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MGX Minerals (XMG:CNX): Transforming Oil Wastewater to Power the Tech Future

The company's recent advancements continue to demonstrate MGX as an inventive first mover.

While some might say that oil and water don’t mix, the two elements are joined tightly together when it comes to oil drilling. Water is the “hydraulic” actor in the hydraulic fracturing process that opens vertical oil wells. Every year, the oil and gas industry produces well over 500 billion gallons of wastewater containing a range of contaminants that can include barium, radium and even lithium.

So, here is the question: what should the industry do with all this wastewater? Well, they haven’t had an answer until recently. MGX Minerals, Inc. (XMG:CNX)(MGXMF) has advanced a patented technology that can not only treat the tainted water, but extract the valuable commodities from within it, specifically lithium, which is seeing unprecedented demand. MGX calls the innovative concept “petrolithium.” The company understands the incredible need for the element and has been extremely active in securing space and supply to pioneer this new method that is fast, cost-efficient and environmentally responsible.

On that note, MGX and its team just received approval that a large land area in the Paradox Basin region of Utah has been unitized. The consolidated area, totaling more than 80,000 acres, is a combination of Federal, State and private property, but due to the high percentage of committed oil and gas leases MGX has been able to secure operating control in the unitized area. The move effectively provides MGX a base of operations for its petrolithium process in a region that is full of opportunity. To that end, reports show from an analogous, nearby oilfield evidence of high lithium brine content.

Large-Scale Petrolithium Production is on the Horizon

In late June, MGX announced that its large-scale petrolithium extraction system, which incorporates PurLucid Treatment Solutions’ patented nanoflotation technology, completed initial tests and would soon be used to begin testing bulk water samples from MGX’s petrolithium projects like Paradox Basin and Sturgeon Lake in Alberta, as well customers and partners before commercial use. These test runs processed 10L per day, producing concentrated lithium chloride samples and now the focus has shifted to the more advanced system that can process 1,000L of oil field brine per day.

“With the core process tested we are comfortable moving to a system 100 times larger,” stated Purlucid CEO Dr. Preston McEachern in the June press. “Over the month of July, we will be receiving large volume samples from MGX’s projects and now have the processing capacity to demonstrate the benefits of the lithium recovery process as well as upgraded water quality.”

Parallel to this, PurLucid, which MGX acquired 100% of in May, is busy constructing a pilot plant expected to be completed in September. When all complete, the extraction process could yield lithium in a matter of days rather than the usual months or years required for conventional evaporation or rock mining methods. The scalable system uses nanoflotation and membrane filtration to remove heavy metals, oil and colloids before sending the mineral-rich byproduct through a rapid evaporation process that employs thermal energy and chemical reagents.

Moreover, the company made a key move this month when Purlucid filed for a provisional patent on the recovery of metals and minerals from wastewater brine. The core process was actually a finalist for The Katerva Award, which recognizes disruptive sustainable innovations from around the world. Now, the technology is totally in the hands of MGX and the company is excited about the road ahead.

A Single Technology That Solves Two Problems

“As activity within the oil and gas industry continues to pick up in North America, the cost of waste water treatment and disposal options is a growing concern for oil and gas developers,” said Jared Lazerson, president and CEO of MGX Minerals. “This new technology enables oil and gas providers to treat their wastewater with a highly effective, low energy solution.”

The company’s recent milestones put MGX firmly on track as the sole owner of a technology that could see hyperbolic demand from two directions: oil well wastewater recycling and rapid lithium extraction. In the energy sector, this technology is groundbreaking because for many years it was known that petroleum brine contained lithium carbonate and other minerals, but they were impossible to extract. MGX and Purlucid have effectively changed all of that just in time for the renewable energy revolution.

Lastly, this new land development gives MGX access to an unprecedented amount of oil, gas and mineral claims, which essentially presents an immense supply of feedstock for its petrolithium extraction process. MGX arguably has the largest lithium-based portfolio of properties in North America and it keeps adding to it. Late in January, the company formed PetroLithium Corporation of America as a wholly-owned a U.S. subsidiary for the purpose of acquiring oil field assets, including lithium brine, oil wells and existing oil and gas infrastructure.

These recent advancements continue to demonstrate MGX as an inventive first mover that is only beginning to show its potential value. With lithium only strengthening its position as a cornerstone in the technological future and oil and gas operators searching for a viable solution for green wastewater disposal, MGX has emerged as an ingenious bridge between the two that can fuel the next phase of the renewable energy boom.

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