C29 Metal’s faith in the cutting-edge Ekosolve direct lithium extraction technology continues to be justified, with the latest pilot plant test work at the University of Melbourne achieving 95.8 per cent extraction efficiency from brines producing an average lithium concentration of 95.3 ppm lithium.
Results come from a 10-stage counter-current extraction process performed on brines taken from the explorers Pocitos 7 prospect, with the lithium chloride produced from the 10-pass extraction cycle now being further processed into a battery-grade lithium carbonate product.
The Company said lithium recovered from 95.3 ppm lithium in brine was 91.3 ppm lithium.
“This result is similar, and slightly better than previous brines tested from Pozuelos, Incahuasi and Pocitos Salars. It demonstrates that the extraction organic solvents have a good extractability for the lithium in the salt lake brine from C29 Metals at low solvent-to-brine ratios,” University of Melbourne Associate Professor Dr Karhryn Mumford said.
Key to the lithium triangle
The use of Ekosolve has been a major part of C29’s pitch for its Salar De Pocitos Project in South America’s renowned lithium triangle, with the Project lying within Argentina’s Salta Project, and the technology enabling C29 to get high-quality lithium to the market faster and possibly hit the market in two to three years’ time.
With lithium production having to scale twenty times to meet demand by 2050, getting to market as quickly as possible will be a massive boon for C29 as it taps into the burgeoning battery metal industry.
Primed on brine
The Company acquired the two exploration licences in October of last year, a move that saw its share price jump 90 per cent as investors took note of the extremely promising project. Since the acquisition, C29’s top priority has been uncovering the Project’s lithium brine potential.
C29 is now zeroing in on producing a maiden resource estimate for the Pocitos 7 prospect, with the Company’s maiden drilling program intercepting an over thirty-metre brine aquifer zone which reached a pumping rate of two thousand litres an hour in flow tests and later returned assays up to 142 ppm Li.
C29’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen 7.14 per cent today, currently selling at 10.5c (11.36 am UTC+ 8 hours).