Volt Lithium offers cheaper, quicker lithium extraction 2023

Volt Lithium, a Canadian business, has developed and piloted a patented direct lithium extraction (DLE) method that recovers 90% of lithium from brines as low as 34 milligrams per liter.

The business simulated operating conditions at 120mg/L and obtained recoveries of up to 97% with operating costs < CAD$4,000 per tonne, assuming sustained average annual output of 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM).

The Pilot Project also showed that Volt’s DLE technology can sustain 90% lithium recoveries in concentrations as low as 34 mg/L while maintaining commercial economics, a feat no other lithium manufacturer has achieved. Volt’s Pilot Project verifies its IES-300 technology’s extraction capabilities and determines DLE process running costs, which are crucial to commercial feasibility and profitability.

Volt’s two-step DLE technique extracts lithium from oilfield brine. Stage One treats oilfield brine with proven equipment and techniques. Volt successfully removed up to 99% of pollutants from brine for the DLE process during the Pilot Project. Contaminants in brine disrupt the DLE process and make it uneconomic.

Stage Two employs the company’s IES-300 technology to extract lithium from the brine and concentrate it into a lithium chloride solution that will be refined to LHM, a vital raw ingredient for batteries and electric car batteries. Volt’s IES-300 technology minimizes reagent use in oilfield brine extraction.

The company press release stated, “Through the Pilot Project, the Company simulated a number of operating conditions and various cycle times for its proprietary IES300 technology in order to determine the parameters for eventual commercial operations and confirm IES-300 was robust enough to successfully extract lithium from the lowest concentration brine in oilfields and other reservoirs.

“This technological discovery opens up multiple oilfield reservoirs across North America to commercial lithium extraction using Volt’s proprietary DLE process.”

The Volt R&D and operations teams believe they have attained lithium extraction operating conditions for a successful Pilot Project.

The company will now establish a permanent pilot plant to refine its IES-300 technology, optimize reagent usage, and improve operating conditions to lower operating costs and start commercial operations.

Based on this Pilot Project’s successful extraction and operation, the business will upgrade its resource estimate and start a Preliminary Economic Assessment. Volt will also advance the engineering design phase to find the best commercial parameters for its DLE process, enabling commercial production by the second part of 2024.

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