Pilot Plant for Lithium Extraction from Saskatchewan Brine Deposits
With the growth in demand for electric vehicles and mobile devices powered by rechargeable lithium batteries, demand for lithium is expected to increase by over 200% in the next decade. Current lithium production comes primarily from Australia, South America and China. There are significant lithium reserves in the same Saskatchewan aquifers currently being exploited for their concomitant oil reserves. Although the lithium concentration in these aquifers is lower than in brines being mined elsewhere, new lithium selective extraction technologies show great promise for making extraction of lithium from these aquifers economical. Prairie Lithium has previously identified a lithium selective ion exchange material that can extract more than 99% of the lithium in a brine sample in only 4 minutes. The project described here involves the modification, deployment, and optimization of a commercial pilot unit to demonstrate the viability of using this extraction methodology to develop the first lithium brine mine in Saskatchewan using produced water from oil and gas production.