In total, these will have the capacity to produce 20,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent per year, re-injecting over 90% of the brine extracted from the salt flat.
March began with good news for Sorcia Minerals and International Battery Metals (IBAT), as both companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the arrival of direct lithium extraction plants in South America in 2024. In total, these will have the capacity to produce 20,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent per year, re-injecting over 90% of the brine extracted from the salt flat.
This technology -the only one in the world validated at industrial level- will come to South America to change the paradigm of lithium extraction, which until now has been carried out through large evaporation pools installed on the salt flats.
In addition to having re-injection, a fundamental element to avoid generating water imbalance in the salt flats or harming the surrounding communities, these plants can extract lithium with an efficiency of up to 90%, which is highly superior to current systems. In this way, the extraction of this mineral can be done in a more effective and sustainable way.
Daniel Layton, CEO of Sorcia Minerals, says he is very pleased with this agreement. “With this technology we will allow lithium to be part of a circular economy, being sustainable from its extraction to its industrial use. We are very happy to be able to take these plants to South America during 2024, since the best salt flats in the world are there to exploit this mineral, always in a sustainable and long-lasting way. We already have the technology and now we are working to enter the Chilean and Argentinian market with this direct extraction and reinjection system. We are sure that we can be an influential player so that these countries can take full advantage of their salt flats, but always being environmentally responsible”, says the executive.
For the last four years Sorcia Minerals has conducted geophysical studies in four salt flats between Chile and Argentina. These have shown great potential for lithium exploitation with Direct Extraction Technology. The company is already in the last stage of drilling in Antofalla salt flat, in the Province of Catamarca, Argentina, where they plan to start production during next year.
Source: Company Press Release