PRESS RELEASE: The six bench scale metallurgical tests were completed by the University of Alberta and independently reviewed by CIMIC Group's mineral processing company, Sedgman Canada.
The testing produced a lithium concentrate of up to 1,206mg/L, a concentration factor of 16 times.
The process was also successful in removing up to 99% of the critical metal impurities while demonstrating lithium recoveries as high as 81%. The entire concentration process was achieved in less than three hours.
Building on the results from this recent metallurgical test work, E3 Metals will work to optimise and scale-up its concentration technology to further improve the lithium concentration and recovery performance.
E3 Metals' concentration technology will form the first of two main extraction steps in the company's lithium production process. The company, in collaboration with the University of Alberta, is now in the process of filing provisional patents to protect the intellectual property associated with its concentration technology.
To date, E3 Metals has defined a combined inferred resource of 6.7 million tonnes (Mt) of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) within three resource areas comprising just 34% of its Alberta permit holdings.
With high porosity and permeability, the Leduc Formation has demonstrated the ability to deliver high volumes of hot (70 to 100º C) brine. With extensive oil and gas infrastructure (including disposal wells, production sites and pipelines) and a mature regulatory regime, Alberta is an attractive jurisdiction for petro-lithium development.
"These results are a significant step forward for the development of E3 Metals Alberta lithium project," said Chris Doornbos, E3 Metals' CEO.
"Development of a simple and effective brine concentration process, which significantly reduces impurities, positions us to begin work on proving the economic and technical viability of the company's large Alberta petro-lithium resource."