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Comment Business & Economics

Standard Lithium to commission Li-extraction demonstration plant

By Scott Jenkins |

Standard Lithium Ltd. (Vancouver, B.C.; www.standardlithium.com), a technology and lithium development company, today announced the successful installation of the company’s industrial-scale Direct Lithium Extraction Demonstration Plant at Lanxess’ South Plant facility in southern Arkansas.  Standard Lithium’s project team has also installed the site office/control room, the lithium-specific analytical laboratory, and a steel-framed, all-weather structure that allows year-round operation.  The project team is currently completing all utility/service connections, as well as brine and reagent supply and disposal lines.  As soon as these connections are finalized, then Standard Lithium’s 20+ person on-site project team will commence the commissioning phase.

Standard Lithium CEO, Robert Mintak commented, “The commissioning of our industrial-scale pre-commercial plant will solidify Standard Lithium as one of the most advanced lithium projects in North America.  Our recently completed Preliminary Economic Assessment contemplates the production of 20,900 tonnes of battery-quality lithium carbonate from existing brine flow, roughly five times the current domestic U.S. production, and that is without drilling a new well.  The successful commissioning and operation of the LiSTR extraction technology will provide the proof of concept required for a commercial build decision and then potentially to become the largest producer of lithium chemicals in the United States.”

Standard Lithium’s proprietary LiSTR Direct Lithium Extraction technology will be used to extract lithium from waste brine (tail brine) that is a byproduct of existing bromine production facilities run by Lanxess in south Arkansas, to produce battery-quality lithium chemicals.  The industrial-scale pre-commercial plant is designed to continuously process an input tail brine flow of 50 gallons per minute (11.4 m3/hr) from the Lanxess South Plant, which is equivalent to an annual production of between 100-150 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate.

Key features of the Li-extraction technology include the following:

  • Produces lithium chloride (LiCl) directly from un-concentrated raw brine;
  • Reduces recovery time from months to less than a day;
  • Eliminates the massive environmental footprint of evaporation ponds;
  • Returns virtually all water to the source aquifer;
  • Not affected by weather conditions;
  • Vastly increases recovery efficiencies to as much as >90%; and,
  • Unlocks large-scale unconventional brine resources.

Work at the project location at Lanxess’ South Plant facility in southern Arkansas continues to be on-schedule, with first commissioning works expected to start in early December, and full commissioning to happen soon afterward.

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