Lake Resources, an Australia-based lithium developer, has sign a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Ford Motor Company for the withdrawal of approximately 25,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium from the Kachi Project.
Kachi comprises 705 km² of leases and lease applications on a brine basin 20 km long, 15 km wide and centered at 400 to 800 m depth.
As we’ve shared, Ford is sourcing from deeper in the battery supply chain. This is one of many deals we are exploring to help us secure raw materials to support our aggressive acceleration of electric vehicles.
—Lisa Drake, Ford Vice President, Electric Vehicle Industrialization
Lake and Ford see this as an opportunity for a potential long-term agreement with the possibility of increasing environmentally friendly production and participating in Lake’s other projects to ensure high quality lithium products are available for Ford. . This MoU with Ford supports Lake’s strategy to be a key independent supplier in global lithium supply chains and to provide security of supply for customers.
—Steve Promnitz, General Manager of Lake
Lake’s Kachi project is located in Argentina’s Catamarca province, at the southern end of the lithium triangle, a world-renowned province responsible for 40% of global lithium production.
Lilac has developed and patented a new ion exchange technology to extract lithium from brines without the need for evaporation ponds. Lilac produces its ion exchange pearls and delivers these pearls to brine projects around the world. The beads are loaded into reservoirs, the brine circulates through the reservoirs, and as the brine percolates through the beads, the beads absorb lithium from the brine.
Once the beads are saturated with lithium, hydrochloric acid is used to remove the lithium, yielding lithium chloride. Lithium chloride is the “crude oil” for lithium – the standard intermediate in all lithium brine projects today. The lithium chloride is then processed on-site with conventional processing equipment to produce a finished product.
In April 2020, Lake announced the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) results for Kachi, showing its potential to become a long life, low cost operation with an annual production target of 25,500 tonnes of carbonate. battery-grade lithium using direct extraction technology. The results showed a high-margin project, with an EBITDA margin of 62%, as well as competitive capital and operating costs.