Kachi Lithium Brine Project Underway
Lithium explorer and developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE; OTC:LLKKF) has announced the completion of commissioning of its direct lithium extraction pilot plant module dedicated for the Kachi Lithium Brine Project.
Processing is underway of the 20,000 litres of brine at Lake’s technology partner, Lilac Solutions Inc.’s newly upgraded industrial facility in California.
Initial samples of lithium chloride, which is the targeted product from the direct extraction process, will be analysed next week, which will then be converted to lithium carbonate. Additional lithium chloride will be produced from a second shipment of 20,000 litres of Kachi brine, once that arrives.
Lake’s Managing Director, Steve Promnitz, said the recent Kachi Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) and recently published research demonstrated 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-grade product sought by battery and cathode manufacturers globally.
Mr Promnitz said recent announcements from Europe have pointed to the full-scale electric vehicle revolution currently underway and the need for up to 60 times more lithium by 2050 for Europe alone, according to the EU Market Commissioner. China, the world’s largest EV market, has extended EV subsidies, while North America’s clean energy industry continues to pick up speed.
“The processing of the Kachi brines is a key milestone for both Lake and Lilac, as they are a central plank in establishing Kachi as a low-cost, large scale lithium project that can meet both the supply and product quality requirements of large off-takers,” Mr Promnitz said.
“While lithium demand forecasts continue to be revised upwards, the supply response is falling further behind, particularly the lack of battery-grade product. Put simply, this is an industry that desperately needs high-quality supply and it simply isn’t being produced in sufficient quantities to meet future demand numbers.” The Kachi Project is located in Argentina’s Catamarca Province at the southern end of the Lithium Triangle, a world-renowned province responsible for close to half of global lithium production.