New Technology Unlocking a Vast Resource
E3 Metals Corp.’s (TSXV:ETMC,FWB:OU7A,OTC Pink:EEMMF) goal is to power the growing electrical revolution by producing battery-quality lithium products. The company is developing a project in Alberta, Canada, a location that’s advantageous for E3 because of the province’s depleted oil reservoirs that are full of lithium-enriched brine. E3 Metals combines a significant resource and a well-established local industry with its own proprietary direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, giving the company the potential to deliver lithium to market in one of the best jurisdictions in the world.
In the fall of 2019, E3 Metals partnered with Livent Corp (NYSE:LTHM) to assist in the development and pilot of its direct lithium extraction process. The joint development agreement has Livent contributing up to US$5.5 million to fund this development and the pilot plant construction and operation.
The prolific and world class Leduc Reservoir hosts lithium enriched brine containing 6.7 million tonnes LCE inferred mineral resource delineated to date. The development of this resource through brine production is a well understood venture in Alberta, where this brine is currently being produced to surface through extensive oil and gas development.
The ability for E3 Metals’ DLE to obtain over 90 percent recovery and increase the concentration of lithium from approximately 80 mg/L to over 5000 mg/L, while reducing impurities by over 99 percent is the key to commercializing lithium production in Alberta from the Leduc.
E3 Metals’ Company Highlights
- Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment Results for Clearwater Lithium Project released in November 2020
- Pre-tax USD 1.1 Billion NPV at 8% discount rate and IRR of 32%;
- Total initial CAPEX estimate of USD 602.0 Million inclusive of both direct and indirect capital costs and 79.8 Million in contingency
- 20-year project-life producing 20,000 tonnes per year of battery-quality LHM. Over the project-life, a total of 400,000 tonnes of LHM is contemplated being produced from the Clearwater Resource, leaving room for expansion across the Clearwater Resource Area and in E3 Metals‘ adjacent Exshaw and Rocky Resource Areas; and
- All-in operating costs of USD 3,656 per tonne LHM, USD 73.2 Million annually, including all direct and indirect costs.
- Operating in the industry-friendly, secure and clearly regulated jurisdiction of Alberta, Canada.
- Developing a proprietary direct brine ion-exchange lithium extraction technology that has produced a high-purity lithium concentrate up to 5,367 milligrams per liter and lithium recovery rates ranging from 84 percent to 98 percent.
- E3 Metals’ Leduc Reservoir project hosts lithium enriched brine with 6.7 million tonnes LCE inferred mineral resource delineated to date.
- Leduc Reservoir has hosted oil and gas operations for 70 years.
- Reservoir dynamics lend to steady and long-term brine production.
- High brine temperatures and flow rates offer operational cost-saving benefits for the company.
- Leveraging and repurposing existing oil and gas infrastructure to reduce environmental impact and operating costs.
- Partnerships in place with the University of Alberta.
- Secured grant funding for lithium extraction technology from Alberta Innovates, NSERC and NRC IRAP and GreenCentre’s Raising Innovative and Sustainable Enterprises (RISE) program.
- Development towards the goal of a lithium extraction pilot plant is underway.
- Technical advisory board brings a wealth of experience and is instrumental to the company’s direct brine lithium extraction technology development.