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Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Lithium

Lithium Energy testwork achieves 92 per cent lithium recovery from brine

The company plans to produce up to 3,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery-grade lithium carbonate at the Solaroz Brine Project in Argentina

Lithium Energy testwork achieves 92 per cent lithium recovery from brine
Lanshen laboratory scale continuous operation carousel with lithium adsorbent. Image via Lithium Energy.

Testwork from Chinese-based Xi’an Lanshen new Material Technology Co. Ltd has returned promising results of resin recovery of 92 per cent lithium from brine.

Lithium Energy Limited (ASX: LEL) announced the discovery on Wednesday, indicating that the test work program represents a step in Lanshen’s development process to finalize the design of a demonstration Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) plant.

The company plans to produce up to 3,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery-grade lithium carbonate at the Solaroz Brine Project in Argentina. At present, it’s focused on removing final impurities and producing concentrated high-purity lithium chloride and lithium carbonate samples.

Solaroz sits next to Arcadium Lithium plc (NYSE: ALTM) (ASX: LTM) Olaroz Lithium Facility in the Salar de Olaroz basin, located in the heart of South America’s renowned ‘Lithium Triangle.’

“These results from the Lanshen testwork have exceeded our expectations and prove that the high quality of the Solaroz brine performs well both with traditional pond evaporation and with Lanshen propriety DLE adsorbent resin technology,” William Johnson, the chairman of Lithium Energy, said.

Read more: Lithium South Development updates leadership roster, appoints new director

Read more: Lithium South Development Increases Lithium Resource by 175% and begins well-drilling program at Argentina’s Hombre Muerto North

Lithium Energy study confirms primary development approach

Conventional pond evaporation remains the base development case for Solaroz, but the recoveries from Lanshen’s test work display the potential for DLE as an alternative or complementary development pathway.

Lithium Energy’s Scoping Study has confirmed that conventional pond evaporation remains the primary development approach for Solaroz. Norlab in Argentina recently conducted pond evaporation laboratory testwork, successfully producing 99.5 percent battery-grade lithium carbonate from Solaroz brine.

However, the proprietary DLE process from Lanshen significantly surpasses conventional methods.

Lithium Energy is moving forward with the next phase of the Lanshen laboratory testwork program to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from the Lanshen DLE concentrated brine.

A Pilot Plant testwork program will follow, utilizing a Lanshen containerized Pilot Plant that was recently delivered to Argentina. Lithium Energy is in the process of finalizing plans to set up the Pilot Plant in Jujuy, where it will process Solaroz brines over a 12-week period to finalize the design parameters for the proposed 3,000tpa LCE Plant.

The laboratory’s continuous DLE carousel testwork simulated the operational function of the Lanshen production carousel. The next phase will test the Lanshen DLE technology, focusing on iron-exchange resins for removing low quantities of impurity ions. These include magnesium, calcium, and boron. This step aims to produce a high-purity lithium chloride solution, which can be processed into battery-grade lithium carbonate.

Read more: Lithium South Development first production well installed at Hombre Muerto lithium project

Read more: Lithium South Development expands production goals, updates PEA on Hombre Muerto lithium project

Lithium Triangle contains 67.5% of world’s lithium brine resources

The Lithium Triangle in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile contains approximately 67.5 per cent of the world’s lithium brine resources.

Many early-stage companies are actively working to exploit the lithium resources in Argentina in particular. The Argentine Ministry of Mining has estimated that the country’s lithium production will rise by about 50 percent in 2024.

Analysts predict that by 2027, Argentina will rank as the third top producer of the battery metal.

Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV: LIS) (OTCQB: LISMF) (Frankfurt: OGPQ) is becoming one of the key players in Argentina’s lithium industry. In September of last year, the company increased the lithium brine resource at its flagship Hombre Muerto North project by 175 percent. It also installed the first production well at the site the following month.

The Hombre Muerto North project sits next to large-scale lithium operations managed by major producers such as POSCO (KRX: 005490) and Arcadium Lithium, which emerged from a recent merger between Livent Corporation and Australia-based Allkem Ltd.

Edison Lithium Corp. (TSXV: EDDY), Green Shift Commodities Ltd (TSXV: GCOM) (OTCQB: GRCMF), and Ultra Lithium Inc. (TSXV: ULT) are among the other lithium juniors operating in the country.

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Lithium South Development Corporation is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage

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