A demonstration plant based on Lilac Solutions’ lithium mining technology is on its way to Lake Resources’ (ASX:LKE) Kachi brine project in Argentina after successful testing.
Lake’s technical partner, Lilac, assembled the plant which includes ion exchange modules and support equipment.
Transported in shipping containers, the modular design plant allows for a “plug and play” approach once brine supply, power and reagents are connected.
This plant will operate between three and four months to produce lithium chloride, which will be converted into approximately 2.5 tonnes of lithium carbonate.
The lithium carbonate product will be sent to potential battery removal and qualification parties later this year.
Operation of the on-site demonstration plant in Kachi will also support final engineering design prior to construction of a commercial-scale facility.
“Lake and Lilac are confident that the demonstration plant incorporating Lilac’s proprietary ion exchange process will prove to investors and buyers that it is scalable and performs well on-site by successfully producing a high-grade lithium product. quality,” said Lake General Manager Steve. said Promnitz.
He added that the company was “well positioned” to deliver a major project with a high quality product as well as “substantial” ESG benefits.
Lilac chief executive Dave Snydacker said the company’s lithium brine processing technology is “really disruptive.”
“We’ve taken ion exchange, a non-mining technology solution that’s ubiquitous in the water treatment industry, and through cutting-edge innovations, we’ve created a unique technology for lithium extraction. , which we believe will reduce operating costs and boost lithium recovery for lithium chemical production from Kachi brines,” added Snydacker.
He pointed out that compared to conventional brine processing technologies, Lilac’s solution is less expensive and has 80-90% higher lithium recovery rates to generate battery-grade lithium carbonate.
All of this is done while protecting the local environment, including water resources.
“Our process is modular, produces high-purity lithium, and can move quickly from pilot to commercial stage – our equity stake ensures rapid commercialization of Lilac technology on what is a globally important lithium resource.”
“We’ve done a lot of work with this brine – generating the data needed for engineering studies, and it’s a fantastic fit for the Lilac technology,” Snydacker said.
Testing work also continues at Lilac’s California facility to produce the data needed for the definitive feasibility study.
At Hazen Research in Colorado, tests are underway on the carbonation of lithium.
Lake and Lilac further strengthened their partnership in September last year, which gave Lilac a 25% stake in Kachi in exchange for its technology, engineering teams and demonstration plant.
Lilac is also contributing US$50 million, its pro-rata share in the development of Kachi.