Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

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

Lithium

Lithium extraction company completes successful testing for SQM

The test results demonstrate the company has reached full industrial readiness

Lithium extraction company completes successful testing for SQM
Direct lithium extraction is environmentally more secure. Image via Adionics.

Lithium extraction tech company Adionics successfully completed 1,500 hours of lithium extraction tests from brine for Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) (NYSE: SQM).

The company announced on Monday that it had tested five different brines during the second half of 2023 in the Atacama Salar, which demonstrates the versatility of its technology using a customized proprietary liquid formulation called Flionex.

The tests conducted on the brines showed a very wide range of Lithium concentrations. The results showed that exceptional Lithium recovery rates and astonishing lithium chloride purity were achieved, with Flionex demonstrating remarkable selectivity by capturing Lithium while excluding boron, magnesium, potassium, and sulfates.

The remaining impurity profile contained only a limited amount of both sodium and calcium chlorides, showcasing the ability to attain the necessary level of purity for producing battery-grade lithium carbonate.

“With lithium recovery rates and purity that set new industry benchmarks, we’re not just extracting lithium, we’re setting the stage for a cleaner, more efficient future in energy storage,” said Gabriel Toffani, CEO at Adionics.

“This is an important step in ensuring a more sustainable supply chain for the batteries that power our clean energy transition.”

The company states that its test results demonstrate the company has reached full industrial readiness.

Established in 2012, Adionics leads the development of a DLE process that enhances global lithium production. This is crucial for the transition to renewable energy, as lithium is widely used in electric vehicles and rechargeable batteries.

Adionics’ innovative technology not only increases lithium mining productivity but also simplifies the value chain, thereby significantly reducing the environmental footprint of Li-ion battery manufacturing and recycling.

Read more: Lithium South and POSCO Holdings ink mutual development agreement

Read more: Lithium South Development technical report shows 40% increase in lithium recovery

Lithium price causes short term pain

The price of lithium has plummeted over the past few months causing a substantial amount of panic in the industry.

Last month, North Carolina based Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) announced cuts in response to the declining lithium price. The company said it would reduce spending on its operations this year between USD$300 million and USD$500 million compared to 2023. Then it proceeded to chop 300 employees from its payroll.

The addition of a new DLE method may provide fiscal relief from the production side as an alternative.

Direct Lithium Extraction is continually evolving, with various companies and research institutions working on improving the efficiency and sustainability of these processes.

The DLE process begins by selecting an appropriate source often from underground reservoirs or salar deposits containing lithium-rich brine solutions. The brine undergoes pretreatment to remove impurities and adjust its chemical composition, optimizing the subsequent extraction steps.

DLE employs techniques to selectively capture lithium ions from the brine, including ion exchange, adsorption, and membrane separation. The process then separates lithium from other ions, allowing for its efficient extraction and concentration. Further processing of the concentrated lithium solution involves isolating and producing essential lithium compounds. These include lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide, which play a crucial role as materials in lithium-ion battery production.

A majority of the planet’s lithium is contained in brine resources. Argentina’s lithium brine is primarily concentrated in the Catamarca, Jujuy and Salta provinces. Their brine yields a very high level of purity and that’s why multiple companies have taken root there.

Read more: Lithium South near completion of production well and economic assessment at flagship operation

Read more: Lithium South and POSCO Holdings ink mutual development agreement

Argentina home to major lithium production

The Indian mining company KABIL (Khanij Bidesh India Ltd) has recently invested over USD$25 million in a series of claim blocks located in the Catamarca province. Additionally, the newly established lithium giant Arcadium Lithium plc (NYSE: ALTM) (ASX: LTM) currently operates the Cauchari and Olaroz projects in the Jujuy province, producing 13 per cent of the world’s lithium.

Meanwhile, the emerging industry player Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV: LIS) (OTCQB: LISMF) (Frankfurt: OGPQ) is presently developing a major resource at its Hombre Muerto North project in the Salta province.

Other significant players in the country’s sector include South Korea’s POSCO Holdings (KRX: 005490) and the French miner Eramet S.A. (EPA: ERA).

 

Lithium South Development Corporation is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage

.

Follow Mugglehead on Twitter

Like Mugglehead on Facebook

Follow Joseph Morton on Twitter

joseph@mugglehead.com

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Lithium

The current techniques to extract lithium from rock ores or brines are labour-intensive, expensive, and energy-intensive

Lithium

New mining concessions spanning about 37,000 hectares will be provided in the province's Arizaro salt flat

Lithium

Codelco has already received between 30 and 40 expressions of interest

Mining

Authorities have identified a large area in the Andes Mountains where they plan to expedite environmental permitting