VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – The TSX-V-quoted equity of technology firm E3 Metals Corp jumped on Wednesday following an announcement by the company that it has succeeded in concentrating raw brine from 75 mg/ℓ to 1 206 mg/ℓ lithium in less than three hours, while simultaneously removing 99% of the critical metal impurities.
The bench-scale tests were completed by the University of Alberta and were independently verified by CIMIC Group’s mineral processing arm Sedgman Canada.
E3, which holds inferred resources of 6.7-million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent in brine, conducted six metallurgical tests of its concentration technology on lithium enriched Leduc Formation water (raw brine), from the Exshaw West project area, in Alberta.
The process was able to concentrate the brine up to a factor of 16, and demonstrated lithium recoveries as high as 81%.
E3 says it will work to optimise and scale up its concentration technology to further improve the lithium concentration and recovery performance. The proprietary concentration technology will form the first of two main extraction steps in the company's lithium production process.
"Development of a simple and effective brine concentration process, which significantly reduces impurities, positions us to begin work on proving the economic and technical viability of the company's large Alberta petro-lithium resource,” comments CEO Chris Doornbos.
“With continued optimisation of the sorbent, we are aiming to achieve enhanced recoveries and higher concentration factors. We are working aggressively towards the next steps required to advance extraction technology for our Alberta petro-lithium project."
The company, in collaboration with the University of Alberta, is now in the process of filing provisional patents to protect the intellectual property associated with its concentration technology.
E3’s stock rose as much as 40% on Wednesday to C$0.52 apiece, after crawling sideways since the start of the year.