New Extraction Technology Could Help Address Global Lithium Demand

Lithium is one of the most critical metals in our modern technology-reliant economy. The metal is a crucial ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries that run most of our rechargeable devices. Furthermore, with large nations such as the United States looking to replace their fleets with battery-electric vehicles, lithium will be in even more demand over the next decade.

Most of the global lithium reserves are located in brine, a layer of very salty water under the earth’s surface. Miners extract the critical mineral by evaporating the brine in huge pools over a nearly two-year period. However, this process is inefficient, ecologically disruptive and takes up a lot of economically viable land.

With demand for lithium expected to balloon as automakers produce more and more electric cars, miners will need new technology to make lithium extraction much more efficient. Lilac Solutions CEO and founder Dave Snydacker says that the lithium industry currently needs a 20-fold increase in lithium supply, but current technologies simply cannot keep up with that type of growth.

Lilac Solutions is one of a few companies that are looking to improve lithium extraction through novel technologies called direct lithium extraction (DLE). These new extraction techniques could boost the efficiency of lithium extraction while reducing the negative aspects of the process such as land degradation, groundwater contamination and water pollution.

DLE avoids all these ecological side effects by pulling the brine into a processing unit and taking it through several chemical processes that separate the lithium before sending the now lithium-free brine back underground. On top of significantly reducing the impact of lithium extraction through brine mining, this process takes only a few hours to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide and carbonate.

Deploying DLE to mass lithium mining could make the extraction process more efficient and environmentally friendly while eliminating the need for transporting brine to different processing facilities or using up massive tracts of land. The novel extraction technique could also allow the U.S. to grow its domestic lithium extraction market because the process significantly cuts down on land use and works with less concentrated and impure brine.

Most of the world’s lithium brine extraction occurs in a large salt flat in northern Chile called Salar De Atacama, which has the largest and highest quality lithium brine on the globe. The Chilean government has already taken notice of DLE technology and recently announced that all new lithium brine mining projects have to use the new technology.

This new technology has the potential to revolutionize the space in which companies such as Reflex Advanced Materials Corp. (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) operate. The coming years will reveal how quickly the DLE technology is adopted industry wide.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Reflex Advanced Materials Corp. (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RFLXF

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