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Volt Lithium expands oilfield brine processing to across North America

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Volt Lithium Corp. has provided an operational update that confirms a continued acceleration of the company’s business strategy centred on achieving commercial extraction of lithium from oilfield brines across North America.

Pilot plant operations for Volt’s flagship Rainbow Lake Lithium Project in Northwest Alberta were successfully conducted in the spring of 2023 at their Regina, Saskatchewan facilities. Building on this pilot, the company has commissioned a permanent Demonstration Plant which is capable of testing oilfield brines from multiple basins across North America in real-time.

This permanent Demonstration Plant incorporates technology improvements over the proven pilot plant for the Rainbow Lake brine, thereby opening up a vast market opportunity to process oilfield brines from any basin across North America. This effectively enables Volt to use their proprietary DLE technology to extract lithium, regardless of the brine’s original lithium concentrations. Outcomes from the permanent Demonstration Plant are expected to also inform the Company’s preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for Rainbow Lake.

One of the most important outcomes from the previously announced collaborations that Volt has with the Zeng Lab and the Advanced Water Treatment Lab, both based out of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, is Volt’s ability to now extract lithium from oilfield brines produced all across North America, over and above Rainbow Lake. The technological advancements Volt realised from both the pilot and the collaborations over the summer of 2023 were incorporated into the design and development of the company’s permanent Demonstration Plant.

Volt directed a portion of the proceeds generated through a recent financing to the commissioning of equipment required for their permanent Demonstration Plant. The location for the permanent Demonstration Plant in Calgary, Alberta was selected during the 3Q23, and it now serves as their anchor facility for processing brines. The permanent Demonstration Plant simulates field conditions for extracting lithium from oilfield brines and converting into lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonates.

With the knowledge and experience gained from Volt’s successful Pilot, along with the nanotechnology and water processing expertise afforded by the collaborations, the company has been able to successfully remove contaminants from oilfield brine being used for their proprietary direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. This is a critical step in the DLE process, and contributes to enhancements such as operating cost improvements driven by reduced reagent use, customised brine conditions using filtration to increase lithium chloride concentrations for Volt’s eluate, and further streamlining the extraction process.

With the reservoir analysis now complete, the company is finalising the capital and operating costs required for the establishment of a 20 000 tpy lithium plant at Rainbow Lake. The advancements made to date, learnings, and outcomes from the permanent Demonstration Plant, along with confirmation of the capital and operating costs will all represent meaningful and tangible outputs that can inform and support completion of the Rainbow Lake PEA.

Volt is committed to incorporating all of the knowledge, experience, and realistic representations of anticipated capital and operating costs that have been assembled to date in order to publish their PEA before the end of November 2023. Having the PEA will also allow Volt to accelerate commercial operations, given results and technological advances from their permanent Demonstration Plant can be integrated in real-time.

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