International Battery Metals (CSE: IBAT; OTC: IBATF) has successfully completed the systems and safety testing for what would be the world's first commercial-scale mobile lithium extraction plant.
The modular plant will now begin flow-testing with lithium-bearing brine, which has been sourced in the U.S. and is being trucked in. Once the efficacy and safety of the flow tests have been confirmed, International Battery Metals will begin extracting lithium chloride (LiCl).
The company expects extraction to begin in the coming days, becoming the first globally to successfully operate a commercial-scale mobile lithium extraction plant.
The unique modular design of the company's lithium plant allows for rapid deployment and swift onsite assembly. The plant, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was assembled in 10 days by a crew of nine workers and has the potential to produce 5,000 tonnes of commercial-grade lithium chloride, on a lithium-carbonate-equivalent basis, each year. Thanks to its modular design, this same plant also has the potential to be expanded to produce up to 20,000 tonnes of lithium chloride per year, based on the capacity and unique composition of the brine resource.
"This modular plant represents a fundamental evolution of direct lithium extraction (DLE), with the clear potential to achieve commercial scale at a much lower cost than traditional extraction methods, while at the same time achieving vastly superior environmental performance," John Burba, CEO of International Battery Metals, commented. "Our patented, proprietary technology not only allows for the rapid extraction of lithium chloride at high concentrations, but sets a new standard for environmental care. We're thrilled to begin flowing brine through the system this week."
International Battery Metals anticipates that its patented modular and mobile design will allow access and a means to capitalize on a more diverse range of lithium-bearing brine resources, including smaller sites in varied terrain that are currently considered uneconomical due to the conventional extraction technologies, which are larger in size, require more capital and time to build, and are more harmful to the environment.
"Our modular plant technology can be built, deployed and brought on-line in a fraction of the time of traditional lithium mining plants and at a fraction of the price," Burba added. "This technology is the first of its kind, but it arises directly from the foundation of the initial DLE patents I filed with Dr. Bauman in the 1980s and 1990s, and commercialized through FMC in the 1990s. We are excited to be breaking the mold once again."
More details on this advanced lithium extraction technology can be found at www.ibatterymetals.com.