Today, MGX Minerals Inc. announced lithium extraction process optimization results as disclosed by its engineering partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions in a report entitled “Phase-2 Lithium Extraction Technology Development Report“. MGX said to file a technical report on SEDAR within 45 days.
PurLucid‘s patent-pending filtration technology has “successfully upgraded“ 2 brine samples from its Sturgeon Lake PetroLithium Project in Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada.
Research and development at bench top laboratory testing has resulted in an upgrading of brine from 67 to 1,600 mg/L lithium in the filtration and pre-treatment phase of the lithium extraction process. That‘s a 20-fold increase in lithium concentration in both the first and second trials.
However most importantly, high contaminants (typical for oil field brines and one of the reasons why these “resources“ have been considered uneconomic for long time) have been removed effectively from the lithium concentrated brine. This was achieved with a low energy process. It was reported that magnesium (oftentimes a troublemaker in brine processing) has not only been removed effectively but that “substantive mass of magnesium“ has been recovered, i.e. potentially saleable.
The next phase of development hopes to validate these initially promising results in order for MGX and PurLucid to advance to commercial test deployment in case an agreement with a major oil company can be accomplished and the extraction of saleable lithium products succeeds at competitive prices.
(as reported in the “Phase-2 Lithium Extraction Technology Development Report: Summary of Laboratory Lithium Extraction Optimization Trials“ (February 21, 2017; proprietary information redacted)
”In the first attempt [using the Purlucid process], a clean lithium chloride brine containing 1600 mg/L [Li] was created free from magnesium, boron and potassium. In the second trial, run two weeks later on stored brine the results were duplicated with a clean lithium chloride brine again containing 1600 mg/L [Li]. In both cases a small amount of calcium carried through to the brine but this can be addressed in future optimization”
Dr. Preston McEachern, who directed PurLucid‘s laboratory work as its CEO, further noted:
“The biggest challenge in lithium recovery is creating a clean brine. Once other ions are removed it is much easier to recover lithium as a pure carbonate or chloride.”
Dr. Preston is a respected leader in water management in the oil and gas industry with 23 years experience in solving water treatment challenges. He is actively engaged by clients in advisory roles, holds 3 faculty positions with Canadian Universities, and was the Vice President of Research and Development at one of the largest North American Oil & Gas Service companies (Tervita Corp.) prior to forming Purlucid Treatment Solutions.
According to today‘s press-release from MGX Minerals:
“Implementation of core MGX lithium recovery technology continues to advance and progress on brine cleanup has been achieved using a newly developed process that concentrates lithium by more than 20-fold while removing contaminants in a low energy process. The next phase of development will validate these initially promising results.“
“MGX and PurLucid are now in the bulk sample and pilot plant design optimization phase of development in preparation for deployment. The goal of creating a clean concentrated lithium brine using filtration prior to the mineral extraction phase is to optimize the pilot plant design by reducing size and cost of mineral extraction components.“
Lithium carbonate produced from Sturgeon Lake Oilfield production water using MGX‘s patent pending recovery process and PurLucid‘s patented oilfield wastewater filtration technologies. (Source)
Core Business Model
MGX‘s and PurLucid‘s integrated oil field brine lithium extraction process aims to utilize 2 primary steps:
(1) A revenue generating water treatment step to reduce the cost of brine management within a producer’s facilities.
(2) A mineral concentration and extraction step to recover metal salts such as lithium chloride.
Both technologies are not only proprietary but patented and patent-pending, and MGX owns exclusive rights to these as well as the exclusive right to acquire 100% of PurLucid.
North America‘s Largest Petrolithium Brine Player
Having the exclusive rights to the patented and patent-pending technologies for the extraction of lithium and other minerals from oilfield brines, MGX would be in a favourable position in case commercial deployment can achieve economic results.
In total conviction that its technologies will work as expected, MGX continues to aggressively acquire mineral rights in Canada and the US.
Following last month‘s landmark announcement of the appointment of unconventional oil industry legend Marc Bruner and last week‘s significant land acquisitions in Canada and in the US, MGX is now positioned as North America‘s oilfield lithium industry leader.
In total, MGX now holds permits throughout Alberta totaling over 600,000 hectares. According to last week‘s news, the company also has exploration level agreements in place with major oil and gas companies throughout the province to conduct well sampling.
While joint ventures with large oil and gas producers should be the natural course of action going forward (especially with the assistance of Marc Bruner and Dr. Larry Marks), additional partnerships or certain agreements with lithium end-users wouldn‘t surprise.
Not only Tesla Motors but other battery manufacturers, especially from Asia, have shown in the past to prefer signing offtake agreements with potential future lithium producers, sometimes at relatively early project levels.
MGX aims to start commercial test deployment as early as mid-2017, if warranted by positive results from its ongoing pilot plant optimization phase.
Having a potential low energy, low CAPEX and low OPEX solution in hand to clean oilfield brines along with production wastewaters and to extract metal salts from the cleaned and concentrated brines, MGX envisions to interloop the old and the new energy industries with the help of a potentially cutting-edge invention which was recently nominated for the prestigious Katerva Award.
MGX Minerals Inc.
#303 - 1080 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 2T1
Phone: +1 604 681 7735
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 60,722,403
Canadian Symbol (CSE): XMG
Current Price: $1.48 CAD (03/03/2017)
Market Capitalization: $90 Million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Tradegate): 1MG / A12E3P
Current Price: €1.05 EUR (03/03/2017)
Market Capitalization: €64 Million EUR
Report #17 “MGX technology nominated for prestigious Katerva Award, the Nobel Prize of Sustainability“
Report #16 “Unconventional oil play legend Marc Bruner to take MGX and PetroLithium to the next level“
Report #15 “Total Conviction: MGX forms PetroLithium Corp. to expand into the US oilfield brine markets“
Report #14: “MGX Extracts Lithium from Oil Wastewater - Begins Monumental Integration with Big Oil“
Report #13 "MGX Partners with Oil Major on Lithium Brine, New Energy Industry Facing Fundamental Shift“
Report #12 "Game Changing Potential: MGX Minerals‘ Pilot Plant for Rapid Production of Lithium Nears Completion“
Report #11 "MGX assays 34 g/t gold from surface sampling in British Columbia“
Report #10 “Official: MGX owns magnesium worth multi-billions of dollars and starts pilot plant shortly“
Report #9 “One of the world‘s largest lithium resources on the horizon?“
Report #8 “Ready for significant lithium brine work in Alberta“
Report #7 “At the forefront of Alberta‘s lithium brine riches“
Report #6 “Pioneering Lithium in Alberta: MGX Minerals Teams Up“
Report #5 “Time to Put a Lithium Production Process in Place“
Report #4 “MGX Minerals Taps Into Canada‘s Potentially Largest High-Grade Lithium Resources“
Report #3 “MGX Minerals Receives Mining Lease for 20 years (in British Columbia!)“
Report #2 “MGX Minerals Accelerates Towards Production“
Report #1 “MGX Minerals Plans To Enter The Magnesium Market“
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.