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Enertopia Corporation (CNSX:TOP; OTCQB:ENRT) is actively engaged in generating transformative change in the methods for recovery of lithium from brine solutions. The company has partnered with Genesis Water Technologies Inc. (GWT), a U.S.-based water purification company, to evaluate the feasibility of employing water treatment technology to recover lithium from brine in a cost-effective, time-efficient and environmentally-friendly process.
Enertopia’s lithium recovery technology (ENERLET) is in the second stage bench testing of a US $200,000 – multi phase testing program. Positive results will help determine the location for a planned pilot plant.
Concurrently, Enertopia is exploring their 100% owned lithium Dan Lode and Steve placer claims in Clayton Valley, NV. Nevada is home to the only brine based producing lithium operation in North America as well as Tesla’s Gigafactory 1. Key findings from testing completed in January 2018 by an independent third party lab concluded that 99.99% of magnesium can be removed from a synthetic lithium brine using alkaline leaching with a pH of 11.
“We see a high potential for opportunity in the lithium space as the cost of the electric drive train reaches parity with the internal combustion engine,” said Robert McAllister, President and CEO of Enertopia. “Similar to what happened in the solar photovoltaic market, the cost of a unit of lithium-ion battery production per kilowatt hour has come down exponentially in the past five to seven years. Once more than $1,000 per kilowatt hour for energy storage capacity, the cost is now below $400 per kilowatt hour. Sometime between 2020 and 2025, the cost to store energy is expected to reach parity with the internal combustion engine, leading to a transformation in demand for electric vehicles. This will mark a major positive turning point in the demand for battery-grade lithium.”
- Positive results from theoretical analysis using GWT process showing the potential economic viability of using ENERLET to extract battery-grade lithium carbonate from brine.
- Upon achieving battery grade Li2CO3 results from Phase 2 bench testing next steps would be to determine the prime location for a planned 50-gallon per minute ENERLET pilot plant.
- ENERLET plant design offers
- Potential fast-track to early production;
- Minimize CAPEX and OPEX; and
- Scalable operations to meet any brine reservoir size
- At surface soluble lithium exploration projects in Nevada, North America’s lithium hub.
ENERLET: Lithium Brine Extraction Technology
Enertopia’s commercialization licensing agreement with Genesis Water Technologies includes the rights to use GWT’s patent-pending technology, and access to management and technical expertise. The license currently covers the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, with Enertopia having the option to add other countries in the future. GWT and Enertopia are working to develop a more efficient, low-cost and environmentally-friendly method for recovering lithium.
In 2016, the companies began a multi-phase testing program to evaluate the economic viability of ENERLET. Bypassing the need to build a large stationary lithium carbonate extraction plant or solar evaporation ponds, the technology could generate a quicker path to production at a much lower capital and operating cost. The technology has serious positive environmental attributes as well considering the much smaller environmental footprint for the pilot plant compared to the thousands of acres required by traditional lithium brine extraction processes.
The first phase of evaluating the potential feasibility of recovering lithium from brine using GWT’s technology was completed in Q1, 2017. The evaluation included historic data from producing brines in Clayton Valley, Nevada, and oil well brine formation water from the continental United States and historic salar data from Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile.
Phase 2 bench-testing results will lead to pilot plant decision
Enertopia is now focused on phase two bench-testing to determine the best location and final testing for the construction of a planned 50-gallon per minute pilot plant. Phase two bench testing involves assessing the technical data compiled from the first bench testing completed in Q1, 2017. In addition to this data the Company has been compiling date from its 100% owned royalty fee Clayton Valley project where early testing has shown good results on the potential to create a clean synthetic Li brine to be processed through the ENERLET process.
Click here to view ‘Phase 2 Testing of Lithium Extraction Technology’ video.
Nevada Lithium Property
Enertopia holds a 100% royalty free interest in 160 acres in Nevada’s lithium hub with mining-friendly government policies and excellent access to infrastructure and skilled labor.
The Clayton Valley lithium (Li) project has had surface sampling with values up to 4,000 ppm Li at surface. Two bulk samples for the current phase two bench test program returned 1,020 and 1,780 ppm Li respectively. Third party diamond drilling has taken place along our western claim boundary and a 43-101 Lithium resource has been reported east of our eastern claim boundary.
In January 2018 results of an independent 3rd party lab concluded that 99.99% of magnesium can be removed from a synthetic lithium brine by using alkaline leaching (see detailed results below). The successful separation of magnesium from lithium is a key factor in producing battery grade lithium carbonate.
These results further concluded that over periods of 2 – 48 hours there was no significant difference in the amount of lithium dissolved or other material changes to the results. This indicates that the lithium rapidly dissolves out of the source rock, therefore reducing the processing time and cost of production.
Management & Advisory Staff
Robert McAllister—President, CEO, CFO and Director
Robert McAllister is an experienced investor and corporate communications specialist, with a focus on the mining and oil & gas sectors. Between August 2008 to September 2011, McAllister was involved in the restructuring of a public international oil & gas company, taking the company from zero revenue and in debt to cash flow positive. McAllister has also provided and written business and investment articles from 1996 to 2006 in various North American publications focused on oil & gas and mining companies.
Kristian Ross has extensive experience in management and financing of Canadian junior resource companies for the past 40 years, including from early-stage project exploration and project procurement through feasibility, mine development, and production. Mr. Ross has experience in both base metal and precious metals project development and was previously President and CEO of a public mining company with two underground gold and silver mines in northern Canada.
Kevin M. Brown—Director
Kevin Brown brings over 15 years of diversified financial and business management experience in private companies, covering the high-tech, mining, and the health and wellness industries.
Dr. John Thomas—Technical Advisor
Dr. Thomas is a professional engineer, and holds a B.Sc., an M.Sc., and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He also received a diploma in accounting and finance from the U.K. Association of Certified Accountants. He has 43 years of experience in the mining industry, including both base metal and precious metal projects in several countries including Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Russia, Venezuela, and Zambia. His experience covers a wide range of activities in the mining industry from process development, management of feasibility studies, engineering and management of construction, and operation of mines.