The Potash Brine Ponds from Intrepid Potash Inc. in front of the Cane Creek Anticline in Utah, a few kilometers from the Green Energy Project.
Yesterday, Voltaic Minerals Corp. has made a significant announcement to advance its Green Energy Lithium Project in Utah, USA. The signed MOU with Enertrex Corp. will enable the project to move straight to process development and optimization of its supersaturated brine, rich in lithium and other minerals.
Enertrex has developed a system that selectively extracts lithium from brines. Voltaic and Enertrex are now fast-tracking the project and expect that after 3 phases, each lasting about 90 days, a demonstration plant could be installed for production of lithium carbonate at competitive costs.
As the area has been producing oil and gas in the past, a lot of information exists from drilling oil and gas production wells. Voltaic has compiled and acquired a lot of data, such as well logs and drill reports. Past operators focused only on the oil-rich zones and not on the lithium-rich brine zones. However, in order to drill into the oil zones, they had to first drill through the brine zone and as such information exists also from these brine zones, e.g. mineral concentrations, pressure, temperature, etc.
Enertrex will take the available historic data collected out of oil and gas production wells and re-produce the brines with the exact same compositions. These representative „synthetic mixtures“ will be used to determine the costs to selectively extract the lithium from these brines. The stated objective is an operating cost comparable to other lithium carbonate brine projects.
Simultaneous to this work, Voltaic targets a brine bulk sampling program from existing wells on the property in order to test Enertrex’s Selective Lithium Process with actual, recent brine samples from Green Energy Lithium Project.
Upon the successful completion of Phase 1, the next phase will optimize the Selective Lithium Process for the Green Energy Project. At the same time, brines from other projects could be tested as well. The goal of Phase 2 is to identify ideal brine metallurgy for the process and to obtain a consistent source of supply for the development of Phase 3.
If Voltaic is satisfied with the results of Phase 2, the next phase will involve the construction of a pilot unit with a capacity of 20 gallon (76 liter) per minute to demonstrate and confirm operating costs of a commercial system. Demonstration of the unit using brine from, but not limited to, the Green Energy Project will be carried out for further confirmation giving Voltaic the ability to source brines globally.
The Enertrex technology utilizes a reaction/transport mechanism in a process using modified commercial units with off-the-shelf sets of equipment in a modular fashion in order to selectively extract lithium from brines with substantial concentrations of other minerals. This process essentially replaces solar evaporation and much of the traditional chemical treatment to remove impurities such as magnesium, calcium and boron. A key cost driver for an economic lithium project is managing the prohibitive cost of impurity removal from a brine.
In case all 3 phases prove successful, Voltaic and Enertrex will jointly work on commercialization of the Selective Lithium Process for use on, but not limited to, brines from the Green Energy Project. Voltaic will be granted the worldwide exclusive rights to market and utilize this process for selective lithium extraction. Voltaic is paying the costs of the 3 phases in exchange for the license to utilize the development process technology exclusively.
The Green Energy Project has many advantages to other brine projects (most of which are exploration projects far from being at a commercial level), e.g.:
• It’s not a typical exploration project, it’s an engineering and process development project as vast historic data exists from past operators indicating a very large and lithium-rich reservoir. Engineering reports from the 1960s conclude that the brine reservoir is extensive (over 16 km2) and is recharged from fresh in-flows as indicated by well pressure measurements, drawdown tests and oxygen-deuterium isotopes.
• Production wells already exist on the property. These abandoned wells could be refurbished and put back into operation at relatively low costs.
• Pressure: Past drilling showed that the brine zone is under strong pressure, which would facilitate production as no, or limited, pumping may be required in order to get the brine to surface.
• Temperature: Historic information indicates that the brine is hot. Most other brines worldwide are cold, and must get heated to utilize new extraction technologies. The heating of large volumes is costly.
• Supersaturated brine: Historic well drilling in the area around the Green Energy Property showed very high lithium grades with up to 1,700 mg/L. Lithium occurs in an over-saturated brine (40% minerals, 60% water; i.e. the minerals are already in solution / dissolved solids).
• Infrastructure: The project is ideally located for development with excellent infrastructure including railhead and transmission lines in proximity.
Green Energy Project Video:
Voltaic Minerals Corp.
Suite 1450 - 789 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1H2 Canada
Phone: +1 604 681 1568
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 37,769,135
Canada Symbol (TSX.V): VLT
Current Price: $0.06 CAD (October 31, 2016)
Market Capitalization: $2 million CAD
Deutschland Symbol/WKN (Frankfurt): 2P61 / A2AG5Q
Current Price: €0,035 EUR (October 31, 2016)
Market Capitalization: €1 million EUR
Report #5: “Voltaic Minerals Encouraged by Macarthur Minerals‘ Lithium Results”
Report #4: “The perfect brine project for someone like Albemarle”
Report #3: “Prima Diamond becomes Voltaic Minerals with focus on energy metals”
Report #2: “Early Warning Report on Prima Diamond”
Report #1: “Prima Diamond Acquires the Green Energy Project in Utah with Historic Lithium Grades of 1700 mg/L”
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.