International Battery Metals founder Dr John Burba says independent verification of high lithium yields from the company’s proprietary direct lithium extraction (DLE) process is a significant milestone for the company.
Testing earlier this month at Impact Technology Development in Devens, Massachusetts, was overseen by veteran independent chemical engineer, Greg Mehos.
Burba said the work, which demonstrated International Battery’s DLE could achieve 97% extraction of lithium from feed brine (to lithium chloride), supported results from the company’s commercial plant in Louisiana (above) which had produced a “total recovery rate” of 95% with its internal transition recycle loop technology.
“GM&A’s findings are significant because their independent verification confirms our technology captures high yields through DLE, making it a game-changer for recovering lithium from existing brine bearing properties,” Burba said.
International Battery (IBAT) raised US$5 million of equity funding in April this year to advance commercialisation of its DLE process.
CEO Garry Flowers said at the time: “Over the past five years, IBAT has designed, assembled, tested and put in pilot production its modular direct lithium extraction plant and from which it has produced highly concentrated, battery-quality lithium chloride salts in production level quantities. Our breakthrough DLE technologies are backed by a robust portfolio of 11 issued or pending US and overseas patents and proprietary green lithium extraction methodologies.”
Burba says the company is ready to dispatch “commercial-scale modular plants now”.
“Depending on wellhead brine lithium concentrations, each plant can produce up to 5000 tonnes of commercial-grade lithium chloride per year,” he says.
“The modular design allows for IBAT’s technology to be scaled up quickly to extract lithium from the world’s largest resources.
“IBAT’s DLE plants are modular meaning they can be dispatched to some of the most remote areas of the world where lithium is plentiful, but freshwater is not, such as the Chilean desert.
“IBAT’s green technology extracts only lithium chloride from ground water salt brine deposits and returns the same water to the subsurface aquifer from which it is extracted.
“The plant can be powered by natural gas produced at the wellhead. Wind towers or solar panel fields are under consideration as a means to ensure a net zero carbon footprint.”
Toronto-listed IBAT’s shares have lost about two-thirds of their value in the past 12 months but are up 17% in the past month to C$1.19, capitalising the company at about C$240 million.