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International Battery Metals throws switch at DLE plant in Utah

Lithium extraction tech company International Battery Metals (CSE: IBAT) announced Thursday it has officially began commercial operation of its modular direct lithium extraction (DLE) plant in Utah.

That is the first time lithium has been produced using the only modular such plant installed at a brine resource in the world. With this start up, IBAT also becomes the first commercial DLE operation in North America.

The plant is located outside Salt Lake City on property belonging to US Magnesium. IBAT is extracting lithium from a byproduct magnesium chloride-lithium chloride brine from US Mag’s operation. The DLE plant currently occupies one-acre, but plans call for expansion by installing additional columns on the same modular platform.

“This kicks off a US lithium production renaissance and creates the potential for a sea change in global lithium supplies,” said John Burba, founder and chief technology officer of IBAT.

International Battery’s patented DLE technology has several advantages over conventional recovery means. The modular plant took only 18 months to build, compared to as long as seven years for conventional DLE plants. The design is scalable and will accept a number of brine resources.

IBAT’s technology recovers over 97% of the lithium in the brine and reduces water usage by recycling 98% of the water used in the process. Moreover, the plant is expected to be among the lowest capital and operating costs in the industry.

IBAT’s DLE process is also capable of extracting lithium from subsurface brine sources and returning the lithium-depleted brine underground.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More