Lithium explorer and developer Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE; OTC:LLKKF) together with its technology partner,Lilac Solutions Inc, announced today 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 Lilac’s newly upgraded industrial facility in California, USA. Initial samples of lithium chloride, which is the targeted product from the direct extraction process, will be analyzed 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 recent Kachi Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) (refer ASX announcement 30 April 2020) and recently published research (available on the company’s website) 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.
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.
Lake’s Managing Director, Steve Promnitz said: “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.
“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. “We look forward to demonstrating unequivocally that we can produce large volumes of high purity lithium carbonate samples and deliver them to industry buyers that are eagerly awaiting our results.”
Lilac’s CEO, Dave Snydacker said: “Lilac’s engineering team has commissioned a custom pilot module for the Kachi brine and is achieving excellent results. Scale-up has gone smoothly thanks to the robust design of the Lilac modules, which are manufactured in California and can be easily shipped and installed on-site to avoid the multi-year commissioning process that we’ve seen with evaporation pond-based lithium projects in Argentina. We are excited to advance the work at Kachi with on-site pilot operations.”