International Battery Metals and US Magnesium Launch Modular Lithium Extraction Plant

Salt Flats with Mountains in background

The collaboration aims to meet soaring demand for lithium by establishing a cutting-edge, modular direct lithium extraction (DLE) facility at US Magnesium's brine resource in Utah. (Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash)

by | May 7, 2024

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International Battery Metals Ltd. has partnered with US Magnesium LLC to deploy its patented modular direct lithium extraction (DLE) plant at a brine resource near Salt Lake City, Utah. The mobile, co-located facility will process lithium-containing waste-magnesium salts to produce lithium chloride. This chloride will be converted into high-purity lithium carbonate, essential for energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Modular, Transportable Design

In recent weeks, International Battery Metals (IBAT) has completed most of the equipment setup at the US Magnesium site, including pipe and utility tie-ins and other installation activities. The company has initiated critical equipment testing and projects full commissioning and startup within the next three months, with commercial lithium production to follow shortly after that.

IBAT’s modular DLE plant was initially fabricated in Lake Charles, Louisiana, before being transported to Utah. The modular design enables the compact facility to be relocated as needed, ensuring operational efficiency and scalability.

Verified Technology, Designed for Sustainability

Independent organizations like SLR International Corporation and Greg Mehos & Associates LLC have validated the technology behind IBAT’s patented plant. Their assessments affirm the technology’s ability to efficiently extract lithium from various brine sources, such as oilfield brines in Arkansas’s Smackover Formation and subterranean brine resources across North America, Chile, Argentina, and Germany.

The plant has been independently verified to extract more than 97% of available lithium from brine while maximizing lithium uptake and minimizing impurities. The advanced water recovery rate ensures minimal impact on sensitive water resources. Furthermore, the brine is returned to its original subsurface aquifer, creating a closed-loop recycling system. By limiting chemical usage, the extraction process minimizes environmental impact and accelerates lithium chloride production.

With a footprint of just three acres, the modular DLE plant is designed to initially produce up to 5,000 metric tons per year, scalable according to demand. Its design optimizes construction and operational costs, making it a cost-effective alternative to traditional extraction methods.

Related Content: ABTC Launches Lithium Hydroxide Pilot Plant; Critical Materials Innovation; Stardust Power’s Lithium Refinery; Eureka Resources Milestone in Lithium Supply Chain

A New Era for U.S. Lithium Supply

This modular DLE operation positions IBAT as a leading supplier for the growing U.S. lithium market, providing a viable alternative to international sources. The partnership aims to produce lithium at scale with minimal environmental impact by combining proven technology with a sustainable, efficient process.

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