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The attractiveness of Lithium extraction from geothermal brines over others

Electric car charging station (source: flickr/ Open Grid Scheduler, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 20 Aug 2019

A fantastic article shared recently provides an excellent overview of what makes the extraction of Lithium from geothermal brine so attractive over other methods in the "mining" of lithium needed for battery production.

A fantastic overview by Alex Grant, published on FinFeed, provides an overview on how Lithium as abundant element is “notoriously challenging to extract and refine into a a chemical product that can be used to manufacture the cathode materials used in the batteries of electric vehicles.”

The article shares the current status of development with regards to extraction technologies and their application.

Some interesting points/ companies mentioned in the article:

  • Koppar Resources (ASX:KRX) is planning to build Europe’s first geothermal-lithium plant in the Upper Rhine Valley of Germany, called the Vulcan Lithium Project,
  • Simbol Materials, a famous failed company in the Salton Sea, but had a pilot plant near the Hudson Ranch geothermal plant
  • Berkshire Hathaway, Ormat Nevada … actually forgetting Controlled Thermal Resources and companies like MGX Minerals and E3
  • Technology companies: EnergySource Minerals, Lilac Solutions, Tenova Advanced Technologies, Adionics
  • Use of geothermal heat and power to drive lithium chemical refining
  • Proximity to battery manufacturing – here mentioning the Salton Sea and Nevada (Tesla Gigafactory) and Volkswagen (Germany)
  • Built-in waste management with regards to the extracted brine in the reinjection of geothermal projects
  • Investment-friendly jurisdictions for geothermal-lithium projects

The key advantages of the Lithium extraction from geothermal brine are described as:

  • Free zero-carbon heat from brine
  • Close proximity to battery manufacturers
  • spent brine re-injected by design
  • U.S. and Germany pose zero sovereign risk

With that direct Lithium extraction (DLE), Lithium extraction from geothermal is seen as much better positioned to other sources of Lithium, such as South American Salar-type Brines and Australian Spodumene & Chinese conversion.

For the full article, see link below.

Source: FinFeed