E3 Metals: PEA Demonstrates Potential to Economically Produce High-grade Lithium in Alberta
The results look at the project’s estimated yearly production of battery-quality lithium hydroxide monohydrate over a 20 year period, which is projected at 20,000 tonnes annually.
In a recent interview with the Investing News Network (INN), E3 Metals (TSXV:ETMC,OTC Pink:EEMMF) Manager of Lithium Process Rowan Jastrzebska discussed the company’s preliminary economic assessment (PEA) results for its Clearwater lithium project, which were announced on November 16.
The results focus on the project’s estimated yearly production of battery-quality lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) over a 20 year period, which is projected at 20,000 tonnes annually. Over the course of the project’s life, a total of 400,000 tonnes of LHM could potentially be produced from the Clearwater lithium project.
“This is really the first time that (E3 Metals has) been able to demonstrate the potential for our project in its entirety to economically produce high grade lithium chemicals, on our resource in Alberta, using our direct lithium extraction technology,” Jastrzebska said. “So that’s quite a milestone for E3 Metals as a company.”
E3 Metals’ resource is located within the Leduc Formation in Alberta, which has historically been exploited for oil and gas production. The company’s resource is the brine, which sits underneath the oil and gas reservoirs. The project’s goal is to take the brine from the Clearwater Lithium Project and selectively extract lithium from it.
“That’s really the heart of our technology, that first piece of primary extraction. Once we’ve taken that lithium from the water, then we process that lithium into hybrid battery chemicals,” Jastrzebska explained. “Those can then be used anywhere in the world.”
Jastrzebska further explained that the company’s technology process uses ion exchange. That means it selectively takes the lithium as an ion from the solution and strips it out of the brine into a purer high grade concrete that can be processed downstream. Essentially, Jastrzebska explained that the company is hand picking the lithium and then processing it into a final product.
She said the company has to use this process due to the project’s location. These brines are typically explored and developed in South America, where the climate is more arid and there are more days in a year when solar evaporation can be used to remove the water.
The Clearwater lithium project is made up of over 250,000 acres and is located in South-central Alberta. The direct lithium process extraction produces a highly concentrated lithium solution with low levels of impurity that are then delivered to the lithium production process.
With these PEA results, E3 Metals can move forward with project development into 2021, and the company is on track for a pre-feasibility study.
For a more comprehensive update from E3 Metals Manager of Lithium Process Rowan Jastrzebska, watch the video above.