Enertopia Corporation (CSE:TOP) (OTCMKTS:ENRT) told shareholders on Monday that it believes Nevada could become a major source of lithium production in the next decade, securing a domestic supply of the essential battery metal.
The announcement came as the Kelowna, BC-based company updated investors on its lithium brine testing project in Clayton Valley, Nevada.
The technology company is undertaking testing to determine how various pH levels impact the purity levels in each claystone zone to see if pre-stripping the impurities prior to making synthetic brine is viable.
The potential loss of lithium was below detection limit in all pre-stripping tests, Enertopia said in a release.
During the most recent round of testing, the company focused on the zone most likely to be mined initially. Using a sample size of 20 grams solid, with a 10% ratio in the solution, Enertopia said it believes it should be able to increase the solids ratio to grow the lithium in the solution.
Key takeaways from the latest testing round showed that pre-stripping results resulted in high levels of lithium while maintaining very low impurity levels.
“Based on current industry off the shelf technology, we should be able to process a concentration of 40% solids with off the shelf technology bringing our lithium concentration in our synthetic brine solution to 360 parts per million lithium,” the company said in a statement.
This assumes it will be using material from the upper oxide horizon as feedstock and all the while maintaining industry-low impurity levels, Enertopia told investors.
Low-cost mining solution
CEO Robert McAllister said that ongoing testing continues to provide “great insights” and new ways to strive for a low-cost mining and processing solution to unlock the potential value of the lithium at Clayton Valley.
“Our pre-processing adjustments have demonstrated positive outcomes as contaminant minerals are greatly reduced allowing for a synthetic lithium brine that contains the fewest contaminants to be processed, as compared to any other lithium project today,” Enertopia said in a statement.
On a corporate level, the company has paid its fees to the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada to keep its mineral claims in good standing through to August 31, 2020.
It also said that it is working on plans to increase its working capital.
Enertopia Corporation is aiming to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from synthetic brines. In addition to the processing technology under development, the company is exploring a lithium project in Clayton Valley, Nevada, located near Albemarle Corporation's (NYSE:ALB) Silver Peak lithium brine mine.
Shares of Enertopia added over 33% on Monday at C$0.02 by end of day.
--Updated with share price--
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