Potential Customers Watching On With Interest
Clean lithium developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE; OTC:LLKKF) reports that concentrations of lithium chloride are being consistently produced from technology partner Lilac Solutions Inc.’s direct lithium extraction (DLE) pilot plant.
The module using brines from Lake’s Kachi Lithium Brine Project in Argentina.
The initial 20,000 litres of Kachi brines are being progressively processed through Lilac’s pilot plant in California. The results continue to confirm the successful scale-up of processing from lab scale to pilot plant scale.
Lakes believes that only a minor scale-up is required to achieve targeted commercial scale.
An established independent assay laboratory will be used for the next critical step of converting these lithium chloride samples to lithium carbonate. This will produce larger battery quality lithium carbonate samples with the first expected in ~5 weeks, and then further samples in the month following.
Downstream participants that are monitoring this programme have advised that using an established third-party to provide independent data for samples for potential offtake partners which will also be used for commercial scale development planning and a DFS. Lake and Lilac are confident that high purity lithium carbonate will be confirmed.
Lake’s Managing Director, Steve Promnitz, said the company is making meaningful progress towards delivering high purity, cleaner, responsibly sourced lithium.
“Continuing to demonstrate successful production of clean, highly concentrated lithium chloride at pilot scale is a major advancement,” Mr Promnitz said.
“This product from the direct extraction process is then converted to lithium carbonate using conventional methods by a respected third-party lab with the aim to meet the quality requirements of off-takers, who are looking for responsibly sourced scalable supplies of battery-quality product. However, the process is taking a little longer than anticipated.”
Lake’s recent Kachi Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS), based on production of high purity lithium carbonate demonstrated from direct extraction, shows the disruptive, cost competitive, sustainable and scalable nature of the Lilac process which will be employed at Kachi and its ability to produce a premium, battery-quality product sought by battery and cathode manufacturers globally.