The hunt is on for lithium and many automakers are doling out big money to stake claims on lithium producers and strike deals. Lithium is the lightest metal on earth, which makes it suitable for portable batteries for a multitude of new technologies from electric vehicles to high-powered handheld devices, buoying the demand and growth trajectory of this market for the long term.
However, even though lithium is plentiful worldwide, extracting the metal has historically been a costly and lengthy process. Recovering lithium from salt brines is lower on cost, but still takes 18 months to fully evaporate in the sun’s rays. Not to mention, a company must acquire a vast swathe of land to host the evaporating ponds. Spodumene, the method of crushing, roasting and leaching lithium ore, is faster but quite expensive. For lithium to really scale to meet the surge in demand, the industry will need a much more efficient method to bring the metal to market. One of the most innovative thinkers in the space is Enertopia Corporation (ENRT) (CSE: TOP), which is currently working on leveraging more modern techniques and technologies to fast track the process and reduce costs at the same time.
Water Purification Technology
Partnering with Genesis Water Technologies Inc. (GWT), Enertopia has commenced testing a specialized recovery technology that will eliminate the need for evaporating ponds and produce a finished treatable product in what is projected to be in a far shorter period of time as per the GWT theoretical feasibility report.
If successful, the new technology would fast track lithium production and lower the environmental footprint. On Jan. 12, Enertopia was informed by its technology partner GWT that the bench testing were starting and the lithium test results would be sent to an independent lab for analysis and are currently awaiting the results.
“Enertopia looks forward in receiving the results of the bench test analysis. We are continuing our ongoing exploration work at our three Nevada Lithium brine projects and continued due diligence in the mineral sector. Modern technology is revolutionizing ways and providing a better way to mine and protect our environment. We are enthusiastic in becoming leaders in this evolution,” Stated President and CEO Robert McAllister at the time of the announcement.
Nevada and “White Petroleum”
The state of Nevada hosts the largest known lithium resources in the United States, and Enertopia’s Central Nevada project comprises a total of 2,560 acres. The company completed shallow auger sampling at Edwards Creek Valley, Smith Creek Valley and the north half of the Big Smoky Valley at near surface depths of up to nine feet. Assays in August of 2016 confirmed the geological model of lithium being eroded from the nearby tertiary age mountains and being deposited into the basin. The basins on the properties are excellent candidates for sourcing enriched lithium brines.
The company’s three projects, located in one of lithium’s most important regions, along with revolutionary recovery technology should create exciting days in the near future. The company also has engaged Peloton AG, a Swiss property and procurement agency, to vet lithium projects in South America.
I think one of the big things for our company is we can move very fast because we are so nimble,” McAllister told Equities.com in July 2016. “If we see an opportunity–whether it’s in another potential way that lithium could be recovered from maybe a different deposit–we can move quickly to assess the situation, retrieve samples, have them analyzed, and again, I think technology really does change everything.”
What Enertopia is All About
While the company is focused on the next phases of its growth strategy, its management is also taking important steps to ensure that investors understand just how much progress the company is making in a very short time.
In late January, Enertopia closed the first tranche of its private placement that was announced on Dec. 5, 2016. The company issued 1,000,000 common shares at CAD$0.04 and 1,000,000 whole warrants that expire on January 20, 2019 with an exercise price of USD $0.06 during the 24-month period.
Earlier this week, Enertopia attended the 2017 Mine Water Symposium in Reno, Nevada. The symposium is hosted by the Nevada Water Resources Association. At the conference, McAllister was scheduled to meet with property vendors to review the next steps ahead.
“We believe now is the time to reach out to the micro-cap investing community with our lithium business model,” Stated President and CEO Robert McAllister
The company will also be participating at the Triple Gold Conference in New York on February 22, 2017 and the PDAC Conference on March 5 – March 8.
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