Pure Energy Minerals Limited is pleased to announce the completion of basic design for the pilot plant at its flagship Clayton Valley Project . Pure Energy has been working closely with its engineering providers to achieve the basic engineering and ensuing final design of the pilot plant.
Building on the work reviewed at an engineering meeting on February 2018 (see Company news release dated 27 February, 2018), the basic design includes drafts of process flow diagrams (PFDs), piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), specifications, subcontractor scopes, contracting documents, and facility layouts.
The pilot plant design is being led by Tenova Advanced Technologies (“TAT”) with significant contributions from SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions, a business unit of SUEZ Group, and NORAM Engineering & Constructors (collectively, the “Engineering Team”). The facility at the CV Project will be the first pilot-scale implementation of the Tenova Process in the world.
Patrick Highsmith, Pure Energy’s CEO, stated, “We are truly excited to receive the pilot-plant basic design package from the Engineering Team. The team has made significant progress over the three months since we last met at TAT’s research facility in Israel. The basic design package represents the culmination of thousands of hours of engineering effort toward the design of this first-of-its-kind facility. We are particularly pleased to work with Tenova, SUEZ, and NORAM, all of whom are world-renowned leaders in their respective fields. Their support is invaluable to the development and success of the CV Project.”
Completion of the pilot plant basic design is an important milestone in Pure Energy’s development of the CV Project. The Company plans to build the pilot plant in Nevada to further evaluate the innovative technology developed by TAT for the extraction of lithium and production of lithium hydroxide monohydrate at the CV Project (the “Tenova Process”). Data from a successful pilot plant trial will be used in the design of a full-scale commercial plant to produce lithium hydroxide directly from Clayton Valley brine using the Tenova Process.
The Tenova Process flowsheet consists of three distinct sections:
- Pre-Treatment – LiP™: The pre-treatment stage efficiently removes the alkaline earth elements (Ca, Mg, and Sr) with minimal lithium loss. This was achieved in the mini-pilot plant test work using membranes supplied by SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions;
- Solvent Extraction – LiSX™: The solvent extraction step incorporates Tenova Pulsed Columns in each of the extraction, scrubbing and stripping stages to extract the lithium from the brine and concentrate it into a strip solution. Based on successful mini-pilot plant test results (see Company’s news release dated 13 December, 2016), the LiSX™ step is expected to increase the lithium concentration by a factor of approximately 38 with no measurable lithium losses;
- Electrolysis – LiEL™: Through electrolysis, the lithium sulphate produced in the preceding solvent extraction step is transformed into lithium hydroxide using equipment and a process designed by NORAM Engineering & Constructors. This step allows for the direct production of lithium hydroxide monohydrate without having to first produce lithium carbonate.
The Tenova Process is specifically designed to exclude solar pond evaporation, increase and accelerate lithium recovery, and reduce the associated environmental footprint of lithium production. After successful bench-scale testing, proof-of-concept for the Tenova Process through mini-pilot plant test work was completed in 2016 at TAT’s Research & Development Center in Israel.
The Engineering Team is committed alongside Pure Energy to the design, construction, and operation of the pilot plant, as described in the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between Pure Energy, TAT, and the rest of the Engineering Team (see Company news release of 11 October, 2017). To date, the Engineering Team has contributed more than US$600,000 toward the pilot-plant project in the form of in-kind contributions and discounts.
Walter Weinig, Professional Geologist and SME Registered Member (SME Registered Member # 4168729), is a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101 and supervised the preparation of the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news release. Mr. Weinig is not independent of the Company, as he is an officer.