Canadian exploration and development company E3 Metals has completed metallurgical test works that have concentrated raw brine from 75mg/L to 1,206mg/L lithium in less than three hours.
The bench-scale metallurgical testing was completed by the University of Alberta and independently reviewed by CIMIC Group’s mineral-processing division Sedgman Canada.
According to E3 Metals, the concentration process also successfully removed up to 99% of the critical metal impurities while demonstrating lithium recoveries as high as 81%.
The company performed six tests on lithium enriched Leduc Formation water, also known as raw brine, from the Exshaw West project area.
E3 Metals CEO Chris Doornbos said: “These results are a significant step forward for the development of E3 Metals Alberta Lithium Project.”
“Development of a simple and effective brine concentration process, which significantly reduces impurities, positions us to begin work on proving the economic and technical viability of the company’s large Alberta petrolithium resource.
“With continued optimisation of the sorbent, we are aiming to achieve enhanced recoveries and higher concentration factors.”
The company is proceeding with the next steps required to advance extraction technology for its Alberta petro-lithium project, including optimising and scaling up its concentration technology to further improve the lithium concentration and recovery performance.
The concentration technology is set to become the first of two main extraction steps in the company’s lithium production process.
E3 Metals holds inferred resources of 6.7 million tonnes (Mt) of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) within three resource areas comprising 34% of its Alberta permit holdings.
Along with the University of Alberta, the company is working towards filing provisional patents for the protection of the intellectual property associated with its concentration technology.