Lake Resources is investigating a direct extraction (ion exchange) technology to reduce lithium processing costs and timelines significantly.
Conventional lithium extraction from brines involves salt-rich waters being pumped to the surface into large ponds where solar evaporation reduces the liquid content. Typically, this process can take up to two years and with lithium recoveries below 50%.
Lake’s Phase 1 Engineering Study with US technology partner Lilac Solutions at our Kachi Project shows potential for lithium brine concentrates to be produced in just three hours with low impurities for around US$2600/tonne (+/-30%).
Lilac’s unique ion exchange beads and continuous column system together enable a simple and robust process yielding concentrated high-purity lithium solutions.
Significantly, the results showed high lithium recoveries of 85-90% from multiple brine samples with lithium concentrations greater than 25,000 mg/L produced from ~300 mg/L lithium brine.
This stream could then be processed downstream into battery-grade lithium carbonate product using conventional purification technologies in a carbonate plant.
Lake is now investigating the construction of an on-site pilot plant as part of pre-feasibility study at Kachi, as a precursor to a full-scale commercial processing facility.
Lilac’s proprietary extraction process could put Lake ahead of rival projects in terms of cost and recovery rate, giving Kachi a significant boost in terms of profitability, as well as minimising its environmental impact.