lithium that is as carbon-free as possible. The EMILI project is therefore entering a new phase in its development plan, which will continue with the forthcoming public debate. Our ambition is to bring "Made in France" lithium onto the market in 2028, thereby contributing to the energy and climate revolution that mobility will be undergoing by then. I would like to extend my warmest thanks to everyone involved in implementing this forward-looking project: local and regional elected representatives, partners, and all the Imerys teams.
The Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Regional Council and the Allier Departmental Council have been following and supporting the Emili project since its inception. Today, this new stage confirms that it will be located in the Allier-Bourbonnais region, which is good news. Tomorrow, we're counting on the public debate to work with the local authorities and the people of Bourbonnais to fine-tune the project's seamless integration, so that it becomes a source of shared pride.
The world’s leading supplier of mineral-based specialty solutions for industry with €4.3 billion in revenue and 14,000 employees in 2022. Imerys delivers high value-added, functional solutions to a great number of sectors, from processing industries to consumer goods. The Group draws on its understanding of applications, technological knowledge and expertise in material science to deliver solutions by beneficiating its mineral resources, synthetic minerals and formulations. Imerys’ solutions contribute essential properties to customers’ products and their performance, including heat resistance, hardness, conductivity, opacity, durability, purity, lightness, filtration, absorption and water repellency. Imerys is determined to develop responsibly, in particular by fostering the emergence of environmentally-friendly products and processes.
Mathieu Gratiot: +33 7 87 53 46 60
Claire Garnier: +33 6 25 50 94 92
Hugues Schmitt (Primatice): + 33 6 71 99 74 58