Alberta-focused lithium developer E3 Metals (TSXV: ETMC; OTC: EEMMF) has been granted $500,000 from Alberta Innovates, the province's largest research and innovation agency, following the completion of the company's lab pilot prototype development.
The company announced the successful progressive scale-up of its DLE (direct lithium extraction) technology earlier in October 2021, and results of the first round of tests were subsequently released in January. To receive this funding, Alberta Innovates reviews the development and progress report on Milestone 1: the successful construction and operation of a lab-based pilot prototype.
Including this tranche, E3 Metals has so far received $1.1 million of the $1.8 million grant. The final milestone payment for the company is to design, construct, commission and operate a field pilot plant, and will be subject to approval by Alberta Innovates.
The pilot plant will operate continuously within the Clearwater resource area, where the company plans to extract lithium directly from the brine produced from the Leduc aquifer, which has favourable rock properties that allowed for decades of oil and gas development.
By demonstrating the process in the field at a near-commercial scale over an extended period, E3 Metals plans to significantly de-risk its ion-exchange technology and Clearwater project prior to scaling up to the anticipated commercial rate of 20,000 t/y lithium hydroxide monohydrate.
The Clearwater project forms the south-central portion of E3’s permit area in Alberta, and contains 2.2 million tonnes of LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent) at an average lithium concentration of 74 mg/L.
Combined with its other resource areas (Rocky and Exshaw), the company holds approximately 7 million tonnes of LCE resources, contained within a third of its total permit area.
For more information, please visit www.e3metalscorp.com.