First commercial-scale Mobile Lithium Extraction plant unveiled
By Canada News WireNews International Battery Metals lithium mining
Vancouver’s International Battery Metals Ltd. has announced the assembly of the first commercial-scale, Mobile Lithium Extraction plant.
Chief Executive Officer, John Burba, Ph.D., unveiled and explained the versatility of the company’s assembled plant during a site visit in Lake Charles, La., directly following Dr. Burba’s presentation at the BMO Capital Markets 31st Global Metals & Mining Conference held at the end of February. The plant is currently undergoing factory acceptance testing and once completed it will begin brine acceptance testing and producing lithium-chloride (LiCl).
“Not only have we developed patented, proprietary technology that allows for the rapid extraction of lithium-chloride, but our system uses virtually no chemicals allowing for minimal production of wastewater,” stated Dr. John Burba. “Our holistic approach sets a new standard of environmental care which we are calling ‘Rapid, Ethical Lithium Production.’”
The modular design of the company’s lithium extraction plant reportedly allows for rapid plant deployment and onsite assembly. The plant, currently being tested in Louisiana, was assembled in a ten-day period by a nine-man crew.
While the company’s technology represents a novel application of a proprietary, patented process, the fundamentals of the direct lithium extraction (DLE) process are proven and have been implemented for decades at FMC’s operation in Argentina, which was designed by Dr. John Burba.
“I am particularly excited about this innovation to DLE,” stated Dr. John Burba. “This modular plant demonstrates a fundamental advancement on the initial DLE patents I filed with Dr. Bauman in the 1980s and 1990s, and commercialized through FMC in the 1990s.”
The company is anticipating that its patented design will allow access and a means to capitalize on diverse lithium-bearing brine resources. The current plant is capable of producing 5,000 metric tons of commercial-grade LiCl, on a lithium carbonate equivalent basis, each year. The same plant can be quickly expanded to produce up to 20,000 metric tons of LiCl per year, based on the capacity and unique composition of the brine resource.