NeoLith Energy’s differentiated direct lithium extraction process aims to enable a sustainable, efficient, and flexible lithium production ecosystem.
March 19, 2021 — Pure Energy Minerals Ltd. (TSX Venture:PE; OTCQB:PEMIF) (“Pure Energy” or “the Company”) is pleased to report a significant milestone announcement by its partner, Schlumberger New Energy, at Pure Energy’s 100% held Clayton Valley (“CV”) lithium brine project. This week, Schlumberger New Energy announced its plans to develop a lithium extraction pilot plant through its new venture, NeoLith Energy. Construction and development of the pilot plant are planned to occur at the Clayton Valley project, Nevada.
Schlumberger New Energy states in its news release dated March 18, 2021:
“The NeoLith Energy sustainable approach uses a differentiated direct lithium extraction process (DLE), process to enable the production of high-purity, battery-grade lithium material while reducing the production time from over a year to weeks. This innovative process can create new market opportunities for lithium extraction and battery manufacturing economy, and maximize the value of the lithium-rich resource base in Nevada with cutting edge extraction technology.
The demand for battery-grade lithium is projected to grow exponentially, driven by growth in the electric vehicles (EV) market. As EVs greatly depend on Li-ion rechargeable batteries, sustainable and efficient lithium production has become an important topic for regions, industries, and technology companies, as well as battery and large automotive manufacturers. NeoLith Energy’s pilot plant is a step towards a full-scale, commercial lithium production facility. The pilot plant results will be used to optimize the design of the full-scale production plant. The production plant will utilize an environmentally friendly method for subsurface brine extraction and lithium production that requires a significantly smaller footprint and reduces water consumption by over 85% compared to current methods for lithium extraction from brine.
“Nevada lithium resources present an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a leap in production efficiency with a more sustainable approach,” said Ashok Belani, Schlumberger New Energy executive vice president. “Schlumberger’s expertise in the subsurface domain, development of process technology, and global deployment of technology at scale with various partners all play an important role in the innovation and efficiency of our DLE process. We are accelerating the deployment of our pilot plant in response to the high market demand for battery-grade lithium material.”
The pilot plant’s implementation is part of Pure Energy’s agreement with Schlumberger New Energy for the development of its Clayton Valley lithium brine property, using advanced technology to process the brine to extract high-purity lithium products, and maximize the lithium resource recovery. Commissioning of the pilot plant will begin following receipt of all necessary permits. NeoLith Energy intends to begin operations before the end of 2021.
Schlumberger New Energy has invested more than USD15M in this DLE process technology, and the development and operation of the pilot plant in Nevada will require a similar amount of investment. The innovative and sustainable DLE process has the potential to disrupt the lithium economy by opening new opportunities to existing production regions, and to enable new lithium production regions across the globe to meet the growing demand.”
About Schlumberger New Energy
Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of technology to the global energy industry. Schlumberger New Energy explores new avenues of growth by leveraging Schlumberger’s intellectual and business capital in emerging new energy markets, with a focus on low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy technologies. Its activities include ventures in the domains of hydrogen, lithium, carbon capture and sequestration, geothermal power and geoenergy for heating and cooling buildings.
Comment by Pure Energy Minerals
“Pure Energy is very pleased with Schlumberger’s rapid progress on multiple fronts, including plant design, permitting and DLE brine extraction technology, all moving towards construction of the pilot plant as envisioned by our Earn-in Agreement. We welcome the progress towards this leading-edge development which will benefit Pure Energy’s Clayton Valley brine project and potentially other projects in Nevada,” stated Mary Little, director, Pure Energy Minerals Ltd.
About Pure Energy Minerals
Pure Energy Minerals is a lithium resource developer that is driven to become a low-cost supplier for the growing lithium battery industry. Pure Energy has consolidated a pre-eminent land position at its Clayton Valley (“CV”) Project in the Clayton Valley of central Nevada for the exploration and development of lithium resources, comprising 948 claims over 23,360 acres (9,450 hectares), representing the largest mineral land holdings in the valley. Pure Energy’s Clayton Valley Project adjoins and surrounds on three sides the Silver Peak lithium brine mine operated by Albemarle Corporation. Drilling of bore holes CV-01 through CV-08 were completed together with a revised mineral resource and a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Clayton Valley Project (news releases of June 26, 2017 and April 5, 2018).
Pure Energy’s strategic partner, Schlumberger Technology Corp. (“SLB”), now Schlumberger New Energy, is the operator of the Clayton Valley Project. On May 29, 2019, Pure Energy and SLB signed an Earn-In agreement over the CV Project which requires significant investment by SLB at the Project, to include the design and construction of a pilot plant capable of processing lithium-bearing brines for high-quality lithium hydroxide monohydrate (“lithium hydroxide” or “LiOH∙H2O”) and/or lithium carbonate products at a specified rate. SLB plans to utilize both in-house and commercially available technology in the design of the CV pilot plant. SLB’s costs, technical parameters and ultimate technology are anticipated to differ from the published PEA. For further details regarding SLB’s participation, please refer to Pure Energy’s Annual General and Special Meeting Management Information Circular dated April 4, 2019, available on SEDAR.com.
On January 3, 2019, the Nevada Division of Water Resources (“NDWR”) approved and granted a Finite Term Water Right to Pure Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Esmeralda Minerals LLC, for the extraction of up to 50 acre-feet of water during a 5-year period from the CV properties. This water right is deemed sufficient for brine testing requirements and SLB’s future pilot plant facility. In July of 2020, the CV-09 well was completed and results were published by Pure Energy on October 14, 2020.
Walter Weinig, Professional Geologist and Qualified Person has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information presented in this news release for Pure Energy Minerals Ltd. as designated by the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America (MMSA registration #01529QP). He is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
“Mary L. Little”
Director, Pure Energy Minerals Ltd.
Cautionary Statements and Forward-Looking Information
The information in this news release contains forward looking statements that are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause such differences include: changes in world commodity markets, equity markets, costs and supply of materials relevant to the mining industry, change in government and changes to regulations affecting the mining industry. Forward-looking statements in this release may include future exploration and development on the CV Project. Although we believe the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, results may vary, and we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.
The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except as required by applicable laws.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.