Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) has generated a 99.9% pure battery grade lithium carbonate from its Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina.
In what Lake claims is a “ground breaking” result, the 99.9% lithium carbonate was produced at Lilac Solutions’ ion exchange plant in California using disruptive technology after nine months of detailed test work.
In addition to the high purity lithium product, impurities such as iron and boron were “very low”, which was a key focus for Lake.
Lake managing director Steve Promnitz said the achievement was also “potentially ground breaking for industry” and that potential offtake customers would welcome the “very low levels of impurities”.
The next stage will be to deliver greater volumes of lithium carbonate from Kachi brines, which will be used to engage with potential offtake parties.
“With the Kachi pre-feasibility study nearing completion, we are confident we can generate the right product at the right time, delivering consistently high quality, low impurity products that meet the needs of global buyers,” Mr Promnitz said.
“Whilst we had anticipated releasing the pre-feasibility study in late 2019, the study has been only slightly delayed awaiting additional engineering studies.”
Mr Promnitz noted the study will be released within the next month.
According to Lake, Lilac’s direct extraction process offers a “sustainable solution” in producing lithium carbonate.
This is because once the lithium has been removed, the processed brine is returned to the aquifer.
The Lilac process also eliminates the need for traditional evaporation ponds.
Lake anticipates its more sustainable lithium carbonate process will attract the interest of battery and electric vehicle manufacturers which want to demonstrate they have sourced their raw materials from a sustainable operation.
Kachi lithium brine project
At its wholly-owned Kachi project, Lake has firmed up contained lithium carbonate resources of 4.4 million tonnes.
The company claims the resource estimate positions Kachi among the top 10 lithium brine projects globally.
Located in north-west Argentina’s Catamarca province, Kachi encompasses 37 mining leases over 70,400 ha.
This morning’s news spurred Lake’s share price up almost 70% to trade at $0.056 before midday.