Lithium explorer and developer Lake Resources NL (ASX: LKE; OTC:LLKKF) has sent a further 20,000 litres of brine samples from a number of wells at its Lake’s Kachi Lithium Brine Project to Lilac Solutions’ pilot plant in California.
This takes the total volume of Kachi brines to be processed at Lilac’s facility to 40,000 litres and ensures Lake will have continuity of supply of requisite sample sizes to meet the growing demand from potential off-takers.
Lake’s Managing Director. Steve Promnitz, said interest in the direct extraction process for the Kachi project using Lilac’s technology has increased from EV manufacturers, battery makers and others in the supply chain.
The second batch of 20,000-litre samples were pumped from a number of wells to provide a range of brine types and are being dispatched from site successfully.
This process has involved using increased personal protective equipment (PPE) and under heightened security around travel and activities, following guidelines under COVID-19 set out by the federal and provincial governments in Argentina.
The samples have been collected and are being transported from Kachi. They will be processed similarly to current brine samples in the pilot plant modules using Lilac Solutions’ direct extraction ion exchange process into larger battery grade lithium carbonate samples with 99.9% purity.
Processing of the first 20,000 litres is still ongoing but has understandably been slower than anticipated under initial COVID-19 guidelines.
However, both the operations in Argentina and in California are considered essential services and work can continue.
Previously, the pilot plant was successfully commissioned using initially replicate brines and later smaller sample brines from Kachi and very high purity lithium carbonate was produced from both these brines.
Lake has also confirmed that the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) of the Kachi Project using the direct extraction processing method is in the final review process and is anticipated to be released before the end of the month.
“Lake continues to be focused on delivering samples of battery grade lithium carbonate from Kachi brines from the pilot plant despite some of the inevitable delays under COVID-19. Naturally our first emphasis is on the health and safety of our team and the communities in which we work and the same applies for the pilot plant,” Mr Promnitz said.
“We hope to be able to report results from the processing of the first 20,000 litres soon and we are encouraged by the fact that this work is ongoing at Lilac, albeit more slowly.
“The additional 20,000 litres that we now transporting to site and then testing will further validate that this technology works well and we can deliver high purity lithium carbonate from the Kachi brines.”