E3 Metals Corp. [ETMC-TSXV; EEMF-OTC; OU7A-FSE] said Tuesday April 20 that its Calgary testing facility is now fully operational, a move that will allow the company to fully demonstrate the effectiveness of its proprietary Direct Lithium Extraction technology.
E3 Metals shares advanced on the news, rising 4.5% or $0.08 to $1.85 on volume of 250,240. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $5.37 and 23 cents.
E3 is a company that sees opportunity in Alberta’s depleted oil and gas reserves. The technology it is testing will, if successful, extract lithium from brine in old wells, material that could eventually find its way into the batteries that power electric vehicles.
E3 says it has developed Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology that connects conventional oilfield and lithium processing, unlocking Alberta’s previously untapped lithium resources. The company’s goal is to commercialize its global-scale lithium resource and deliver zero carbon emissions, battery grade, lithium products to the growing electric vehicle supply chain.
On April 6, 2021, the company said it had received a government grant of $1.8 million from Alberta Innovates that will assist in funding its pilot plant. This funding, the company said, would support the demonstration of E3’s technology by progressively scaling it up from the lab prototype to a field pilot.
The company controls 250,000 acres in south central Alberta, and claims to have outlined 7.0 million tonnes of inferred lithium carbonate equivalent. It hopes to produce 20,000 tonnes of battery-quality lithium monohydrate annually through a multi-step process that uses ion exchange to extract lithium out of oil and gas brine.
The lithium is then further refined, fed into electrolyzers to produce an even more pure lithium hydroxide solution, crystallized into lithium hydroxide salts and finally ready to be transported for sale.
“We have been developing this technology for four years, we have proof of concept, we just need proof of scale,” said CEO Chris Doornbos.
The company will relocate all lab development from Ontario and North Carolina to be closer to its head office in Calgary. The facility opened in February, 2021, and has made significant progress to accelerate the advancement of the DLE technology.
Doornbos said he expects 2021 will be an exciting year for E3 Metals. “We are fully funded and have a team and facilities in place to complete our milestones for 2021 as we work towards a pre-feasibility study.”