Prairie Lithium has commissioned the third iteration of its direct lithium extraction (DLE) pilot plant in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is designed to process deep subsurface brines sourced from the company’s fall 2022 drilling program, from which 600 cubic meters of lithium-rich brine was reserved for ongoing DLE technology testing.
The pilot plant uses Plix, Prairie Lithium’s ion exchange material that is designed to selectively extract lithium from the produced brine water, reducing the number of contaminants carried over into the production stream.
The new plant builds on the experience and knowledge gained from the first two, which processed about 400 cubic meters of lithium-rich brine over their life spans. Major changes to the plant’s design include new equipment to reduce processing time, improved configuration to enable continuous flow and increased processing capacity.
The company anticipates that the pilot plant will provide the information required to enable design of a field demonstration plant to be deployed on a Prairie Lithium well site in southeast Saskatchewan. The company recently converted mineral exploration permits into 21-year mineral leases, a first for lithium brines in Saskatchewan.
“This is really a testament to the team we have at Prairie Lithium, relentlessly improving and pushing our technology toward commercial deployment, doing so without sacrificing quality or safety under tight timelines to keep the project on schedule,” said Don Bender, Prairie Lithium’s Research, Development and Engineering Manager.
Source: Prairie Lithium