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Lithium player EnergySource Minerals secures investment by Schlumberger

Lithium player EnergySource Minerals secures investment by Schlumberger John L. Featherstone (Hudson Ranch I) geothermal plant, California, U.S. (source: EnergySource)
Alexander Richter 3 May 2022

The mineral extraction company EnergySource Mineral has secured a strategic investment by Schlumberger New Energy to help deploy its ILiAD geothermal lithium extraction platform at its geothermal plant in the Salton Sea, California.

Salton Sea, California based EnergySource Minerals today announced a new round of investment led by Schlumberger New Energy and TechMet Ltd. The Schlumberger New Energy investment includes a strategic partnership to accelerate the deployment of the ILiAD lithium extraction platform and integrate it into the front end of the process used by NeoLith Energy, a Schlumberger New Energy venture. The platform has been piloted at demonstration scale for over 6 years on a variety of real-world brines. Schlumberger will scale up testing at NeoLith Energy’s pilot plant in Nevada and deploy it at a global scale.

“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,” noted Eric Spomer, EnergySource Minerals President and CEO. “Simply put, 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 really the obligation of the industry.”

EnergySource Minerals developed the ILiAD technology for its lithium extraction operation at the John L. Featherstone Geothermal Power Plant in the Salton Sea. The platform maximizes lithium extraction from brines in a closed-loop environment, delivering disruptive reduction in time, cost, and environmental impact compared with alternative methods. ILiAD is best-in-class among direct lithium extraction technologies. It is commercially ready to deploy today, dramatically reduces water footprint, does not consume reagents, demonstrates order-of-magnitude longer operating life, and highest lithium recovery rates. It also enables the development of new classes of brine resources for the production of additional minerals, such as manganese and zinc.

“Schlumberger conducted extensive research and due diligence into our operations. Its investment is a validation of our disruptive ILiAD technology and the demand for cleaner, domestically sourced lithium,” added Spomer. “As well, we are delighted to add TechMet as a strategic partner. Their expertise across project development, financing, marketing and supply-chain management, together with its global network and position will bring considerable commercial and strategic value to EnergySource Minerals as we look to deploy our ILiAD technology in new markets.”

Leveraging strategic alliances and technical collaborations, EnergySource Minerals has already engaged with multiple resource customers to evaluate and deploy the ILiAD technology platform worldwide. As a strategic investor and partner, Schlumberger New Energy is working closely with EnergySource Minerals in the industrialization and deployment of the platform.

“Energy Source Minerals’ technology shows great promise as an efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly solution for lithium extraction from brines,” said Gavin Rennick, President of Schlumberger New Energy. “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.”

As the world transitions to a clean energy economy, lithium demand is increasing dramatically. Currently, lithium mining has a high environmental cost and a dependence on just a few countries worldwide. A technology change is required to leverage a broader, more sustainable resource base to address the requirements of countries committed 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,” said Brian Menell, TechMet’s Chairman and CEO. “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.”

EnergySource Minerals is a privately held company leading the development of Project ATLiS—a premier lithium project located in Imperial County, California, United States—as well as the ILiAD technology platform, which is being developed and deployed to lithium operations worldwide.

Source: Company press release via PR Newswire