Today, Voltaic Minerals Corp. announced that its technology partner, Lithium Selective Technologies Inc. (”LiST”), has started testing brine solutions to selectively extract lithium. An artificial brine has been produced which is similar in nature to the historic brine composition of Voltaic´s Green Energy Project in Utah, USA. LiST expects to issue a Phase-1 Process Development Report detailing results approximately 90 days from the commencement date.
This synthetic mixture will be used to determine preliminary costs to selectively extract the lithium from brines similar to the Green Energy Project. The stated objective is an operating cost comparable to other lithium carbonate brine projects, especially from South America. Simultaneous to this work, Voltaic targets a brine bulk sampling program from existing wells in order to test the Selective Lithium Extraction Process with actual brine samples around the Green Energy Property.
According to today´s press-release, LiST´s technical team has over 85 years of combined lithium processing experience and is "extremely optimistic about the potential that the process can unlock non-conventional brines across the globe making them economically feasible". Tom Currin, Voltaic´s Project Manager, commented today:
"We are extremely pleased with the progress so far and expect results to be published at the end of Phase I. If successful, this process could create value from known resources in the US and globally. The company is incorporating selective techniques used commercially in mineral extraction and water treatment in a novel fashion to achieve a result not yet seen in the Lithium process sector."
With over 35 years of chemical engineering experience in the lithium and specialty chemicals industry, Mr. Currin has an extensive background in process development and project management implementation. He has worldwide experience in lithium extraction having managed projects in Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada and the US. He spent 15 years with FMC Corp.’s (NYSE: FMC; market cap.: $10 billion USD) lithium division, where his last position was Division Production Coordinator.
2 weeks ago on March 27, Voltaic reported the engagement of Stormcrow Capital Ltd. in order to provide Voltaic with independent technical analysis and advice relating directly to the development of the lithium selective extraction process, as well as to provide the company strategic introductions relating to financing and partnerships for the Green Energy Lithium Project in Utah as well as the lithium selective extraction process. Dr. Jon Hykawy, President of Stormcrow, said:
"As global demand for lithium continues to increase, and the desire for battery-pack cost reductions continues to grow, the need for sufficient, inexpensive supplies of commodities such as lithium has never been more obvious. Batteries are not electronics and as such the cost of batteries is ultimately going to be dependent on the cost of the raw materials that go into them. We are thrilled to be working with Voltaic Minerals Corp., which holds the promise of an inexpensive new source of lithium supply from unconventional brines."
In November 2016, Hykawy provided the following statement:
“Almost every major lithium exploration initiative in the world today depends on the same, old types of resources, from the same regions, using the same old types of extraction technologies. For example, there are a horde of companies looking at extracting brine from dry salt lakes in the Andean altiplano in South America, or from the playa in Nevada. And there are a horde of companies examining the mining of low-grade spodumene ore in Australia, and elsewhere, so that it can be leached with acids to produce lithium. What Voltaic is doing, which combines potentially high-grade oilfield brines with new processing technology that bypasses evaporation, is very interesting. Not only does this potentially use unconventional sources of lithium, it might allow the industry to diversify the regions from which lithium is produced. And these oilfield brines are abundantly available. Yes, it’s early days, but this is a really high-value path for exploration and research.”
With a current market capitalization of $7 million CAD, Voltaic stands before a major milestone that promises to radically change the lithium industry on a global scale as there exist vast quantities of unconventional lithium brine sources which are not economically feasible as of today. Having engaged reputable Stormcrow Capital as an independent partner will provide transparency that may convince the market once results have been published and confirmed independently.
The following images, including the above cover picture, were captured during a recent site visit of the Green Energy Property and existing current and historic oil and gas production wells which may get sampled during the ongoing Phase-1:
Available data from historic oil and gas production wells around the Green Energy Property in Utah are taken in order to re-produce such brines with the exact same compositions. These representative synthetic mixtures will be used to determine preliminary costs to selectively extract the lithium from such 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 in order to test the Selective Lithium Extraction Process with actual, recent brine samples around the Green Energy Property.
Upon the successful completion of Phase-1, the next phase will aim to optimize the capability of the Selective Lithium Process for the Green Energy Project. At the same time, other brines and lithium feed stocks could be tested that would be ideal for the process. The goal of Phase-2 is to identify ideal brine metallurgy for the process and 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 may involve the construction and demonstrations of a 20 gallon (76 liter) per minute pilot unit designed to test lithium bearing solution 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.
Each one of the 3 phases is expected to last about 90 days. Rockstone now expects an increased newsflow from Voltaic.
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Voltaic Minerals Corp.
Suite 1450 - 789 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1H2 Canada
Phone: +1 604 681 1568
Shares in the market: 60,643,801
Canada Symbol (TSX.V): VLT
Current Price: $0.115 CAD (04/10/2017)
Market Capitalization: $7 Million CAD
Germany Symbol/ WKN (Tradegate): 2P61 / A2AG5Q
Current Price: €0.087 EUR (04/11/2017)
Market Capitalization: €5 Million EUR
Report #9: “Voltaic and Partner Agree to Exclusive Extension and Begin Phase 1”
Report #8: “Voltaic to enter lithium brine zone with bulk sampling at its Green Energy Project in Utah”
Report #7: “Cutting Edge in the Lithium Space”
Report #6: “Voltaic Minerals partners up to demonstrate a lithium processing plant within 9 months”
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: The author, Stephan Bogner, holds a long position in Voltaic Minerals Corp. and is paid, on a monthly basis, by Zimtu Capital Corp. which company is also invested in Voltaic Minerals Corp. Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.