Alberta's First Lithium Pilot Plant

Direct Lithium Extraction Technology 2023 Field Pilot


With Canada’s largest high confidence lithium resource and proprietary Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology, E3 Lithium is at the forefront of developing the lithium industry and supply chain in Alberta.

E3’s 2023 field pilot plant tested DLE technology at near commercial scale in real world operating conditions. The success of the pilot contributes to de-risking E3 Lithium’s ability to commercialize its vast resource.

Located east of Olds and north of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, the pilot began operations in the summer of 2023 and paused operations in November 2023 after the successful testing of E3's proprietary DLE and a third-party system.

Field Pilot Plant Success

The test results produced at E3's 2023 DLE Field Pilot Plant exceeded all Key Performance Indicators outlined below. Results produced via one test run included:

The production of high-quality concentrate at relatively high flow rates enables E3 to proceed with developing lithium in Alberta.

Review the detailed results of one third party DLE system and the results of E3's proprietary DLE technology.

Key Performance Indicators

E3 Lithium measured the success of the field pilot plant against the KPIs below.

Success Criteria Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Description
Lithium recovery ≥ 80% Mass of lithium recovered from the mass of lithium in the feed
Lithium grade in the lithium product stream ≥ 25% Concentration of lithium relative to other impurities (Na+K+Ca+Mg+Mn+Sr+B)
≥ 600 mg/L Concentration of lithium in the lithium product stream
Flow rate ratio ≥ 3 Brine flow rate divided by the system volumetric capacity

Lithium Recovery: The basis for including ≥ 80% lithium recovery is that it enables E3 Lithium to maximize the value of each unit of brine brought to surface.

Lithium Concentrate Quality: The quality of the product stream, or concentrate, containing lithium ≥ 600 mg/L with low impurities (≥ than 25% lithium in the product stream) outlines a high lithium to impurity ratio that enables simplified and conventional downstream refining into battery quality lithium hydroxide.

Flow Rate: The flow rate ratio is a measure of the rate at which the lithium can be extracted from the brine within a fixed capacity. The higher the ratio, the smaller the DLE commercial plant required, which is a proxy for the capital costs of this system.

2023 Pilot News

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