Western Lithium USA Corporation is pleased to announce that it is continuing its optimization studies with Tenova Bateman Technologies in order to complete an order-of-magnitude preliminary engineering study for Western Lithium's Nevada lithium deposit.
Bateman has developed an advanced solvent extraction technology known as the LiSX™ process that is designed to efficiently separate and concentrate lithium from brines and chemical streams. In 2010, Western Lithium engaged Bateman to conduct bench-scale testing of the LiSX™ process on lithium-enriched brine simulating Western Lithium's Nevada deposit. The test produced saturated lithium brine concentrates of >99.9% purity.
Also in 2010, Western Lithium began development of its electrochemical circuit to produce high purity lithium hydroxide from its Nevada brines, for battery applications. Western Lithium has been advancing its lithium hydroxide circuit and plans to test whether the Bateman LiSX™ lithium separation method is complementary to the Company's lithium hydroxide and carbonate products. Utilizing low energy requirements, the LiSX™ process has the potential to enable the production of various customized high-purity (>99.9%) lithium end-products. Western Lithium is familiar with similar solvent extraction technologies that have been used extensively in other metal and mineral extraction industries.
"It is our core value to always be on the look out for leading technologies in our business", said Western Lithium's CEO, Jay Chmelauskas. "By combining technological innovation with our large concentration of lithium molecules at our property in Nevada, we have the potential to supply multiple, large scale lithium-ion battery facilities around the globe with state-of-the-art products."
If successful, the Bateman LiSX™ process would be a slight design modification to Western Lithium's current lithium extraction process, that the Company could offer to strategic partners that have a primary interest to purchase lithium hydroxide. Otherwise, the Company expects to advance its current lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide process. The next phase of study with Bateman will determine the economic impact of using the Bateman technology to eliminate the intermediate lithium carbonate step, and go directly to Western Lithium's electrochemical lithium hydroxide circuit.
Western Lithium is committed to technological innovation and to developing the most advanced and efficient technologies in the sector. In 2013, Western Lithium received a US patent US8,431,005 B1 for its high purity lithium extraction technology to manufacture lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide from its Nevada deposit. In addition, Western Lithium has worked with other technology leaders in the sector such as Argonne National Laboratory, who was engaged to cycle test the Company's lithium products in lithium-ion battery cells (see news release April 16, 2012). Western Lithium plans to continue to seek other opportunities and partnerships to apply leading technology in the lithium sector.
In early 2015, Western Lithium produced 99.8% high quality lithium carbonate from the commissioning of its German based lithium demonstration facility. Since then, Western Lithium has been completing optimization tests to incorporate into the next demonstration campaigns that are planned to commence in September 2015. The Company is in discussions with potential funding partners to support the next demonstration campaigns.
Western Lithium's Kings Valley lithium deposit is one of the largest known lithium deposits in the world, based on a historical resource estimate done by Chevron Resources Corp. of 11 million tonnes of LCE. Western Lithium is positioned to play a major role in the lithium battery supply chain that is under development in the USA and globally. The Company anticipates that an integrated lithium-ion battery supply chain will continue to emerge in North America.