International Lithium Corp receives proof of concept study for alternative lithium recovery

6th September 2017 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

JOHANNESBURG ( – TSX-V-listed International Lithium Corp (ILC) has received the final proof of concept study for the recovery of lithium using membrane separation as a potential alternative to the natural evaporation process, which is currently proposed at the lithium brine joint venture project in Salta, Argentina.

The study, undertaken by South Africa’s Synexus using raw brine from the Salar de Llullaillaico location of Mariana, indicates that the selective recovery of lithium directly from raw (filtered) brine, with the simultaneous rejection of other cation and anion species, using a proprietary lithium selective separation process, is possible.

“This technology could provide a process route to produce lithium hydroxide directly from the raw brine without the need to remove contaminants like magnesium by liming, as would be required in the natural evaporation process,” said ILC executive chairperson Kirill Klip.

The lithium resource developer said in an update to shareholders that, based on initial estimates, the membrane separation technology could achieve higher recoveries than natural evaporation, even with relatively low concentrations of lithium. Further, membrane separation has the potential to enable a considerable increase in production rate compared with evaporative ponds.

“With further refining, the technology could also permit the recovery of potassium and other cations, if desired,” Klip added.

In the case of the Mariana project, this new technology could provide an alternative to the currently adopted plan of using natural solar evaporation to produce a brine concentrate containing about 6% lithium, which would be exported for refining.