TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Enirgi Group Corporation ("Enirgi Group") today announced that its new proprietary lithium extraction technology has exceeded expectations.
KEY FEATURES OF THIS REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY
- Produces lithium directly from unconcentrated raw brine at commercial volumes;
- Radically reduces processing time from the conventional 500+ days to less than 24 hours;
- Totally eliminates the need for capital intensive mega-evaporation pond infrastructure;
- Reliably brings to the market high volumes of low cost predictable supply of high grade lithium;
- Sets new industry benchmarks through superior extraction efficiencies; and
- Potentially unlocks the value of other brine resources.
The technology was developed and validated by Enirgi Group's Applied Innovation Division, in partnership with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Minerals Division (ANSTO Minerals) at demonstration plant scale (1,500 tpa Lithium Carbonate Equivalent or "LCE").
"Enirgi Group's proprietary lithium extraction process is a game changer. It will release supply for pent up global demand for lithium by delivering high volume, low cost, reliable supply of lithium," said Wayne Richardson, President and CEO of Enirgi Group. "The technology will have significant implications for producers of lithium-based products by enabling them to plan for the future with confidence."
Enirgi Group's VP of Innovation and Technology, Cameron Stanton said, "The demonstration plant is able to extract lithium directly from unprocessed brine. We are not talking about technology that only produces small volumes from specific brines to just prove it can be done. This technology can be applied at high volumes and we are confident it can be applied to other brine resources. We plan to commence construction of an initial 50,000 tpa LCE plant at Enirgi Group's Salar del Rincon situated in Salta Province, Argentina in 2015 and to be in production in 2017."
Mr. Richardson said, "This technology will not only deliver one of the lowest costs of production for brine-based lithium resources, we estimate it will be up to 50% less than the processing costs of existing hard rock operations. The ability to extract lithium directly from brine is significant. It reduces processing time from conventional lithium brine extraction techniques through evaporation from an industry average 550 days to less than 24 hours. The technology de-risks production vulnerability of conventional extraction techniques to seismic and weather events. It also eliminates the need for mega-evaporation ponds and the associated capital required for construction and maintenance of the mega ponds."
The technology also dramatically increases the recovery rate compared to conventional extraction technologies. Mr. Richardson explained the significance of this feature: "Resource statements measure the amount of extractable lithium in a salar by reference to the recovery rates of conventional technologies. By increasing the yield and significantly reducing capital investment, our technology potentially unlocks the value of other lithium brine resources."
The lithium extraction technology was conceived and developed by Enirgi Group's Applied Innovation Division. "The fact that this revolutionary technology was conceptualized, developed, proven in the laboratory and is now proven at scalable demonstration level within one year is testament to the practical approach to innovation and ingenuity applied by our engineering team," said Richardson. "We are currently working to commercialize other disruptive industrial process technologies. Our success in delivering lithium extraction directly from brine gives us confidence that we are able to successfully develop and commercialize other proprietary industrial process technologies through our cooperation with world class technology innovators such as ANSTO."
"At Enirgi Group we believe that innovation, a commitment to excellence and a focus on a triple bottom line delivers better outcomes," said Richardson. "Our proprietary lithium extraction technology is just one example of how Enirgi Group delivers shareholder value while conserving our planet and caring for our people."
About Enirgi Group Corporation
Enirgi Group is a private global company headquartered in Toronto, Canada that owns and operates an inventory of world class, long-life assets located in the USA, Australia, and Argentina. Our results driven team focuses on providing the critical materials that are required to sustain our modern way of life and support the emerging technologies that improve life. Enirgi Group's target sectors include Industrial Metals & Mining, Chemicals, Diversified Industrials, Oil & Gas and Utilities. Enirgi Group is currently producing, selling and exporting sodium bicarbonate, lead concentrate, lead metal and alloys, sodium sulfate, polypropelene and lithium carbonate.
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Source:Enirgi Group Corporation