LithiumBank has released the results of Go2Lithium’s (G2L) bench-scale Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) test work on brine from its Boardwalk Lithium Brine Project.
- Greater than 98% recovery of lithium from the Boardwalk Project brine.
- G2L’s cDLE® technology obtained the highest purity concentrated lithium solution (eluate) of the 15 technologies tested or assessed to date.
- Greater than 90% reduction of calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), chlorine (Cl) impurities in the eluate.
- G2L DLE produced lithium eluate concentration of > 3,000 mg/L (3 g/L) Li, which represents:
- Greater than 40 fold increase in lithium concentration from feedstock; and
- Greater than 40 fold volume reduction of brine post DLE processing.
- Reagents used in the G2L DLE processing are approximately a third of the cost of those used in the DLE process that was used in the Company’s maiden Boardwalk PEA published in May 2023. The reagents in the existing PEA accounted for 54% of the total operating costs.
- Results anticipated to be included in an updated Boardwalk PEA expected in late 2023.
- Pilot Plant testing with G2L continuous DLE (cDLE®) technology, at a rate of up to 10,000L per day to commence Q1 2024.
”The test results from G2L represent a significant improvement in the overall purity of the concentrated brine, or eluate, from the existing DLE process we employed in our existing PEA. We are very pleased because we can achieve this purity level using lower cost reagents that are readily available in Central Alberta. The high-grade eluate of over 3,000 mg/L lithium represents a 40-fold reduction in brine volume which significantly reduces downstream handling and processing of the brine post-DLE concentration."Kevin PipegrassChief Operating Officer, LithiumBank
”We are excited to continue optimizing our cDLE® process for the Boardwalk project brine. Our focus will remain on maximizing the recovery and purity of lithium while reducing operating and capital costs. We believe further efficiencies can be achieved when we start testing our technology in the cDLE® pilot plant that is being shipped to LithiumBank this month."Peter VoigtChief Technology Officer, Go2Lithium
Results of Testing
Table showing elemental concentrations
LithiumBank has undertaken testing of the G2L DLE process to determine the suitability of the technology for Boardwalk lithium-rich brine. Test work produced a high-purity eluate with lithium concentrations between 3,000 – 7,000 mg/L (3-7 g/L), with low levels of impurities. Eluate concentrations of Ca, Na and Cl were reduced by 90% when compared with results used in another DLE process which was employed in the existing PEA. Furthermore, the G2L cDLE process also reduced the eluate concentrations of magnesium (Mg) and boron (B) by 38% and 57%, respectively. These results are considered very favourable as higher lithium and lower impurity concentrations in the eluate requires a smaller processing plant post-DLE and may reduce the cost of further impurity removal steps.
Brine used in the G2L test work was collected from Well 100/09-26-068-22WS/OO located in the South Sturgeon Lake oilfield, within the “Production Zone” of the Boardwalk Project and has a reported average grade of 73.8 mg/L Lithium (as previously reported in LithiumBank news release dated June 28, 2022). DLE test work was conducted in Melbourne Australia at the G2L lab facilities where the results and procedures were reviewed and aprroved by Ms Lisa Parks, a Chemical Engineer and Fellow and Chartered Professional of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, independent of LithiumBank Resources Corp. and its subsidiaries, and with sufficient relevant experience. G2L implemented strict Quality Control and Quality Assurance (QA/QC) protocols for the analysis where each batch of analysis included duplicates, blanks, standard reference material, and check lab analysis.
In LithiumBank’s existing Boardwalk PEA published in May 2023, the costs of the reagents and resin used in the DLE accounted for 54% of the total operating expenditures. Recent test work has shown that the G2L process, in addition to delivering superior eluate concentrations, can also effectively use alternative, more cost-effective reagents such as easily sourced quicklime (CaO) instead of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sulphuric acid (H2SO4) instead of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Furthermore, downstream processes are capable of recovering a significant portion of the H2SO4 used in the cDLE® process; this is expected to further reduce the OPEX. These reagent substitutions have shown to be effective and are expected to have a significant net positive impact on the economics in an updated PEA. LithiumBank has engaged Hatch Inc. to prepare the updated PEA which the Company expects to be completed in late 2023.
G2L has also agreed to provide the Company with access to a deployment-ready pilot plant that has been previously operating in Australia. Modifications to the pilot plant are almost complete and it is expected to be shipped in November to Alberta with pilot testing commencing in Q1 2024. The pilot plant is expected to have a nameplate throughput capacity of up to 10,000 L per day, making it one of the largest DLE pilot plants in North America. The Company anticipates that access to a dedicated DLE pilot plant will accelerate the Company’s test work program and provide the necessary design parameters for inclusion in feasibility studies for its Boardwalk, Park Place, and Saskatchewan lithium development properties.