Aspiring integrated clean lithium chemical developer Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) has begun shallow drilling at the Kachi lithium brine project, with activity to underpin the definitive feasibility study that started earlier this month.
Lake’s geophysical studies at the flagship Kachi project in Argentina have assisted with planning shallow wells up to 60m deep.
Shallow drilling of these wells is now underway, which will be followed by further geotechnical studies.
A further 20,000 litres of Kachi brines will be extracted and processed at Lake’s technology partner Lilac Solution’s pilot plant in California.
In addition to shallow drilling, other recent definitive feasibility study work has been conducted on proposed sites for the Lilac demonstration facility and future commercial production plant.
Aiming to be clean, low-cost lithium producer
Lake has secured Lilac as its technology partner, which has a proprietary process for extracting lithium from brines.
The direct extraction technology is based on a known water treatment method and involves returning 99% of the brine back to its source without changing the chemistry.
Lilac’s technology does not require evaporation or mining, which are current lithium extraction methods.
As a result, the technology has a much smaller environmental footprint and consumes much less water.
Additionally, the technology takes days, not months or years to recover lithium from brines.
Kachi definitive feasibility study
Lake’s definitive feasibility study at Kachi officially began earlier this month and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2022.
The company is well financed to complete the study after Acuity Capital agreed to increase an existing controlled placement agreement by $5.5 million in November last year.
According to Lake, the increased agreement gave it $8.6 million in standby funding to draw on.
Novonix testing and investor engagement
Canada-based Novonix (ASX: NVX) is spearheading global battery technology development.
The company is working on “million mile” battery formulations and has worked with tier one battery makers including CATL, Panasonic, LG Chem, SK Innovation, Bosch, Honda and Dyson.
Novonix is testing Lake’s Kachi material in nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries.
Initial results from these tests are anticipated next month.
With increasing focus on the lithium sector due to higher prices and predicted supply problems, Lake has ramped up investor and partner engagement – pushing its offering of a high quality, responsibly sourced lithium supply with environmental and sustainability benefits.
“Interest in the sector has never been stronger in environmentally responsible, direct lithium extractions,” Lake managing director Steve Promnitz said.