Pure Energy Minerals Limited (the "Company" or "Pure Energy") is pleased to announce that it is rapidly advancing its Clayton Valley South ("CVS") lithium project by beginning the next phase of process test work with Bateman Advanced Technologies ("BAT" or "Bateman"), a Tenova Group Company. As part of its ongoing work towards a Preliminary Economic Assessment expected in 2016, the Company has secured access to BAT's state-of-the-art Research and Development Center in Katzrin, Israel.
During early 2016, the Pure Energy - Bateman team will commence trial processing runs in BAT's Mini Pilot Plant designed to recover high-purity, battery-grade lithium products from brine sourced from Pure Energy's CVS Project, located near Silver Peak, Nevada.
BAT has developed a novel proprietary technology for the efficient and effective recovery of lithium from brines and chemical waste streams using a proven process with a small environmental footprint. In 2014, Pure Energy engaged BAT to conduct bench-scale testing of the LiP™ and LiSX™ processes (see below) on brine from the Company's CVS Project. The bench-scale testing succeeded in producing a Lithium Chloride solution with a purity greater than 99.9%. The Li concentration in the waste stream was below the detection limit -- indicating practically 100% Li recovery (see news release dated April 20, 2015).
The proposed lithium recovery process that will be tested in the Mini Pilot Plant consists of three distinct phases:
LiP™ - Removal of alkali earth elements using membranes
LiSX™ - Recovery of lithium into concentrated high-purity lithium sulfate solution utilizing proven solvent extraction process
LiEL™ - conversion of the lithium sulfate solution into a concentrated high-purity lithium hydroxide solution, using electrolysis, and subsequent crystallization into high-purity battery grade lithium hydroxide
At the end of the Mini Pilot test work, TBT will complete a report including:
- Description of analytical methods and laboratory procedures
- Description of the mini-pilot tests and operating conditions
- Results of the mini-pilot tests with analytical data on efficacy and efficiency of lithium recovery
- Recommendations for the continuous pilot stage and additional engineering studies
- Initial recommendations for industrial scale, including preliminary flowsheets
- Scale-up data, including preliminary estimates of capital and operating costs at industrial scale
Pure Energy CEO Robert Mintak commented, "We are 15 years into the 21st century and the current producers of lithium materials for the green economy still rely on inefficient, environmentally challenging, capital intensive 20th century processes. Significant advancements have taken place in mineral processing and battery material production technologies, and the suite of BAT processes is designed for high rates of lithium recovery, a smaller environmental footprint and lower investment cost. Securing access to this facility at the correct stage in the development timeline for Pure Energy is a huge advantage, and will provide crucial information relating to the cost and efficiency of using these new processing techniques to produce battery-grade materials from the CVS Project. Pure Energy is focused on developing the most efficient lithium recovery technologies for the CVS Project, and is engaged in ongoing work with other world-class technology leaders in the sector."
About Bateman Advanced Technologies:
Bateman Advanced Technologies is part of the Tenova Mining & Minerals Division of Tenova and offers advanced solvent extraction solutions and proprietary technologies for the mineral and metals industries, complimented by in-house state-of-the-art laboratory and pilot plant facilities. Tenova is a worldwide supplier of advanced technologies, products and engineering services for the metals and mining and minerals industries.
About Pure Energy:
Pure Energy is a lithium-brine resource developer that is driven to become the lowest-cost lithium supplier for the burgeoning North American lithium battery industry. Pure Energy is currently focused on the development of our prospective Clayton Valley South ("CVS") Lithium Brine Project, which has the following key attributes:
- A large land position with excellent existing infrastructure in a first-class mining jurisdiction: Approximately 9,324 acres in three main claim groups in the southern half of Clayton Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada
- Adjacent to the only producing lithium operation in the United States (Albermarle's Silver Peak lithium brine mine)
- An inferred mineral resource of 816,000 metric tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE), reported in accordance with NI 43-101
- Metallurgical and process studies underway to better understand the feasibility and economics of using modern environmentally-responsible processing technology to convert the CVS brines into high purity lithium products for new energy storage uses
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer