Lithium occurs with other minerals in an over-saturated brine at Voltaic’s Green Energy project in Utah.
The goal of quicker, cheaper lithium extraction came closer as Voltaic Minerals TSXV:VLT announced progress on a new technique to separate the battery mineral from brines. Conducted by Lithium Selective Technologies at its northern California facility, initial tests produced significant enhancement of lithium concentration and lithium-calcium ratios, LiST stated. The company’s staff have over 85 combined years of related experience.
Their tests apply techniques already used commercially in mineral extraction and water treatment but new to lithium production. The techniques were adapted to an artificial brine based on historic fluid analysis from Voltaic’s Green Energy project in Utah.
Historic data from oil and gas exploration shows lithium-bearing brine originating from clastic units on the 1,683-hectare property, where the company hopes to begin sampling this summer.
“We are extremely optimistic that increased selectivity performance and concentration enhancement can be expected as optimization testing proceeds,” said William Bourcier of LiST.
As research continues, the two companies have extended their exclusivity agreement while a definitive agreement could follow further tests. Meanwhile the initial results will undergo third-party verification. The final outcome could be marketed to other lithium brine projects.
“If successful, this process could create value from known resources in the U.S. and globally,” added Voltaic project manager and 35-year chemical engineer Tom Currin.