While companies race to fill the gap in lithium supply from the increased production of electric batteries, many will find that extracting the metal will be quite troublesome. Bringing lithium to market takes lots of working capital, patience for the brine to dry and vast acreage for evaporating ponds. However, one of the most innovative thinkers in the lithium mining sector, Enertopia Corporation (ENRT) (CSE:TOP), just released results that validate the company's innovative recovery process.
Enertopia in partnership with Genesis Water Technologies Inc. (GWT) created a specialized recovery method eliminating the need for evaporating ponds to produce a refined, finished product in a matter of minutes. The newly released results from the independent lab, Avomeen Analytical Services, showed lithium carbonate purity rates from 93.7% to 96.9%.
Good News for Lithium Extraction's Newest Technology
These new results put Enertopia one step closer to producing battery grade purity lithium carbonate. Enertopia's method would fast track lithium production and lower the environmental footprint.
"Since we announced entering the Lithium sector one year ago, we made it clear that our focus would be on adapting technologies and new concepts in ways to extract Li and convert it into battery grade Lithium Carbonate in a far smaller environment footprint and to be competitive with low cost producers at the same time," CEO Robert McAllister said recently. "Today, we announced the final results from the first series of bench tests to validate the Genesis Water Technologies concept for recovering lithium using technology and modern processes to process Lithium into Lithium carbonate. Our end game is to produce battery grade Lithium Carbonate, and to that end, we have now entered the second phase planning stage with our goal of achieving battery grade lithium carbonate after the completion of phase two bench testing."
These positive results offer insight toward the road ahead. In the next phase of testing, the company will look to further increase purity levels, since Enertopia's partner, Genesis Water Technologies, seemed very enthusiastic about the outcome. "The GWT technical team believes that adjustments to the recovery process could result in shorter uptake times and potentially higher lithium recovery rates and, thus, potentially higher purity rates of Lithium Carbonate going forward," stated Nick Nicholas of GWT.
Enertopia's Next Steps
In the coming weeks, Enertopia will outline the next phase of testing and the prospects of a pilot production plant. The company has worked quickly to capitalize on the strong lithium market, and with their revolutionary recovery method in progress, the company is very excited.
"When we started this process a year ago, we had two parallel paths to lead us to the ultimate goal of battery grade purity lithium carbonate," McAllister said. "One path, which gets most of the investor attention, is the technology and processing side, and that is moving along very well as we can see. We have verified what the main bugaboos are in the recovery and purity process and our partner GWT already has tweaks planned for the second test based the first test results, and years of being in the business of removing unwanted elements from water laden with impurities. We are both confident that recovery and purity numbers will improve. The second path is on the geological side and we have amassed a large database that has allowed us to zero in on certain project locations that are ready for boots-on-the-ground final vetting based on our internal criteria. In the coming weeks, we will be outlining these next steps to the market place."
Expect more updates from the company as they continue to implement their growth plan and explore ideal property opportunities.
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