DLE tech positive for Canada lithium project

Staff reporter

Direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology from Go2Lithium, a company partly controlled by Ivanhoe Electric, can deliver economic and environmental benefits to LithiumBank Resources at its Boardwalk lithium brine project in west-central Alberta, Canada, according to LithiumBank.

The company, which has a current market value around C$50 million, last year put a US$2.09 billion capital cost on a 20-year project producing an average 31,350 tonnes a year of lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) in an initial preliminary economic assessment.

This week’s updated PEA had a US$2.16 billion capex for 8% higher average annual output (34,005tpa LHM) over the same project life.

“The significant difference from the initial PEA was the incorporation of newly licensed continuous direct lithium extraction technology from G2L Greenview Resources [wholly owned by Go2Lithium],” LithiumBank said.

“The G2L technology has numerous advantages over the DLE process applied in the original PEA.”

As well as 98% lithium recoveries and a “significant positive economic impact” on the project, LithiumBank cites lower cost and commercially available reagents used in the G2L cDLE process, reduced freshwater usage, and recovery and reuse of most of the acid from downstream processing in the elution stage.

“Reducing the operating cost by 34% to US$4588/t LHM both shortens the payback period to 3.5 years and increases NPV to US$3.7 billion, making our Boardwalk project highly competitive on the world stage,” said LithiumBank CEO Rob Shewchuk.

Go2Lithium is a 50/50 joint venture between Clean TeQ and Computational Geosciences, a subsidiary of New York and Toronto-listed Ivanhoe Electric.

LthiumBank says cDLE is unique with its high design flow rates and lithium recovery, and high-purity (70%) lithium eluate output.

“This updated PEA demonstrates that lower cost and readily available reagents such as quick lime and sulphuric acid can produce a high-purity lithium sulphate eluate for further downstream processing,” it says.

Canada’s national government announced an Investment Tax Credit for Clean Technology Manufacturing in its 2023 budget. Under the scheme a potential refundable tax credit could be applied on capital expenditures for the extraction and processing of critical minerals, LithiumBank said.


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