Argentine-focused lithium exploration and project development company Lake Resources NL (
- Partnership to advance a rapid, low cost method for direct extraction of lithium from brines at the Kachi Project
- Process aims to reduce the lead time to production, reduce operating costs and significantly increase recoveries to above 95% in less than 2 hours, rather than 9-24 months of evaporation in conventional methods
- Lake has reviewed a number of technologies and believes Lilac has an innovative method based on conventional ion exchange extractive techniques common in the industry. This new method will be trialed together with conventional methods
- The new process appears more environmentally sustainable than traditional methods, is easily scalable to increase production and has a smaller footprint
- LKE expects an initial resource at Kachi Project to be released in the next 8 weeks followed by a pre-feasibility study and strategic investment discussions
The companies have entered into a partnership to leverage Lilac's proprietary ion exchange technology (the "Lilac Technology") for the Kachi brine with the goal of establishing a rapid, robust, and low-cost process for producing lithium at Kachi. Lilac is initiating engineering work to confirm low operating costs for direct production of lithium carbonate or lithium chloride at Kachi using the Lilac Technology.
The Kachi Lithium Brine Project covers 54,000 hectares (133,000 acres) over almost an entire lithium-bearing salt lake in Catamarca province, approximately 100 km (60 miles) south of FMC's Hombre Muerto Lithium brine production operation. FMC Corp has been operating its lithium business in Argentina for over 20 years.
Lilac Solutions is transforming lithium production with its innovative ion exchange technology for extraction of lithium from brine resources. Lilac deploys unique ion exchange media and related processes to extract lithium from a wide variety of brine resources with high recoveries, minimal costs, and rapid processing times. Benchtop testing of other brines has indicated recoveries over 95% in less than 2 hours versus 9-24 months in evaporation ponds. This approach eliminates the need for evaporation ponds, which are expensive to build, slow to ramp up, and vulnerable to weather fluctuations.
A significant environmental benefit comes from the removal of evaporation ponds as the footprint of the operation is significantly reduced. Further, the method allows for the remaining brine to be re-injected into the same aquifer from where it is sourced, without significantly adjusting the water quality, thereby preserving an aqueous resource in an arid environment.
Lilac's technology can economically access brines with low lithium concentrations and high concentrations of other salts, such as magnesium. Cost advantages come from reduced time, higher recoveries and a simplified extraction flowsheet with fewer reagents. The technology is modular to suit various project sizes and integrates with conventional plant designs for production of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. The technology has been successfully tested with real brine samples across the Americas.
Lake and Lilac believe that combining Lake's scale and project experience with Lilac's technology and process expertise will unlock the Kachi resource, enabling a rapid path to commercial production of lithium.
"Lake Resources is delighted to be partnering with Lilac on a rapid, direct extraction process of lithium from brines. We have reviewed a number of technologies, and we consider Lilac to offer a compelling opportunity to be reviewed in tandem with conventional methods as part of a pre-feasibility study that we will commence soon after the release of our initial resource," said Steve Promnitz, Managing Director of Lake Resources.
"The potential to reduce the timeline to production at low cost is a major advantage in the current market with a constrained supply of lithium. Increased recoveries indicate that a 300 mg/L lithium brine would produce similar volumes of final product as a 600 mg/L lithium brine."
"Lake has potentially a very large resource at Kachi and this is a unique and compelling opportunity for us," said David Snydacker, CEO of Lilac Solutions. "Our team is confident that we can quickly adapt our system to the Kachi brine and establish a flowsheet with low operating costs. This engineering work is a significant first step in a swift process of bringing the Kachi project online and establishing a long-term, fruitful partnership with Lake Resources."
About Lilac Solutions
Lilac Solutions is a mining technology company based in Oakland, California. Lilac offers a full-service ion exchange technology for lithium extraction from brine resources that is cheap, fast, effective, and environmentally friendly, and that is adaptable to a wide variety of brine chemistries.
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About Lake Resources NL
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) is a clean lithium developer utilising clean, direct extraction technology for the development of sustainable, high purity lithium from its flagship Kachi Project, as well as three other lithium brine projects in Argentina. The projects are in a prime location within the Lithium Triangle, where 40% of the world's lithium is produced at the lowest cost.
This method will enable Lake Resources to be an efficient, responsibly-sourced, environmentally friendly and cost competitive supplier of high-purity lithium, which is readily scalable, and in demand from Tier 1 electric vehicle makers and battery makers.
Lake Resources N.L.