DLE: A Game Changer For Battery Metal Demand

With electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers planning to ramp up production,…


With electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers planning to ramp up production, demand for lithium for these automotive batteries continues to outstrip supply in North America.

DLE: A Game Changer For Battery Metal Demand

Bypassing traditional mining methods, Volt Lithium Corp. has used its extensive oil and gas industry experience to find a solution.

Volt has expedited test production to demonstrate the commercial viability of its proprietary direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. It directly extracts lithium from oilfield brines, leveraging existing infrastructure and regulations in Alberta’s oil and gas sector. This approach reduces the time and development work required to achieve production versus conventional mining. Volt is now advancing towards commercialisation and pursuing the opportunity across the continent.

Background

Volt is aiming to be North America’s first commercial producer of lithium from oilfield brine from existing hydrocarbon wells. This includes the production of lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) and lithium carbonates. The company’s flagship project – Rainbow Lake in Northwest Alberta, Canada – spans approximately 430 000 acres and has more than 1300 fully permitted oil-producing wells with lithium-infused brine. A successful pilot programme and technical report estimate a lithium production life of approximately 100 years.

Volt’s DLE solution creates a new category for lithium production within the resource sector. The approach offers an alternative to conventional lithium exploration and mine development, which, even after proving economical, still takes years to bring into production.

Looking to Canada’s oil and gas industry

Volt enters the lithium space with a perspective informed by hands-on experiences in hydrocarbons. The company is led by President and CEO Alex Wylie, a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in Alberta’s energy sector. Wylie and his team identified the potential for a technology-driven solution to address the supply-demand imbalance for lithium, and this coincided with a petroleum market movement favouring a technological shift towards industry modernisation, innovation, and increased involvement in the global clean energy transition.

Bridging mining and energy, lithium gave Volt an opportunity to take part in this shift. The metal exists in brines as a by-product of oil production, but was previously unextractable in commercial quantities. In Alberta, stringent oil and gas industry regulations significantly streamline the permitting process for lithium projects. Existing hydrocarbon wells with production infrastructure eliminate the need for new drilling, reducing capital costs and mitigating enterprise risks.

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Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/06032024/dle-a-game-changer-for-battery-metal-demand/





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