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MGX files US patent for salt brine Lithium extraction

Thursday, November 10, 2016 12:57
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MGX Minerals Inc. (CNSX:XMG) shares rose 13% on Thursday after the company said it has filed a US provisional patent for a method for extraction of lithium from salt brine.

The company has reserved its rights under the laws of the United States, which protects the company’s rights globally for a year, during which time MGX will decide on which countries to make formal additional filings.

If accepted, the patent will have a duration of 20 years. The patent application is extensive and comprehensive in its description of a modern industrial process that may significantly advance both operating and development timelines for lithium carbonate production from salt brines. The patent covers a proprietary processing method to rapidly produce lithium carbonate from salt brines that eliminates the traditional solar evaporation step.

Traditionally, lithium brine is evaporated outdoors in large ponds and then processed. This is a time-consuming process, is vulnerable to elements such as rain or snow, and is associated with low recoveries of less than 50 per cent with a massive environmental footprint requiring hundreds of acres of evaporation ponds.

From the patent application:

Field of invention

The present invention relates to methods for extracting lithium salts from salt brines. More particularly, the present invention relates to a process for treating lithium-bearing salt brines in order to rapidly produce lithium carbonate (along with other commercially useful products).

The recovery process has been specifically designed for the highly mineralized brine associated with oil field lithium brine and MGX’s Alberta lithium property portfolio and proposes to reduce lithium brine evaporation times to less than one day, which represents a decrease of more than 99 per cent over traditional solar evaporation techniques taking up to 18 months. The company currently controls a land package of greater than 376,000 hectares of lithium-bearing brine properties throughout Alberta covering over one million barrels a day of salt brine production as a by-product to oil and gas production by operators.

The process is designed to operate in the oil and gas fields by integration with existing environmental and disposal systems. Whether stand-alone or centralized environmental facilities, MGX is developing a scalable modular solution to the development of lithium and minerals extraction equipment.

The company has engaged Purlucid Solutions an advanced water purification company. The company is currently integrating the MGX system into its proprietary water purification system and the pretreatment of the brine to remove oil, colloid and metals through patented nanoflotation and patented filtration technology. This provides a clean consistent flow of feedstock for processing by MGX’s system. The water can then be recycled or potentially returned to the environment in a controlled release. There may be a number of environmental benefits as a result of the processes.

MGX shares were up 13.3% to C$0.17 on Thursday. 

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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