Lithium Energy Produces Battery-Grade Lithium Carbonate Using Solaroz Brine
Lithium Energy Produces Battery-Grade Lithium Carbonate Using Solaroz Brine

Lithium Energy Produces Battery-Grade Lithium Carbonate Using Solaroz Brine

  • 15-Jan-2024 6:03 PM
  • Journalist: Kim Chul Son

Lithium Energy Ltd (ASX:LEL) has achieved a significant breakthrough by successfully completing a laboratory program in collaboration with Norlab SRL, resulting in the production of the inaugural battery-grade lithium carbonate sample. This milestone was achieved using brine sourced from the Solaroz Lithium Brine Project, the company's flagship initiative located in Argentina. The accomplishment not only serves as proof of concept but also provides crucial insights that will guide key design criteria for the ongoing development of the Solaroz project.

In the collaborative laboratory program with Norlab, a representative sample of Solaroz brine was utilized, boasting a test feed grade of 397 milligrams per litre (mg/l) lithium. The results showcased an impressive lithium recovery rate of 71% from the base feedstock, signifying a robust and efficient extraction process. The successful production of the battery-grade lithium carbonate sample holds paramount importance for Lithium Energy, validating the viability of the Solaroz Lithium Brine Project and instilling confidence in its future prospects.

The Norlab program yielded valuable data and insights into various design criteria for the Solaroz project's evaporation ponds. Key metrics addressed included the indicated lithium recovery rate of up to 71%, industrial water consumption rates, lime consumption rates, salt quantities and chemistry, reagent consumption amounts, brine chemistry at different stages of the lithium carbonate (LC) production process, and pond sizing chemistry. This comprehensive analysis forms the bedrock for informed decision-making and efficient planning as Lithium Energy advances toward the full-scale development of the Solaroz project.

Simultaneously, Lithium Energy undertook on-site evaporation tests, using brine from the same drill hole in two ponds. These tests were pivotal in gathering data on daily evaporation rates and brine chemistry, providing crucial site-specific environmental information. The insights gained from these on-site tests will play a pivotal role in shaping the operational framework and environmental considerations for the project's progression into production.

Post the completion of the on-site evaporation tests, Lithium Energy took the proactive step of emptying and cleaning the ponds. This meticulous approach ensures the reliability of the data gathered and sets the stage for the refilling of the ponds. The subsequent phase will involve collecting further information to discern seasonal variations at the Solaroz project site, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the project's dynamics under different environmental conditions.

The success of the laboratory program and on-site evaporation tests underscores Lithium Energy's commitment to advancing sustainable lithium extraction methodologies. By achieving battery-grade lithium carbonate from Solaroz brine, the company positions itself as a key player in the lithium market, with the Solaroz Lithium Brine Project emerging as a promising venture in the realm of lithium production. The collaborative efforts with Norlab SRL and the meticulous approach to on-site testing and data collection exemplify Lithium Energy's dedication to precision and environmental responsibility.

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