EMP lithium test results exceed expectations, CEO says

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EMP Metals Corp. [CSE-EMPS] has reported significant advancements and milestones at its Viewfield lithium project in Saskatchewan.

EMP is a lithium exploration and development company with a focus on large-scale resources using direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. EMP in partnership with ROK Resources Inc. [TSXV-ROK]. currently holds 79,300 hectares of subsurface dispositions and strategic wellbores in southern Saskatchewan.

“The results of our DLE battery grade lithium project exceeded expectations,’’ said EMP CEO Rob Gamley. “Our partnership with Saltworks has proven to be a powerful collaboration, setting the stage for future advancements in the Canadian lithium industry.’’ A preliminary economic assessment, focused on Phase 1 development at Viewfield, is nearing completion.

EMP shares were unchanged at 43 cents and trade in a 52-week range of 69 cents and 23 cents.

On Tuesday, the company said Hub City Lithium Corp., a subsidiary of EMP, has successfully completed a large-scale pilot test using the ILiAD DLE Platform developed by Energy Source Minerals (ESM), a privately held process technology company with a focus on DLE in North America.

The pilot, which processed 87,000 litres of brine from the Viewfield project area, successfully recovered 8,300 litres of concentrated eluent with an average lithium concentration of 1,430 mg/L (representing a 7.5 X concentration from the feed brine provided). An average lithium recovery of over 90% and an impurity rejection rate of 99.62% were also verified by ESM. HCL plans to ship the highly concentrated eluent to a third party for refinement into battery grade lithium carbonate

Meanwhile, HCL has confirmed successful production of 99.95% pure battery grade lithium carbonate (Li2C03), marking the company’s first brine-to-battery-grade lithium carbonate production.

Saltworks Technologies Inc., a global leader in designing and delivering industrial wastewater treatment and lithium refinement solutions, saw brine sourced from wells in HCL’s Viewfield project area refined into battery grade lithium carbonate.

The Viewfield lithium-containing brine represents the highest concentrations of lithium discovered in Canada to date with minimal pretreatment requirements.

After DLE, the eluent was refined into battery-grade chemicals at Saltworks’ headquarters in British Columbia. This work was executed with Saltworks’ proprietary concentrating, refining and converting technology and expert technical team, employing novel technology that lowers the cost and greenhouse gas impact of lithium chemical production.

This project tested and de-risked the end-to-end flow-sheet, resulting in multiple samples of battery-grade lithium carbonate, which have been analyzed and validated by an independent third-party laboratory. The captured data enables the acceleration of a full-scale plant design and dispatch.

Meanwhile, HCL is currently undergoing a treatability study with Koch Technology Solutions to test 1,000 litres of brine from the Viewfield project area. The study is in preparation for a DLE field pilot (one of the first in Saskatchewan) on the HCL well that previously tested 258 mg/L of lithium.

The pilot, which is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2024, will treat Viewfield brine and convert it into highly concentrated lithium chloride eluent.

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