Volt Lithium Corp. Announces Successful Pilot Project Results, Unveiling Potential for Commercial Lithium Extraction

  • 25. May 2023

May 25, 2023 [crocon media – dgoldsmith, msch] Volt Lithium Corp. (TSX-V: VLT, OTCQB: VLTLF, FSE: I2D) is thrilled to report the highly successful results of its pilot project, which tested the company’s proprietary direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology in a simulated commercial environment. The project showcased Volt’s ability to achieve remarkable lithium recoveries of 90% even at concentrations as low as 34 mg/L. Furthermore, under simulated operating conditions with concentrations of 120 mg/L, recoveries of up to 97% were achieved with operating costs under CAD$4,000 per tonne, assuming sustained average annual production of 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM). These groundbreaking results confirm Volt’s position as a game-changer in the North American lithium production industry.

Volt’s CEO, Alex Wylie, expressed his gratitude to the R&D, operational, and engineering teams for their dedicated efforts in executing this pivotal phase. He emphasized that Volt’s proprietary technology is a true game-changer, positioning the company as the frontrunner in commercial lithium production from oilfield brines, with plans to commence operations in the second half of next year.

The successful pilot project verified the extraction capabilities of Volt’s IES-300 technology and determined the operating costs for the DLE process, essential factors in evaluating commercial viability and profitability. The company consistently achieved extraction recoveries of up to 90% at low lithium concentrations of 34 mg/L. Simulating pilot conditions with brine concentrated to 120 mg/L yielded lithium extraction results as high as 97%, with operating costs below CAD$4,000 per tonne. Volt intends to validate these results in practice by processing brines with 120 mg/L concentrations in the coming weeks.

Volt’s Rainbow Lake property boasts a substantial inferred mineral resource of 4.3 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) (4.9 million tonnes of LHM) with lithium concentrations as high as 121 mg/L. This resource abundance provides Volt with ample brine sources at varying lithium concentrations to advance commercial development and secure the necessary refining infrastructure for sustained production of LHM.

Volt’s proprietary DLE technology comprises a two-stage process. In the first stage, the oilfield brine undergoes treatment to remove up to 99% of contaminants, ensuring a clean brine for the DLE process. The second stage involves using Volt’s IES-300 technology to extract lithium from the brine, resulting in a lithium chloride solution that will be upgraded to LHM, a crucial raw material for batteries, particularly electric vehicle batteries. Volt’s IES-300 technology minimizes reagent usage during the extraction process.

The successful pilot project and ongoing efficiency improvements have contributed to lower operating costs, currently under CAD$4,000 per tonne. As Volt continues to drive down operating costs, it establishes a solid foundation for sustainability and long-term profitability.

With its achievement of 90% recoveries at low lithium concentrations, Volt has unlocked multiple oilfield reservoirs across North America for commercial lithium extraction using its DLE process. The company’s future plans include establishing a permanent pilot plant to refine the IES-300 technology, optimizing reagent usage, and further improving operating conditions to enhance economics and support the commencement of commercial operations.

Volt will focus on upgrading its resource estimate and preparing a Preliminary Economic Assessment based on the successful extraction and operating results from the pilot project. Additionally, the company will advance the engineering design phase to determine optimal commercial parameters for the DLE process, with the goal of initiating commercial production by the second half of 2024.

The press release contains scientific and technical information prepared under the supervision of qualified persons within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. Doug Ashton, P.Eng, and Meghan Klein, P.Eng of Sproule Associates Limited have overseen the scientific and technical aspects presented.

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