Salton Sea Induces Innovation in Direct Lithium Extraction Technologies

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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May 27, 2022

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2021 geothermal lithium

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On May 3, 2022, EnergySource Minerals announced a fresh round of funding headed by Schlumberger New Energy and TechMet Ltd. The Schlumberger New Energy investment comprises a collaborative relationship to expedite the implementation of the ILiAD lithium extraction platform and incorporate it into the front end of NeoLith Energy’s process.

We Covered this in our Weekly Wire Roundup

Lithium Extraction Technologies

The ILiAD platform has been tested at a demo scale on a range of real-world brines for over six years. Schlumberger will expand testing at NeoLith Energy’s Nevada pilot plant and deploy it globally.

“As the world projects a significant supply shortage of various critical minerals such as lithium, the time is particularly ripe for our Schlumberger and TechMet partnership. We have found a way to make battery material production more efficient, economical, and sustainable. We continue to push the envelope to reduce environmental impact, which is the industry’s obligation.”  

Says Eric Spomer, EnergySource Minerals President, and CEO.

For its lithium extraction operation at the John L. Featherstone Geothermal Power Plant in the Salton Sea, EnergySource Minerals developed the ILiAD technology. Compared to competing technologies, the platform increases lithium extraction from brines in a closed-loop setting, resulting in significant time, cost, and environmental impact savings. Among direct lithium extraction processes, ILiAD is the best. It is now commercially available, has a low water footprint, uses no chemicals, has an order-of-magnitude longer working life, and has excellent lithium recovery rates. It also allows for the creation of new brine resource classes to produce additional minerals like manganese and zinc.

EnergySource Minerals has partnered with various resource clients to assess and deploy the ILiAD technology platform globally, using strategic relationships and technical collaborations. As a strategic investor and partner, Schlumberger New Energy collaborates closely with EnergySource Minerals on the platform’s industrialization and implementation.

“Energy Source Minerals’ technology promises an efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly solution for lithium extraction from brines. We are excited by the opportunities to scale up this solution to support the increased demand for lithium, motivated by the electric vehicle industry’s growth ambitions.” 

Said Gavin Rennick, President of Schlumberger New Energy

Lithium demand is skyrocketing as the world moves toward a sustainable energy economy. Lithium mining now has a severe environmental cost and relies on only a few nations around the globe. A technological shift is necessary to harness a more extensive, more sustainable resource base to meet countries’ needs dedicated to a cleaner future.

“We need a monumental ramp-up of lithium production to meet the global demand from EVs and the renewable energy transition. EnergySource Minerals’ pioneering DLE technology has the potential to scale lithium production globally while minimizing environmental impacts, and we are hugely excited to be supporting the development of its first commercial operation on the Salton Sea.”

Brian Menell, TechMet’s Chairman and CEO

Salton Sea: The Major Source of Lithium Attraction

On May 13, Startempire Wire reported that the Salton Sea is the most valuable and essential source of lithium attraction. Lithium is the key mineral for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. EVs will be the biggest automotive industry in the next 100 years. According to the California Energy Commission, the Salton Sea holds enough lithium to supply all of the United States’ expected future consumption and 40% of global need. 

Three businesses in the Salton Sea are developing chemical procedures to extract lithium far cleaner, utilizing the Salton Sea’s abundant geothermal resources. There are now 11 geothermal power facilities running around the lake, 10 of which are owned by Berkshire Hathaway’s renewable energy company, BHE Renewables. 

About EnergySource Minerals

EnergySource Minerals is a privately held firm advancing Project ATLiS, a flagship lithium project in Imperial County, California, and the ILiAD technology platform, which is being developed and deployed to lithium operations worldwide.

Leaders in industrial project development, continuous adsorption and ion exchange technologies, and battery materials make up the EnergySource Minerals team.

TechMet: The Metals Investor

TechMet is a private firm that invests in the Li-ion battery metal supply chain, including manufacturing, processing, and recycling. The US International Development Finance Corporation and global energy trader Mercuria are among TechMet’s significant stockholders. Its advisory board is directed by Admiral Mike Mullen, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman under Presidents G.W. Bush and Obama.

Schlumberger New Energy: A Top-Notch Resource for Oil Sector

Schlumberger is the world’s top technology provider to the worldwide oil sector. Schlumberger New Energy seeks new growth opportunities in developing new energy markets by using Schlumberger’s intellectual and business resources, with an emphasis on low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy technology. Its business efforts include hydrogen, lithium, battery storage, carbon capture and sequestration, and geothermal energy.

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