MGX engages Hatch for scale up of lithium technology

The PurLucid Treatment Solutions laboratory in Calgary, Alberta, MGX's partner. Source: MGX Minerals Inc.

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MGX Minerals Inc. [XMG-CSE, MGXMF-OTCQB, 1MG-FSE] said Wednesday August 1 that it has hired engineering firm Hatch Ltd. to advise the company on the scaling of its rapid lithium extraction technology in the western United States.

Hatch will provide a strategic review and recommendations to implement large-scale application of the technology, including:

A comprehensive review of rapid lithium extraction technology, including flow systems, processes and more to further establish confidence in the scaling of technology and processes;

High level product engineering scope and timeline schedule for buildout.

MGX shares were unchanged at 85 cents on the news. The stock is currently trading in a 52-week range of $1.96 and 76 cents.

MGX says it has developed technology that does not require the construction of large, multi-phase, lake-sized, lined evaporation ponds, greatly reducing the physical footprint and enhancing the quality of extraction and recovery across a complex range of brines that were previously considered un-processable due to complexity or geographical location outside of solar evaporation appropriate zones.

This includes oil and gas wastewater, natural brine, and other brine sources such as lithium-rich mine and industrial plant wastewater.

The final product is lithium fluoride, which can be refined for use in batteries.

Brines (salt ponds) and spodumene (hard rock) represent the two main sources of commercial lithium production.

The company points out on its website that solar evaporation techniques require a processing period of up to 24 months, and can leave a massive environmental footprint. The partners believe that as this extraction process moves forward it will move big oil into big batteries.

That is because on any given day, oil sands producers in Alberta are probably producing more lithium feedstock at a very basic level than all of the lithium companies put together times ten, said MGX Minerals CEO Jared Lazerson.

Until now, the problem has been extracting lithium so that it can be used in the production of lithium-ion batteries that are needed to power some essentials of modern life, including electric vehicles, laptops, smart phones and just about every type of portable device.

Currently, most of it winds up in oil sands waste water.

But MGX and Calgary water treatment company PurLucid Treatment Solutions have joined forces to find a way to extract the lithium and at the same time turn the effluent into usable water.

MGX has said its NFLI-5 commercial scale rapid lithium extraction system is ready for deployment following a successful demonstration in Purlucid’s Calgary laboratories.

PurLucid’s technology separates heavy metals and hydrocarbons from brine, purifies wastewater and creates a steady flow of brine feedstock for MGX’s rapid recovery process.

MGX and PurLucid have integrated their respective technologies and fabricated pilot plants that operate as standalones or can be integrated directly into oilfield operators’ existing infrastructure.

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