The US-based company holds an exclusive worldwide license to commercialize a process that uses an advanced nanomaterial filter membrane called a metallic-organic framework (MOF), which is precisely tuned, both in size and chemistry, to filter lithium molecules in an ultra-fast, unidirectional and highly selective manner.
Studies have reported that in addition to speeding up the process of extracting lithium from salt brines, MOF provides recovery rates of ~ 90%, which places it above the recovery rate of 30%. obtained when brine from underground deposits is pumped to the surface and moved through a series of massive evaporation ponds with added chemical treatments.
EnergyX CEO Teague Egan told MINING.COM that these technical goals have been confirmed in the lab over the past 12 months and that the company has built three pilot plants that are being tested with real lithium brine from five clients around the world.
One of these customers is Orocobre (ASX: ORE), with whom EnergyX signed a pilot partnership in 2020 to improve the processes of its Olaroz operation, located in northern Argentina, on the brine resource of Salar de Olaroz.
In April, Orocobre announced a $ 3 billion merger with Galaxy Resources to create a lithium giant, the world’s third largest producer. As part of this merger, EnergyX will deploy its pilot plants on Orocobre projects over the summer for longer duration tests.
“There is a major shift coming across the entire battery material supply chain, including mining and materials, anode / cathode and cell assembly, and EnergyX plans to be at the epicenter for decades to come, ”Egan said.